Title: The Abandoned aka “Howard, They’re Zombies”
Creator: Sophie Campbell
Summary: Big-hearted volunteer worker by day, unruly rocker by night, Rylie is one of the most-liked residents of the small island-town of Buffalora. When she sets her sights on Naomi, the new girl in town, love is definitely in the air. Unfortunately for Rylie, so is a storm. The kind in which nothing good ever happens… suddenly all the adults die and quickly rise from the dead! These flesh-craving zombies seek out the last remnants of youth and hope for society. With death in the air and love on their minds, Rylie and Naomi must make their way through the vast swamplands to salvation.
For Valentine’s Day I’ve given you all two things – lesbians and zombies, the gifts that keep on giving.
Seriously though, “The Abandoned” was one of many OEL manga comics published by Tokyopop in the 2000s. This was written and illustrated by Sophie Campbell back when she was still going by the name “Ross” and it’s been out of print for a while. It’s a very gory but not too explicit zombie horror tale, one full of genuine despair and apathy. Sophie colors the pages in very drab tones of grey, white, black, and what might be puce or mauve, with the use of red a shocking apparition throughout the landscape.
It features some of the stuff Sophie does very well, gore and plus-sized women. You guys really need to check out her work on IDW’s “Jem and the Holograms” series with Kelly Thompson, it saved comics. She’s exceptional when it comes to variety in body types and sizes. Although since this IS one of her earliest works her some of the characters appear a bit off-model in some panels. There’s also this one sequence in the beginning that has not aged well at all.
Also, I want to ask everyone NOT to tag or send a link for this to Sophie. I think she’d prefer not to look back on this because it’s so old and was made when she was still using her old name. And from what I’ve read, she does NOT have fond things to say about Tokyopop, which is something of a shared sentiment with a lot of people.
Content Note: References to abuse and sexual assault.
The opening dozen pages are mostly exposition, introducing us to the core cast and establishing a very grey, drab, and melancholic setting. The story opens with a diary entry written by Rylie all about Naomi’s arrival to the area.
It’s real hot out. I got a ton of fans blowing. Today is Friday, and my true-love-to-be Naomi just moved into town and she’s coming to visit me at the ice cream shop. Naomi’s mom and dad were killed in a huge dump truck accident back in like January. So I’m like, Naomi, you should totally move into Savannah, there’s tons of jobs there. And the rent’s pretty cheap in lots of places, and then we can hang out all the time. She’s gonna to do pedicab stuff. Bussing old folks and tourists round the city it’ll be cool. I met Naomi at a Young Werewolves show in Atlanta. I got her phone number and email except I gotta go to I Scream to use the computer. So now that Naomi’s in town, I totally get to see her wherever I want and hoping I get to kiss her soon too.
First off, we meet Rylie, a young punk Black woman living with a nearly catatonic father in the island town of Buffalora. This morning there’s a heat wave, and the news reports that Hurricane Riley is moving up from Florida with evacuation warnings in effect. Since their names are so similar, Rylie thinks of the storm as “Her’s” and thinks the devastation is cool. As she cheerfully waves goodbye to her dad on her way to work, her father doesn’t register it until she’s nearly out of sight. Rylie heads over to I Scream, a horror-movie themed ice cream shop run by sisters Nicki and Cammie. On the way in she greets her semi-friend Mae. Everyone else is super happy to see Rylie, who manages to liven up the place.
Naomi, Rylie’s lady love to be, silently wakes up in her new apartment in Savannah. As she gets ready for the day, she discovers someone’s stolen the bike she was going to use for her pedicab work. Damn.
And Ben (whose name and appearance are most likely a reference to Ben from “Night of the Living Dead”), one of Rylie’s few male friends, seems somewhat depressed about something as he places his phone down before heading out in his truck. While driving to Buffalora, he runs into Naomi and offers her a ride to I Scream.
