Working Class Stiff
Written by Wynter, Art by Rudy Martinez
Many people eat at the same restaurant every week and maybe order the same meal everytime. That very same meal you’ve come to know is comforting, but when one breaks from routine and orders something new and equally satisfying, it’s refreshing like a breath of fresh air. Zombie Cadence is like that something new, offering a break from the norm on many levels.
Cadence is a working class stiff. All is normal in his world; he’s focused on getting home to his wife and her slinky lingerie on Valentine’s Day. Cadence’s world changes when an ill man bites him as he’s leaving work. He goes about his business until he succumbs to the zombie affliction. It seems pretty clear where this story is going. With the main character being a zombie, dialogue might be both contradictory and difficult but Wynter’s approach to this problem is what sets this story apart. The dialogue is manipulated to come across as terrifying and claustrophobic, adding to the tension of the story.
The book is in prose and short form but transcends the short story format due in part to its illustrations. Having illustrations in a prose story is not new but these illustrations help to push the plot along and to set the mood. As the title clearly suggests, there are zombies in this story and the illustrations add to the creepy and gore factor that is expected in a story like this. Overall, the art is done very well, but it comes up short in a few places. One example in particular is when Cadence holds onto an old woman or at least what’s left of an old woman. Her corpse or the parts of her is a bit hard to distinguish. At other times, the art does a fantastic job conveying mood, be it a sexy woman in lingerie or the very same woman in lingerie dragging her body across a road. The artist, Rudy Martinez, makes his art a functional part of the story by pushing the plot along rather than just being a sidekick to the story.
Zombies are the new black…well, at least they were the new black until they became the go-to creature. It’s difficult to break new ground in a zombie story and Zombie Cadence doesn’t but it does take an interesting approach to it as the reader gets an up and close view of the zombie. The ending is poetic and comes back full circle as it ties the masses of people like Cadence himself rushing to leave work on Friday to the zombies in their hive-like state.