Tim Seeley is a comic book artist and writer known for his work on books such as G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, The Dark Elf Trilogy, Batman Eternal and Grayson. He is also the co-creator of the Image Comics titles Hack/Slash and Revival, as well as the Dark Horse titles, ExSanguine and Sundowners. He lives in Chicago.
Alright. Well, this was just a giant chunk of awesome.
Truthfully, I'm not 100% sure what the hell is happening in this thing, but that's ok. There's enough real-life drama happening in the background of all the paranormal/sci-fi stuff that I'm sold on this as a solid title. I mean, isn't the benchmark for any great story incorporating the fantastic into it, is that it still reaches out and grabs you in the nads because it reminds you of the mundane? Even if it's set on Mars or populated by fairy creatures? Yes. Yes, it is.
So, yeah. I was originally interested in this comic because of the horror/paranormal stuff, but I'm sticking around because it feels real. Well, and because of the crazy zombie ghosts. <--or whatthefuckever those things are!
I wasn’t a huge fan of Revival Vol. 1 — I thought it was a bit too unfocused — but I was intrigued enough to want to see what happens next. And so I did, and it just failed to make me want to go on with the series. It was reasonably entertaining, but by the last page of the volume I really did not care neither about what’s next in the plot nor about the fates of any of the pretty long set of characters.
One of my gripes with the first volume was the lack of focus leading to a somewhat scattered impression. I assumed, however, that once familiarity sets in I would feel more for all those people, but indifference never really gave way to caring. It felt more like a collection of plot pieces more or less stitched together but not actually fitting well. Revivers, demon ghost thingies, dismemberments, family secrets and fights, small town secrets — all these subplots really form a literary casserole stuffed with every tidbit that came to the author’s mind, and all of them just felt quite shallow.
It’s all a bit disconnected, jumbled and fragmented — not to the point of me zoning out but close. And as a result none of the characters really have a room to grow or develop, and I barely can keep them apart. And the almost gleeful focus of the artwork on gratuitous brutality seemed to be just to add shock value, but it felt flat when I just couldn’t really care.
And now, a day after I finished it, it’s already fading in my memory alarmingly quickly. That’s not good.
I'm still loving this graphic novel series even though I'm only on Volume 2. I think they are bizarre and different. I don't understand them sometimes the way they go back and forth, but they are just awesome.
I love the art and I think it really reels me in because it's a horror novel that takes place while it's snowing. Lol! I love the Winter. Hopefully if these continue on beyond the Winter I will still love them!
Dana, who is a cop is still trying to find out who killed her sister Martha. Martha is a Reviver, bodies that come back to life. But, they don't act like normal zombies, okay well some go off their nut and do crazy things but they mostly walk around and do whatever.
Cooper is Dana's little boy and he saw this white ghostly looking thing in the woods one day. I still haven't found out what this thing is but Cooper is trying to make friends with it by sharing his toys =)
Then we find out some whackadoos are cutting up the revivers and selling their parts. Like seriously, there just always has to be some twats. But, they get found out when one of their trucks gets in a wreck and parts and shrewn <-- (is that a word?) far and wide.
There are all kinds of things going on but I'm not talking about all of that, you can get the book! Plus, like I have said a million times, I don't do great comic reviews.
So, Cooper ends up in the shack of the said body part snatchers. It turns into a cluster and Martha gets her freak on and saves the day, along with the white ghost thing.
Like I said, I'm really loving this series so far and can't wait until I get the rest of them!
okay, on the one hand, seven months is not a really long time to wait between volumes, and if i were more disciplined, i could have kept up with the comic books that were published individually in between the collected graphic novel editions of these books and could have lessened my waiting time and had short bursts of gratification, but on the other hand, seven months feels like a REALLY LONG TIME when you WANT TO KNOW WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN FOR THE LOVE!!
zombies and "rural noir." two of my favorite things.
Something has changed. With me as a person obviously, because I'm pretty sure the book is the same it was 4 years ago when I thought this were terrific. It isn't. It's a decent comic but nothing extraordinary and I basically don't care at this point. I'm a little sad, though. Not only because I apparently can't be trusted as a reviewer but also because I already bought the next couple of volumes. Anyone want some e-copies of this - in pristine condition? Heh! Time to cut my losses.