At the shop, Rylie is regaling Nicki with a not-so-appropriate story about some guy who made a lewd pass at her, pissing off the customer at the front who does not approve of such “Lewdity” with her son waiting outside and demands to speak to the manager. That WOULD be fair, but when Nicki reveals she IS the manager, the customer makes a very snotty remark about how Nicki “Must be the Dumptruck girl.” Rylie flips the woman off and she curses them before leaving. Nicki asks if Cammie’s okay, as it turns out their dad was killed in the same accident that took Naomi’s parents. Cammie’s not too upset, and jokes that woman’s probably in for it now because Rylie works in the old folks home so she better watch out.
“I’m the old folks killer! Mess with me an’ I mess with you – when you’re 80!”
Nicki thanks Rylie for helping out before going to her usual job at the retirement home, and then asks if today’s the day they get to meet Naomi. Rylie gushes Naomi is the prettiest girl in the world, and she means it too, but she’s been depressed ever since her family died. Nicki comments how strange it is her dad and Naomi’s parents were both killed by the same dump truck and wonders if they’d somehow been planning to meet up for something when it happened. Rylie tries to lighten the mood by joking maybe the driver was some sort of mystic who wanted Nicki and Cammie to inherit their dad’s shop and for Naomi and Rylie to be together. Nicki mentions Mae thinks Rylie’s just trying to take advantage of Naomi in her fragile state. Rylie gets offended, saying her wanting to help Naomi sort out her life is completely separate from her wanting to get with Naomi (or as she puts it, that’s a convenient bonus).
As Naomi and Ben arrive to I Scream, Naomi tries to console Ben on his latest break-up and adds she’s broken up with at least 8 girls in the past two years. Ben’s kind of impressed, but thinks she’s in a better place than he is at the moment. Once inside, Naomi finally gets to meet Nicki and Cammie. After the introductions, Nicki asks how Ben’s break-up went. Ben says he broke up with his boyfriend John over the phone, and it’s not the first time he’s done such a thing. Ben defends himself saying he simply couldn’t do it in person.
Rylie and Naomi are out and about as Rylie heads to the nursing home for her other job. Naomi asks Rylie what she told her friends about her, and Naomi learns for the first time about Nicki and Cammie’s dad. And then the conversation moves to the part I’m not entirely comfortable with anymore.
Rylie brings up how there’s this one particular old guy at the home who’s always grabbing her ass, having done it at least three times this week. Naomi comments she’s probably the only ass the home sees, but Rylie adds there’s one other girl and at least one guy, both around her age. They wonder if the old folks grab the other two as well. Naomi muses if she were that old she’d probably do the same thing, to which Rylie responds with fake shock at how scandalous Naomi is. Rylie kind of agrees with her, saying at that age people should be allowed to do whatever they want, since like, you’ll probably be dead in a week so why worry? Rylie apologies realizing that sounds mean but Naomi knows she was kidding around. And hey, she’s sort of honored, y’know? Because it’s her ass that guy wants to grab. Naomi adds her’s could be the last ass he ever grabs, so it’s kind of spiritually gratifying. It’s then Rylie proposes Naomi could help out too. She’s so cute, she could be spiritually gratified lots of times!
Now I can sort of understand why Sophie didn’t want to be involved with this recap. Had I remembered this part I would’ve considered something else.
Naomi turns this idea down; she doesn’t think she’d be comfortable being around them, she’d feel too bad. Rylie ponders if it’s cuz they pee themselves, or because they’ve got no teeth? Rylie does a cute old person impersonation and gets a laugh out of Naomi. When they get to the old folks home, they do the traditional HANDS scene that must come with every lady loving lady story. Sailor Moon did it, Utena did it, Jem did it, now “The Abandoned” does it.
Inside, Rylie says hi to Peg, the other girl aide, and several of the residents. She brings one Mister Fowler outside in his wheelchair so he can get some fresh air. While she asks if the other guys on the porch want anything, Fowler silently puts his hand on her ass.
