You Should Be Reading This!!!!: 28 Days Later

You Should be Reading This!!!

28 Days Later

Written by Michael Alan Nelson, Illustrated by Declan Shalvey, Colored by Nick Fildari, Lettered by Ed Dukshire, Edited by Ian Brill and Published by Boom Studios.

28 Days Later fits right in between the two films, 28 Days Later and 28 Weeks Later, and quickly defines itself as a premiere horror book.   With all the anxiety of the films, it will have you screaming much like the audience screamed at the theater.

Since the story starts somewhere after the first film and before the second, we are reintroduced to Selena, one of the Manchester Three, leaving the reader to wonder about the fate of Jim and Hannah.  The series follows a group of American reporters who are working to expose the truth of the infection by entering the quarantine zone.  Clint, the lead reporter, his cameraman, Derrick, and the rest of the group who might as well have names like guy in red shirt or guy who gets bit by the infected enlist Selena who is reluctant at first but decides to join them.  The plan is to island hop on a boat from the Shetland Islands to Scotland and then travel 700 miles to London.  Again, that’s 700 miles through a quarantine area full of the infected, not the most genius of plans but makes for a possible fun read.  The group must make an emergency landing due in part to the U.S. Air Force who fire a warning shot on the intrepid reporters.  Once on the ground, they learn a dangerous lesson; the infection has spread.  The war-tested reporters are clearly not ready to watch Selena kill one of their own after becoming infected.  Each step in their journey, the obstacles get worst and worst.  The group do meet other survivors as well as a familiar face along the way.  Continuing on in the tradition of the 28 Days Later franchise, they pick up a kid and someone even goes blind.

Writer Michael Alan Nelson shines with this book.  The writing is so sharp and catches the mood of the films.  You’ll even find yourself yelling at the book, “No don’t go in there!” or “Don’t believe him. He’ infected. He’s lying. He’s going to rage out any second.”  The fear of being hunted by the infected permeates the pages making the reader’s heart pound as if he/she were in the group.

The art is superb in creating a horrifying environment.  It does so much for this story especially during the moments of zero dialogue where the group sneaks around the city or hides from the military.  The reader can feel the tension in the group knowing that one sound could spell their death.  The infected look even more terrifying than in the movies.  The artist’s rendering of the blood will have the reader ducking and then checking themselves for any signs of blood splatter.  The gore is not just limited to the infected tearing people apart, but to the explosions and gunshots which feel the wrath of the artist.  The color much like the art add to the mood with the use of darker tones.  The lion’s share of the work is done by Declan Shalvey with fill-ins by Malek OleksickiLeonardo Manco and Alejandro Aragon.  The covers are breathtaking and done by Tim Bradstreet, Sean Phillips and Declan Shalvey.  Each cover is stylized and merged with the theme of the book to invoke fear, desperation and even madness making it difficult to determine which is the better cover if there even is one.

The book is not an extension of the movies rather it is part of one giant unfolding story.  It is a pulse-pounding read that will leave your voice hoarse from screaming.  The only question is “why haven’t you picked this up?” because You Should Be Reading This.

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