2018 review (obviously written by another Dennis):
Holy moly! This continues to be terrific!
The Revivers are a nationwide phenomenon now. And everyone seems to have some kind of interest in them. Especially of the religious and political sorts. Everybody wants to have a piece of the cake and some, more literally, a piece of the Revivers themselves. Yes, we get introduced to a group of black market organ dealers here and some whatthefuckery ensues.
Meanwhile Dana and her fellow cops still have a few crimes to solve and there is a growing number of supposedly normal people that are clearly hiding something. This town is seriously nuts.
Oh, and she should also keep an eye on her little sister. Because I think Martha is losing it, just a tiny bit.
Get your shit back together girl!
But she also has some very cool moments. Like the following one (If you haven't read it yet, don't ruin it for yourself! And also, WHY?! Why haven’t you read this yet?):
That moment was awesome, wasn’t it!? What? You peeked and didn't understand why this particular moment is so awesome? So you still haven’t read it? Oh c’mon!
This second volume is grim and creepy and very cool.
There’s also Dana’s family life which needs to be taken care of. Young son, ex husband, overprotective father and all. Generally Seeley does a good job of blending the mundane with the crazy.
There were still a lot of moments when I had no idea what the fuck was going on. But I’m very eager to find out.
4.5 stars and recommended! Once again.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>
Even better the second time around. Seeley answers the mystery of who killed the messed up stepbrother of the reporter. Then introduces us to some more fucked up people of this town. Enter one old, redneck, racist, gun nut and three brothers up to some messed up shit. Plus these are more ghosts in the woods and Revivers off doing crazy shit. This book really is Fargo with people returned from the dead and it's addictive as hell. I'm not really sure why Netflix or HBO hasn't snapped this up as a series yet.
And what about Jenny Frison? She's really crushing it with those amazing covers.
The more I read of this series, the more I struggle to keep the intrigues and characters' relationships (hell, even just the characters) straight. It doesn't get easier - it's just more disconnected vague allusions to a bunch of small-town politics and melodramas, and I'm realizing that the base premise of this series is just a false promise.
I don't think Seeley and Norton are doing a horror book or a supernatural thing - I think they're just stringing up a set of zombie lights to illuminate the ongoing tales of a bunch of people with varying shades of grey cast on their souls, meandering through their varying weirdnesses and minor misadventures. Being weird and unpredictable because they can, or because it's "dramatic".
I think this is why I tired of Seeley's other big series, Hack/Slash Omnibus. It became less an exploration of horror tropes for me, and more a confusing winding tale of the earnest yearnings and stupid moves of a bunch of secondary characters.
Secondary characters are alright when they're well-designed and have a clear set of personality layers - like that ancient show Picket Fences - but when it starts to feel like they're serving more as filler to stretch the thin story, I get exhausted of bothering to keep up.
This feels like Seeley could use a refresher of Mamet's rules of scripting. Half the time, what his characters are saying or doing is irrelevant and not worth following, to the point where I'm finding I've zoned out while reading enough that when something later happens I've lost track of how the story got there.
When everyone's got secrets, doesn't that make secrets kind of a generic commodity? Why should I feel surprised by discovering another dark past moment when everyone is looking over their shoulder?
Maybe if these fuckers could focus on twelve or fewer storylines I'd have a hope of keeping up. As it is I'd be tempted to start an X-Files wall - string and pushpins and newspaper clippings oh my! - if I wasn't so disinterested in it all. But how can anyone be bothered to give a shit when all we get is a few pages for each new character and then off to the next fragment of discontinuity? Just the very admission of the 52-card pickup plotting that is this story - that they put "The Home Of Frida Shitbird" captions on every new fragment - tells me even Seeley knows how choppy this is, and that he thinks this is *good* writing instead of the product of a fevered relationship with daytime soap operas.
Gave up halfway through. There are much better reading opportunities with creators I haven't grown tired of.
Speaking of which, is that volume 20 of The Walking Dead on my shelf?