OKAY NOW THAT THAT’S OUT OF THE WAY
Later in the evening, the hurricane’s finally reached Buffalora. Rylie’s in the TV room with the other residents, the news reporting the intensity of the storm’s winds. Rylie briefly opens the front door and is almost blown back. Peg informs her everyone’s being advised to stay inside. Rylie can’t help but curse “Her” storm since she felt this was the night she was finally gonna go all the way with Naomi. At that moment a big branch breaks off the tree by the front doors and falls on the porch. Peg insists Rylie stay and suggests she call Naomi. Unfortunately, the dial tone is dead. And then the lights go out. Rylie searches for a flashlight while several of the residents begin complaining about the heat and wanting their medicine. Peg helps the folks in the TV room while Rylie checks in on the bedridden residents. Things seem okay, one guy even flips off the storm, but then Rylie discovers two people have died in their beds. She rushes to get Peg, but Peg has her hands full… because ALL THE RESIDENTS ARE DEAD. Peg has no clue what happened, saying it just happened. Rylie desperately checks Mister Fowler’s pulse, but nothing.
The two girls hunker down in the lobby, Peg questioning why no one bothered to evacuate them ahead of time and disturbed at the idea of being stuck in a building full of dead people. Rylie tries to remain calm, saying they can simply wait til the storm slows down to leave. But before they can get used to idea of waiting out the night, Mister Fowler wants something.
Peg is startled, but immediately gets up asking if the old man is okay and how he managed to get out of the wheelchair. Fowler says nothing, but responds by BITING OFF PEG’S CHEEK. Rylie is too shocked to move and watches as Fowler lunges on top of Peg and rips open her throat. When Rylie finally manages to stand up, Peg is dead and Fowler moves towards her. Rylie uses the flashlight to bash Fowler’s head in, when more of the residents emerge and start to chase her. The tree branch is still blocking the front door, so Rylie is forced to hold up in one of the bathrooms. Rylie can hear them scratching on the door, but they’re not strong enough to break through. Rylie slinks down on the floor, finally registering she just watched someone died.
Back in the lobby, some more residents decide to help themselves to Peg.
It’s morning and Buffalora’s a storm drenched mess. Hurricane Riley’s still going, and I Scream is the first known casualty. Rylie wakes up in the nursing home bathroom, cautiously checking as best she can if it’s safe to open the door. Arming herself with a heavy plunger, she exits the bathroom. There are bloody scratch marks on the other side of the door, but the seniors seem to have left the building. In the lobby, Rylie finds a giant puddle of blood where Peg’s body was. Rylie leaves the retirement home, wading through the flooded streets and inspecting some of the wrecked buildings trying to find out if anyone’s left.
Meanwhile, Nicki and Cammie are stuck on the roof of their zombie-surrounded house. Nicki’s armed with a frying pan and Cammie’s been pelting the undead adults with apples from the nearby tree, but is distressed to see the ones she’s beaned are getting back up. Nicki takes a risk by heading back into the house to get another pan for Cammie. Unfortunately, she finds one zombie coming into the kitchen and more trying to grab her through the window. On the way back upstairs, Nicki runs into a half-eaten and zombified Peg. Nicki immediately sends her down before getting back to Cammie and warning her the zombies are behind her. Nicki makes sure Cammie knows how to use a frying pan before arming her.
“Um… jus’ hit ’em? Will that work?”
“Yeah, they’re dead. They’re all messed up…”
Rylie has officially made it back to her house, calling for her dad before going into her room to change into fresh clothes. Once she’s finished she heads back downstairs, and finds her father trying to claw his way through the screen door. You can just feel the hopelessness in Rylie’s eyes as she watches her dead father pathetically trying to get through the door.
Ben is driving through Buffalora with Mae in the passenger seat when they see Rylie. Rylie hops into the back of Ben’s pick-up truck and is greeted by John, Ben’s ex. Rylie tells Ben to drive to Nicki and Cammie’s house, which is where they were already heading, and then she begs him to head to Savannah to get Naomi.
