iZombie by Chris Roberson and Michael Allred

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Every once in a while, a new interpretation provides a chance to discover – or rediscover – an older work.  When CW Network announced that “iZombie” would debut later this month as a midseason replacement, it revived interest in the original graphic novel series published a few years ago.

“iZombie” tells the story of an attractive young woman, Gwen, who happens to be a high-functioning zombie.  As long as she eats brains at least once a month – to which she has easy access in her job as a grave digger – she can function reasonably well in her “normal” world of Eugene, Oregon.  The problem comes in that she absorbs the memories – and unfinished business – of whomever she dines on, triggering a series of adventures for Gwen and her funky sidekicks, a girl ghost stuck in the Eugene of the 1960s and a were-terrier who gets furry every full moon.

Of course for local readers, the charm of the series is for its use of real Eugene-area locations: the University of Oregon campus, Shelton McMurphey Johnson House, McDonald Theater.  At the climax, after surviving a zombie invasion, when the purple tentacles of the soul-sucking creature from the fourth dimension wave hapless Eugeneans against the night sky, the background buildings are the LTD station and the Downtown Eugene Public Library.

Sadly, the television version relocates the story to a Seattle coroner’s office.  If this is a tale to your taste, I’d suggest you start with the books. – Connie Bennett, Library Director

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