Book two in the Revival series kicks off…wait, wait. Hold up a minute. Just look at that cover over there. *whistles* What a beauty! The simple, up close image pushed all my cover love buttons–grabbed my attention, set my evil horror imagination wheels a ‘turning, and made me smile, smile, SMILE! So gorgeous! Sorry for the drool. :) Back on track…
Live Like You Mean It brings us back to Wausau, Wisconsin where for one day the recently deceased came back to life. Reporters, religious zealots, and scumbags descended on the town adding to the feeding frenzy. Now quarantined, the town is just trying to hold it together and go on. But some people are coming up with some interesting and scary ways to deal with the “Revivers”. And to add more fuel to the fire, some dark town secrets start to come out and play. Let the fun begin!
These glossy, snow covered pages hold mystery and mayhem from beginning to end. Beautiful horror that made me grin and glow –religious riots, bodies cut from neck to nuts, squirrel guts, and body parts galore! I mean GALORE! Bits and pieces everywhere! Hehe…Gotta love the warm well-armed welcome of a small town. :D
The story, art, and characters dug deeper in my head and heart this time out. There are a lot of faces and characters layered through the story, but it all fits somehow. I can feel the town, history, and characters now. See the connections. I felt the rivalries, revenge, jealousy, and loneliness in the old high school stories and family memories. Little Cooper breaks my heart by the way. Will someone please pay attention to that kid! And big Papa Cypress is hiding one doozy of a secret.
Each page turn provides more and more to chew on! Morsels and clues in every corner. I loved scouring the pages for little details—like Edmund Holt’s “Warning: I don’t call 911” hat. Perfect! You know the man is going to be packing some serious “don’t-mess-with-me” weapons. Haha...I had so much fun here!
This town is brimming with grisly secrets and I have a feeling we haven’t seen the half of it yet.
I only picked up the second volume because I have been reading the indie sci fi comics of Judson Madson (Carbon, Breathers) and like Revival, they are dark stories about central Wisconsin. This one takes place in Wausau and is about Zombies. I couldn't really get into the first volume, but thousands of people have been into it and reading it, so I came back to this for one last look.
This volume includes issues 6 to 11 of the series, with religious fanatics and black market dealings part of it. The "revivers" are, as we expect, getting a little more complex, darker, more stressful. Ach, I'm not that into it. Organs being harvested. Lots of brutality, as expected, but unless you can truly get into the characters, the brutality is just something technical to depict. There's some zombie ethical questions about quarantining, but eh.
Not fair to compare it to a non-zombie Wisconsin book, I suppose, but I am more interested in the characters and dystopian sci fi of Breathers. Maybe it's just me. Or maybe it's that it doesn't for me measure up with other zombie stories. But a lot of people are reading and enjoying, my hat's off to you, enjoy!
Updated Review: So I still agree with a lot of what I thought before. It's a interesting enough idea but just not fully realized. I think my major issue is not getting connected to any of the main characters and so it's hard to hear. This volume still good, it's moving at a decent pace, but nothing is really grabbing me and making me go "MUST BUY". So My 3 out of 5 remains.
Old Review: There's parts of this volume that are exciting (Especially final issue) but the rest is just eh, not all that entertaining. I find myself skimming through a large portion of dialog because it's either repetitive or holds little importance to the overall plot.
I still don't know what's going on with those white ghost-y guys in the woods. I'm a big fan of Em, especially, "It's more fun when you run," but rather than sew up any older plot points or give more info on stuff that's already happened, too much new stuff is introduced - black market Reviver body parts & the gruesomeness that implies, whatever is going on at Ken Dillisch's house, "true white partiot" (ugh) Edmund Holt, Em's teeth falling out? I guess, the Gift of Life group. I like reading these, but I weary of two pages of action on one group leads to two pages of completely difference action leads to two pages of new stuff & so on. I believe it'll all come together, but it's too all over the place for now.
The plot thickens and more is revealed in vlo.2 about the revivals and the characters’ past.