Nicki and Cammie have retreated into the branches of the tree as the zombies climb on the roof when the sisters spot Ben’s truck arriving. Ben backs up the truck so the sisters can jump down while Rylie and John fight off the other zombies. Ben speeds away the moment the girls are safe in the back, while the zombies slowly follow them.
As Ben drives through Hurricane Riley, Nicki asks if the group’s seen any other survivors among the zombies, but so far nothing. John comments Rylie once wished for a zombie apocalypse and snarks she’s not exactly grateful she got one. Rylie tells John to shut up since she was joking. John is especially miserable because today’s his birthday. Nicki can’t believe Ben dumped him a day before his birthday. And Ben’s birthday, oddly enough, is in a couple of days. While driving into Savannah, Nicki realizes the zombie invasion wasn’t limited to Buffalora as they see more zombies wandering around in the outskirts.
In Savannah, Ben has to drive over several zombies as they make it to Naomi’s. Mae notices there’s nothing BUT zombies; where’s everyone else? The group finally gets to Naomi’s place, who’s been watching the zombies from her balcony. The group rushes up the side steps and, once they get inside, they start to barricade the door.
Except Mae, who sits on the couch and smokes while everyone else works.
That finished, the group discusses survival tactics. There’s a cat walk out back that goes down to a fenced in back lot. If necessary, they can leave through there in order to get food and supplies. Mae doesn’t think this is a very good plan asking what happens if the zombies get in through the fence. Rylie counters the zombies move slowly, they can fight through if need be, and if they broke through the fence the group would hear it. Naomi adds the water’s still running they can still shower and bathe if they need to.
The group starts to bandage whatever wounds they got escaping the zombies when Nicki brings up Ben dumping John before his birthday. Ben gets defensive saying he just wanted to end it as soon as possible and didn’t want to cut John a break simply because it was his birthday. Rylie and Naomi are out on the porch, Naomi wondering why Mae’s got a stick up her ass because of her complaining. Naomi’s worried about food, but Rylie remembers there’s a supermarket around the corner and proposes a battle plan. They can even park Ben’s track in the back lot but only if they shut the gate super quick.
Rylie mentions she once asked for a zombie invasion but never thought it’d actually happen. Naomi asks what happened to her dad. It turns out Rylie didn’t kill him, she just left him at the house and wonders if he might be with the other zombies right now. It just… didn’t feel right to bother him. Rylie tries to spin this whole twisted scenario as the two of them being lovestruck orphans in a post-apocalyptic world connected by their mysterious pasts. Naomi wonders what happened to Rylie’s mom.
…she was a teacher who was raped and killed by one of her students.
Back inside, Nicki and Cammie wonder what they should do for Ben’s birthday. Ben’s touched but suggests they worry about that after the zombie apocalypse ends. Unless they wanted to give him a gun or something. Nicki wonders if things really can go back to the way they were or if that’s all over now. Mae says nothing and keeps smoking.
Cammie mentions wanting to shower and that John’s been in there a while. Nicki jokes if Ben will be able to shower or not, which confuses Mae. Turns out Ben is scared of someone seeing him naked in the shower, saying it’s not the same as being naked with someone else. It feels weird, intrusive.
While Naomi and Rylie talk about books and movies, Ben adds he sort of hopes his parents are zombies now, viewing it as a more pleasurable alternative to them acting like he doesn’t exist because he’s gay. Mae points out John’s been fucking forever in the bathroom so Ben decides to kick him out except, SURPRISE, he’s dead! Ben drags John’s body out of the bathroom, but no one can figure out how he died. That’s when Rylie remembers this is exactly what happened with the old folks and is sure John’s a zombie now. Nicki’s not fully convinced until John emerges, blood bubbling out of his mouth, and he makes a grab for Ben. The group is forced to barricade the bathroom door with John still inside. So much for showers. Mae decides they should just kill John now, which seems to offend Nicki. Rylie tells Mae to chill, they’ll figure out what to do. But Mae’s still pissed because she has to… piss.
