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Shaun of the Dead: There's Something About Mary

Posted: Friday, April 9, 2004
By: Dave Wallace



Available in 2000AD, prog 1384

Writers: Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright
Artist: Frazer Irving

Publisher: Rebellion

Plot:
Mary starts to get the feeling that she's being watched as she walks home from her dead-end job in a supermarket. She soon finds out that life is full of surprises...

Comments:
A special story tying in to Shaun of the Dead's upcoming cinema release, scripted by SPACED-meisters Pegg and Wright and appearing in 2000AD seems like a fanboy's dream. Having been treated only to a glimpse of the upcoming film in trailers and TV spots, this short story serves to whet the appetite for some gory, realistic, and distinctly British zombie action - with perhaps a raised eyebrow to boot.

The story, spanning five pages, is impressively rendered in stark Black & White, punctuated by a judicious use of red, giving it an otherworldly dream feeling at the same time as being rooted in a reality we recognise. Some incidents in the story (particularly the meetings with Shaun, Frazen capturing actor Simon Pegg's features admirably) are likely to be more meaningful once we have seen the film, but for the most part the tale is economically written and admirably walks the difficult line between supplying darkly comic laughs and providing some genuinely chilling visuals. Let's hope the same can be said of the film.

Whilst unlikely to shock any readers massively, the story puts a nice twist on your standard "damsel in distress" zombie plot and gives us a feel for what will surely be one of the sleeper cinema hits of the year. Cannily reaching out to their core fanbase, the creators of Shaun of the Dead give us a short, sharp taster of what to expect come the film's UK release on April the 9th.

Finally, if it seems that I've given the rest of this issue of 2000AD short shrift it is because as a non-regular reader I don't really feel in a position to do the other episodic stories justice in a review: having not read the comic for years (the promise of involvement of the SPACED team was enough to lure me back for one final issue) I found it fun to revisit old favourites - Dredd's still there, sour-faced as ever, and there's the standard mix of cool black & white sci-fi and fantastical colour stories - but I was a little disappointed that Pegg et al seem to have forced out Tharg's letters page this month, my favourite part of the comic all those years ago.

Final Word:
The world's first rom-zom-com sells itself well on the basis of this nifty marketing idea, an enjoyable story in its own right but sure to work more effectively when coupled with the release of its big-screen counterpart. Showing promise for the concept in comic form as well as in cinemas (an idea which must surely by now have crossed the collective mind of Messrs. Pegg and Wright after seeing how effective this story looks in print), "There's something about Mary" seems destined to become a must-have DVD extra come the release of Shaun of the Dead on the home format - and provides a fun reason to revisit 2000AD for long-time fans with a particular nostalgic affection for this proud title.



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