written by Justin Prince (@prince_justin)
If you haven't read any books in this series yet, what are you waiting for? Go... now... skedaddle! RAWR!! Anyway, I'm super jazzed about this issue! It's the one year mark for this awesome series. I won't give you a full recap but I'll throw the abridged version at you. Basically, this group of friends calling themselves "The Wrecking Crew" attend San Diego Comic Con every year. The particular year they go when the series starts is the year a zombie apocalypse decides to rain blood and guts on their nerd parade. It's a comedic story about surviving seemingly insurmountable odds while keeping the dynamic of the crew together. There are additions to the crew and some go missing, but eventually these friends get back together again. What I love most about the writing of this book is how they really take the source inspiration and run with it, it's geeky and it isn't afraid to be so. Of course they can't use OFFICIAL characters and properties for the most part, but their parody versions are pretty spot on. ANYWAY! When issue 11 came to a close, the Wrecking Crew had already escaped San Diego after they found out a nuke was headed their way. Tension was rising in the group, primarily among one of their newest additions Kurt Kiel (a Robert Kirkman-type character), Kurt was attending Comic Con promoting his Zombie centric comic and acts as the specialists in regard to the Shambling Not-Alives. The group attempts to test his loyalty by having Amanda (who has been building a sort of relationship with Kurt in issues past) act as if she was bitten... this of course backfires and Kurt shoots her.
At this point Kyle and Kurt get into a bit of a scuffle and Kurt blames Kyle for Amanda getting hurt. I love how they are building on the Kurt Kiel character, he always seemed a bit off to me in the early issues, it's a conflict I think can really define this series rather than just being purely comedic. In many zombie-centric stories, some of the most interesting bits of narrative come not from the Hiking Life-less but from the people forced to survive it. Kurt Kiel will be a fun character to read more about, and especially one that would make a compelling villain, but I digress. When it comes down to it, they have to make the trek to a military compound where Kurt's brother works, the medical facilities there are Amanda's best hope in surviving. Simple enough right? Well, that wouldn't be very interesting now would it? Driving through Las Vegas comes with its own bit of risk, primarily driving through zombified costumed folk and circus people. In true "out-of-his-mind-dickhead" fashion, Kurt tries to force Kyle to leave the group, calling him "poison" to the group's dynamic. It's here another lovely reunion takes place, Jenna and Brendan made it out of San Diego and arrived just in time to tell the group that the nuke didn't kill all the zombies, some were mutated... espeially this big three faced monstrosity of a un-jolly green giant.
It's time to run/drive/ride away, in all the commotion... Kurt takes it upon himself to further reinforce his villain role, after tossing a grenade to Kyle he shoots his tires out, forcing Kyle to pull the pin and feed that ugly mother-father his grenade. The blast seemingly engulfs Kyle and Missy as the rest of the Wrecking Crew ride away. It wasn't until they made it to the military compound that they notice Kyle and Missy are missing... of course Kurt being the only witness, he fabricates his own take on the story.
I've been following this series since it started, especially since I've been attending SDCC, it feels like a little bit of a homecoming when I read it. Sam Humphries and Shane Houghton crafted another funny and well written chapter to this ongoing drama of the Strolling Bought-the-Farms. Jerry Gaylord's art was fantastic once again, I love this series and it's one of my favorite comic series of 2012/2013. I can't wait for issue 13... what's next?