Mae’s forced to pee outside on the cat walk (thankfully we don’t see this), and while she feels better, she’s not apologizing for her suggestion. Alone with Rylie, Mae reveals she works at that supermarket and has a key to the door by the loading dock. Rylie proposes they do a food run tomorrow if Mae can handle it. Mae begins talking about her annoying foster parents, hoping they’ve been turned into zombies as well. She does an impression of her foster dad.
“Maaaee… say hello to your Aunt Alicia! Hellooo Aunt Aliciiaa!”
I admit I’m always quoting this part.
Mae tells Rylie how her foster dad was constantly making her say that to her foster mom, treating her like a five year old. She always had a desire to throat punch ’em both. Rylie chooses to tell Mae she always respected how she managed to get by on her own, getting a job despite being so young. Mae doesn’t think it’s a big deal, since people are always stupid enough to think she’s 19.
Rylie thinks that’s hot.
Another diary entry.
It’s weird how my last entry was about Naomi coming to town and how awesome it was gonna be. Now all I got to write about is zombies. I can’t stop thinking about how John turned when he was in the bathroom.
It can’t be the water, Nicola took a shower and she’s fine, and we all drank water from the kitchen faucet and we’re all fine. All the zombies are older folks. I wonder if we’ll all end up old folks zombies.
I got a feeling we’ll all be okay, though, if we’re just careful. Except maybe Mae, I think everyone’s going to want to beat her ass pretty soon.
Everyone’s asleep (except John, who’s still in the bathroom) and Naomi. She’s on the porch with Rylie, and can hear the zombies underneath them. Rylie wakes up and snuggles with Naomi to make her feel better, and jokes about how Ben had to piss off the balcony earlier, right on the zombies. It sounds better than pissing and popping off the cat walk since they might have to worry about walking through a puddle of piss and shit. Rylie’s done that once and it was NOT fun. But then Rylie brings up her thoughts on what made the zombies, since it was instantaneous with everyone else but John was slower. Naomi doesn’t think they have anything to go on, not even proof if zombie bites will turn you (which we, the readers, know is shit because of Peg). Rylie figures it has to be SOMETHING, maybe their blood or spit. When they hear more zombies below them, Naomi says they sound like “Gurgly puppies.” Rylie finds that hilarious.
In the morning, Ben drives Rylie, Mae, and Nicki to the supermarket to get supplies. Ben brings the truck around back to the loading dock (where there is apparently a zombie in full clown get up). Nicki and Mae head into the store while Ben drives off to lead the zombies away, reminding the girls he’ll be back in fifteen minutes. Nicki has her frying pan and Mae’s got a jagged tree branch for a weapon. Nicki has a list made up of basic foods and necessities like toothbrushes and gas jugs, but Mae is livid when she finds out some asshole added sesame sticks to the list. Mae refuses to risk her life because someone’s jonesing for sesame sticks.
Back in the truck Ben argues with Rylie about whether or not they should try to leave Savannah. Rylie figures it won’t matter where they go, there’ll still be zombies wherever they go. Rylie uses the logic that if it was a local thing, there would’ve been some SWAT team or something by this point.
Nicki and Mae are just about done when a zombie appears, pushing a shopping cart. The two quickly beat the shit out of her, but then more show up. One even has a fucking katana shoved through his chest and the other’s on a rascal. The girls get back to the loading dock, but Ben hasn’t returned and more zombies are showing up. Including one who doesn’t have legs BUT IS USING A WHEELCHAIR. Ben thankfully shows up before the girls get swarmed and mows down several zombies as he drives away (not Zombie Clown though). Nicki says Mae thought Ben abandoned them, while Rylie reasons why would they abandon the guys with the food.