A lot more characters are introduced and you have to try to keep up with them. It is worth pointing out though that the author has made effort to include characters from different cultures, religions, age groups and there is an equal representation of make and female characters. I also like the fact that the characters are smart and proactive
My favorite is Martha Cypress, there is something so raw and honest about her, and yet at the same time she is the most mysterious character, full of conflicting and passionate emotions, to sad and alone.
This one left me with tons of regret. And, that's not a good thing. There were way too many pages that had context I could have really done without. It's very hard to skip through any areas in graphic novels, so it says a lot when I tell you I skimmed through most of this volume.
I didn't find much of what I enjoyed in the first volume anywhere here. There were way too many characters added that i felt weren't needed at the moment, paragraphs upon paragraphs of unwanted dialogue, confusing parts everywhere. It wasn't a volume I'd revisit anytime soon.
You know how comic sequels tend to emphasize on flashbacks and getting to understand where our characters are coming from? This one just puts us right in the action.
Although the information provided to our cop and journalist weren't much (no actual leads) the authors provided us with graphic terror and tender Coop scenes to keep the pace going. I know they'll have to find the balance between characterization and plot soon, but for now, this was a fun ride.
Although this series might seem as one focused on the death, revival and the meaning of all of that, I would say that, much like the tv show The Leftovers, it's not about death at all. Rather, it's about life, and especially the lives of the people in small towns in America, trapped in their life choices.
Sure, Revival offers a lot of gore, blood and guts, but more than that, it opens the topic of how people cope in certain situations and what their choices are before and after such a crisis.
I was not hugely impressed by this volume, but it did enough to keep me interested in reading the next one, in hopes of finding out what the meaning of that entire mess is.
Story-wise Revival has a lot in common with the first season of Fargo (the only one I've seen, that is), believe it or not. It's a town in which there were always those people who could have potential, but didn't use it, those who tried, those who failed, and those who are not sure what the meaning of their life is. And then this event happens and all hell breaks loose, making everyone choose where they want to stand, on the side of the living or the dead.
While I really like non-superhero graphic novels, and especially ones that offer a look into the supernatural, the one thing that kind of frustrates me is how long it takes to get any answers. In that, Revival, Vol. 2 did basically the same thing most graphic novels do - it just opened more and more questions, instead of answering any. Well... let's see how Vol. 3 will be.
Perhaps I’m just better at telling the character apart now or perhaps the storyline tightened up a bit in the second volume, but I definitely felt like I was following along better this time. Not a lot happened, but there were a few new things set up and furthering the plot a bit. I’m curious to see what comes next.
Enjoying the rural town backdrop and small town mechanisms in this series. The revivers dealing with their come backs in different ways, the weirdness in the background going unnoticed by most of the town, the family relationships developing and evolving.
"Lebe Dein Leben" heißt der zweite dt. Sammelband der Revival-Reihe. Und obwohl ich mich schon sehr auf die Fortsetzung der ungewöhnlichen Horror-Serie gefreut habe, muss ich sagen, dass mir Teil 2 der Saga nicht sooo gut gefallen hat, wie das beim ersten Buch der Fall war.
Die Geschichte bleibt spannend: Die Toten kehren zurück und stehen plötzlich wieder mitten im Leben. Auch im 2. Teil wissen die Bewohner der Stadt noch nicht, wie sie mit ihren verblichenen, umherwandelnden Verwandten, Freunden und Feinden umgehen sollen. Und das ganze Chaos wird auch dadurch nicht besser, dass Sherrif Cypress und seine Tochter in der Ausführung ihrer Arbeiten zunehmend durch die Politik gestört werden.
Langsam treten außerdem die vielen Irren auf den Plan, die in einer amerikanischen Kleinstadt natürlich nicht fehlen dürfen. Waffennarren, Drogensüchtige, Religiöse Irre - sie alle deuten die Ereignisse auf ihre Art und versuchen auf die eine oder andere Weise Kapital aus ihr zu schlagen. Je bekannter der Umstand der "Entrückung" wird, desto mehr von ihnen sammeln sich vor den Toren der Stadt.