In the apartment, Naomi’s doing a magazine quiz with Cammie to pass the time. In-between questions, Cammie asks Naomi what’s happening between her and Rylie. Naomi admits she’s not entirely sure, saying she isn’t ready for something too serious. Cammie says she thinks they’re a cute couple, though. The others return to the house and get the truck in the back lot, but one zombie manages to get in. This one seems to be a self insert zombie version of Ross Campbell (as in, Sophie before she began transitioning). The girls obliterate this one.
Ben, Nicki, and Rylie eat on the porch, discussing John, while Cammie, Naomi, and Mae eat inside and discuss whether or not there are any other survivors in the city. Mae wonders if everyone else had been evacuated before the storm, but they still can’t decide on whether or not leaving would be a good idea because would there be more zombies? Cammie needs to pee, and Naomi asks Mae to watch her in case something happens. Mae stops to grab a drink first while Cammie goes out on the cat walk… and runs into John. As he lunges on top of Cammie, we see his fingernails have been shredded down to nothing. Cammie screams as he manages to bite off a small chunk of her thigh. Nicki rushes out just as John bites into Cammie’s shin. Cammie finally kicks him off and falls into her sister’s arms. Rylie stomps his head into a bloody puddle.
I can’t believe we missed the windows. The bathroom window. There were chunks of skin and shit on the inside from where John scraped himself out. It was pretty nasty. I feel so bad about it. I know I’m right about the zombie bites. Cammie is going to turn but I don’t know how long it will take but she will. I know it. I don’t know what Nicki will do when Cammie turns, she is gonna flip the fuck out. I don’t know what I’m gonna do. I don’t think anyone here has the guts to kill a Cammie-zombie either. I don’t even want to think about it. I feel sick.
Rylie and Naomi are spending another night on the porch, this time with weapons nearby in case of more zombies. Rylie and Naomi discuss what they can do, how long they can stay at Naomi’s place. If the zombies don’t rip them up they’ll probably turn on each other. Rylie’s starting to realize none of them have really taken this seriously, like, talking about their break-ups and what kind of candy they like, who does that in a zombie apocalypse? But now Nicki blames Mae for Cammie getting bit, and that’s all they need before they start hating each other. And Rylie can tell Ben wants to leave. They can’t stop him and he’s the one with the truck. Naomi assures Rylie they’ll figure something out.
Inside, Cammie’s silently crying with Nicki laying next to her. On the couch, Mae sits up, and in the dark she sees the truck keys on the floor…
Rylie and Naomi begin to cuddle, but Naomi stops before they get too intimate. This pisses Rylie off a bit but doesn’t try to force Naomi into having sex. Instead, she gets up to pee and then gets something to drink… just in time to hear Mae trying to steal the truck. Rylie screams at Mae from the cat walk to stop, but Mae guns the truck and slams into the fence. As Mae tries to back up, Rylie manages to yank her out and they start beating the shit out of each other. As the zombies try to force their way into the broken part of the fence, Rylie and Mae throw each other around, Rylie screaming what the fuck is wrong with Mae. Rylie punches Mae so hard she knocks out one of Mae’s front teeth. Mae throws dirt in Rylie’s face and socks her jaw, but Rylie gets the upper hand and throws her back in the mud. Ben and Naomi head into the lot demanding to know what happened. Rylie screams Mae was going to abandon them, and quite possibly have destroyed the fence and left them open for the zombies. Mae tells Rylie to go fuck herself, so Ben orders her back in the house before he throws her over the fence.
As Rylie and Mae head back inside, bloody and covered in dirt, Nicki worriedly asks what happened. Rylie tells her it was nothing.
Mae tries to apologize, but Rylie spits at her to go help Ben fix the fence.
I was up all night the other day, now I’m all messed up. I don’t know what it is. My last entry was 22, so I guess it’s gotta be 23. Or 24. Mae tried to take the truck and leave without us. Half of me wants to beat the shit out of her, but the rest of me just doesn’t even care. I’m too tired.
It’s morning and Ben checks in on Cammie, who’s finally fallen asleep (they think; she looks like shit). Nicki wants answers for what happened with Rylie and Mae. Ben reveals Mae tried to steal the truck, and now he feels maybe they should leave. Of course they’re gonna bring Cammie with them even if she’s been injured. Mae, however, might be left behind. Nicki asks if Rylie’s okay with that. Ben just wants to leave, saying he’s been feeling sick and worried it might be the zombie crap. He says he doesn’t want to die here. Nicki tries to soothe Ben saying he’s not gonna turn, it’s probably just a cold saying she’s had nose sniffles as well. She tries to cheer Ben up by showing him something she worked on with Cammie for his birthday, a drawing of a zombie version of Rupert Graves (his favorite actor). Ben thinks it’s awesome and decides this is the best birthday ever, not counting the zombies.
Rylie rests her head on Naomi’s lap, saying the fence is fixed but it’s no guarantee it will hold. She also discusses leaving, and clarifies she honestly doesn’t think she wants Mae to die for what happened. Naomi’s not so forgiving, pointing out Mae beat up Rylie. Rylie add she beat up Mae too, even knocked out one of her teeth. Naomi admits the battle scarred look is hot.
Nicki hears Cammie wake up and asks if she’s alright. Cammie responds by lunging on her sister, blood dripping from her mouth as she scratches Nicki’s arm. Rylie hears the commotion and bashes Cammie’s head with the plunger, which makes Cammie puke blood onto Nicki’s face. Rylie and Mae team up and proceed to beat the hell out of Cammie. Poor Nicki can do nothing but watch, drenched in her sister’s blood, as poor Cammie gets one of her eyes gouged out and beaten to death.
They make a crude grave for Cammie in the backyard. Nicki says nothing, hunched down on the stairway in the rain as the zombies try to claw through the fence.
Naomi checks in on Ben, who says he’s sick even though he didn’t get bitten or scratched. Naomi says she’s got a sick feeling in her stomach, thinking about Nicki and Cammie. Naomi advises Ben to take a nap and she’ll make him some iced tea for later. Before she leaves, Naomi wishes Ben a sort of happy birthday. Naomi asks Rylie if she wants something to drink but her mind is miles away. Mae comes back in declaring she’s out of cigarettes. The three of them talk about the drawing Ben got for his birthday, and Mae manages to be somewhat friendly with Rylie again. Naomi goes to bring Ben some iced tea. He thanks her by scratching her face. Rylie is livid that she was right and tries to kill Ben with the plunger, but he shakes her off. Mae hands Naomi a hammer and she whacks Ben’s skull, but it’s not enough. Rylie tries to hold Ben off as she screams at Naomi and Mae to get in the truck. Mae doesn’t hesitate, but Naomi takes more coaxing. Naomi finally joins Nicki and Mae, but Mae screams RYLIE had the keys. Rylie manages to get away from Ben, who chases after her as she gets in the truck. Ben trips as Rylie swerves the truck, and the tire manages to crush one of his knees. As the truck bursts through the fence, several zombies are sprayed with shrapnel that slices off parts of their heads and faces.
As Rylie drives, the girls attempt to beat off the zombies, but then OH SHIT THEY GRAB NICKI! Naomi tries to pull Nicki back in the truck but there are too many zombies grabbing her. Nicki screams for them not to leave, and keeps screaming up until one zombie sinks its hand into her eye socket and rips open her forehead.
As Rylie drives, she looks as though her soul’s been destroyed.
Naomi looks dead inside.
Nicki is devoured.