Leider steuert das, was sich hier nach einer spannenden Geschichte anhört, viel zu langsam auf einen Climax zu. Viel zu abgehackt wirkt die Geschichte, viel zu weit auseinander die einzelnen Sequenzen der Handlungsstränge. Bilder bleiben unerklärt - für einen Comic bleibt einfach zu viel dem Leser überlassen.
Damit wir uns richtig verstehen: Die Story bleibt tatsächlich spannend. Ich würde mir nur ein wenig Tempo wünschen. Dafür würde ich sogar ein wenig Detail eintauschen. :)
This book pretty much picks up right where the first volume finishes off - with the town now becoming more and more like a pressure cooker - with pressure building from both sides - you know that it will not end well and all the while the reason for this one place this small town to be the focus of such events is all part of the appeal. My only worry is that if there is an explanation it will just not be grand enough or satisfying enough to feel that all this grief and anguish was justified - but we shall see. The series is a total surprise to me (yes I am a graphic novel/comic novice and I make no illusion otherwise) So now you start to see people unravel - you see that the monsters are the people living next door who seem normal and friendly enough. The series is still being printed and with a 3rd volume out already and a fourth soon to join it I am intrigued to see where this will go and what else will be laid bare and scarified along the way.
As I pointed out in the addendum to the first book I re-read this has been a bit of a struggle but you can now see the links between the books and to be honest they are all building towards a pretty good story. Just means now that if I intend to see the story through I am going to have read them pretty quickly or face another re-read just to keep up with the multiple levels this story is working on.
In case you don't know about this series: the dead have come alive again (in a rural village in Wisconsin), but they're not zombies. But they're also not the people they used to be, and every now and then it becomes clear that something sinister came along with the town's revived loved ones.
In this second collection more and more story strands appear (and thus more characters), and they get intertwined and connected.
I've read the separate issues that are collected in this volume, and I have to admit that keeping it all in your head is getting complicated; I frequently had to re-read at least part of a previous issue because I simply couldn't get a grip on some part of the current issue.
Which is a good thing, by the way: it means there's lots of story meat to chew on, and that things that seem little asides at one time actually turn out to be far more important later. There seems to be a plan and a purpose on a rather grand scale, and I can only hope it does not derail along the way.
Things are getting crazy in central Wisconsin where the dead have come back to life and returned to their everyday routine. No one knows what’s going on, but one thing is certain; as the government and religious institutions butt heads, the lockdown situation is about to explode.
Again, the concept is great and I love the artwork. However, it’s like watching a cartoon character’s legs spin in place while they try to run away. It’s not really going anywhere. Em is still unlikeable and Dana is clueless. A murder is solved but that’s about it. There’s still not a single clue, not one tiny crumb of info as to how this situation started and what the fuck is that white thing running around? I’m frustrated and unwilling to continue.
I have relatives in rural North Dakota, and I was always impressed with my dad's description of the situation: "like a dried up pond that's been concentrated."
There's something about small towns, and small towns in the Midwest that grow smaller. They have a creeping sense of claustrophobia, that no new blood is coming in and infusing new ideas.
That's the sense I get from Revival, the biggest impression. This is a town that's been percolating in the same old thoughts and people for a while now. What happens when shit goes south and the dead rise again? The deepest sense of mistrust and paranoia.
An organ smuggling ring of revival human parts gets exposed, somewhat linking it to the creepy Check brothers, who happen to be living next to Cooper’s dad. A final showdown takes place involving these folks. Em recklessly interferes and we know what that tends to result in.
Whenever one of those yellow soul-like entities merge with a reviver, somehow they disintegrate. Not sure what this is all about. But interesting. Probably would be explained more in later volumes.
It’s also hinted that Sheriff Cypress Sr. has a dark secret from the past. A currency that can be used to manipulate him by those knowing.
There are definitely some improvements happening in this volume! We get more backstory to the characters, more action, and we're introduced to more mysteries occurring within the town and characters (like what the heck happened to the sister)... it's finding ways to draw you in and keeps you guessing. I'm still not as taken with this series, but can see the slow build its creating. I want more answers. I want to get to the bottom of the questions it keeps creating. And because of all of that I'm going to continue. The art is beautiful to boot!