Rylie’s driven so far from Savannah the truck’s nearly out of gas. Forced to stop on a swampy road, Rylie nearly has a breakdown thinking about Nicki. Mae reasons if Rylie had stopped the zombies would’ve eaten them all. Rylie pulls herself back together long enough to declare they need to find more gas. The girls decide to check out a nearby diner for any cars with gas to siphon and any leftover, edible food. Rylie orders them not to split up and says they have to get gas, then food. Mae thinks that’s stupid; they should eat first so they don’t have to carry gas AND food. Naomi begins to cry, and Rylie tries to offer some comfort by apologizing for arguing.
Mae begins siphoning gas from one car while Rylie inspects the one next to it. But then WHAM! A zombie with broken glass in its arms emerges from the car and tackles Rylie to the ground. Rylie tries to hold him off, but then one of the glass shards in his hands gets jammed through one of her eyes. Naomi bashes the zombie with her hammer, while Rylie reels from the pain in her still-attached-but-sliced-open eye. More zombies start to wade in through the nearby swamp. Naomi quickly rips her shirt to bandage Rylie’s wound. Mae says they have to lure the zombies away and asks for the keys, but Rylie’s too smart for that trick. The girls climb up a nearby tree, leaving the gas for later. More and more zombies swarm around the tree and one manages to grab Naomi’s pant leg! Naomi starts to fall and Rylie frantically, desperately tries to pull Naomi back up. Naomi begs and screams for Rylie and Rylie tries she tries she-
OH GOD THEY’RE BITING INTO HER THEY’RE DIGGING INTO HER THEY RIPPED NAOMI OPEN
RYLIE LETS GO AND NAOMI FALLS SHE SCREAMS AND CRIES THEY RIP HER APART IT
The zombies devour everything.
What was it you and Rylie talked about, Naomi? How old people should be allowed to grab and do whatever they want when they’re that old?
Some time later, Rylie has fallen asleep clinging to the branch. She wakes up and sees the gas can still on the ground. The zombies are gone. Mae is still asleep on the ground.
Rylie says nothing as she picks up the gas can, refills the truck, and drives away without Mae.
Mae wakes up and sees Rylie abandoning her. She doesn’t try to stop her.
Mae stares out in the swamp.
Rylie drives away.
BOY WASN’T THAT A GREAT VALENTINE’S DAY STORY?
The ending is one of the most depressing ones I think I’ve done for this website. I don’t know if this was a one-shot story or if Sophie planned this as a three volume story. Tokyopop had a lot of OEL manga books that were planned for at least three volumes or more, but many of them never made it past the second one and that’s if they were lucky.
HOWever, Sophie created and completed a surprisingly upbeat and clever sequel web comic, “Can’t Look Back,” a couple of years ago. BUT, that story is NSFW as it has full frontal nudity as well as explicit sex scenes, but it’s totally sex positive.
I can’t believe that segment in the beginning never bothered me before I decided to review the book for Point Horror. The thing is, what they were talking about hit closer to home than it did before because, well, in 12th Grade I was molested by a classmate in a similar manner. He… did this thing… with his finger during one art class. He did it to me twice and tried it a third time before I smacked his face. He then spent the rest of that class trying to force an apology out of me.
…the motherfucker is now a gold medalist fencer in the Olympics.
Ugh, anyway. Despite that part I still enjoy this book, even if it get really depressing at the end. Thank God for the sequel.
Here are a couple of pin-ups Sophie included in the book.
(Rylie and Naomi)
I Scream’s Menu
- Cookies and Screams
- Pumpkinhead Pie
- Leatherface Lemon
- Island of the Alive
- Kill the Brain
- Soy-lent Green
- Nut of the Living Dead
- Kothoga Krunch
- Stab Wound
- Cherry Chainsaw
- Call of Cthulhu
- Romero Raspberry
- Codename: Trixie
- The Stuff
“The Stuff” was the name of an 80s horror movie about a weird white substance some miners found that they started selling as a dessert (Because THAT makes sense), and it hollows out the bodies of those who eat it and controls them. There’s even a display for it in the supermarket. Could IT have been the cause of the zombie plague?