Had I read Daybreak by Brain Ralph as a teen; I do not think I would have been sophisticated enough to understand it. I am honestly not sure I am sophisticated enough as one well into my adult years to have read this. But read it I did.
While it only took me a night to fly through this book, I know I missed a lot. A second or even third reading is not a bad idea. The pacing is as odd as the set up of the story. It is both deathly slow and so fast paced you are running through the minimal text.
The most extremely different part of this book is the point of view. The POV is you the reader are looking at the characters you meet; looking at the action (which is mostly nontraditional, yet a typical action story). It is the “unknown” narrator who never says a word. All the conversations are one side. The other characters talk to you, respond to you as if you had said something, but you are never seen nor heard from. This limited conversation in the first person is slightly awkward at first, but soon you are in the groove of things.
What ties it all together is the equally odd art with simple to practically no details per panel. The color is sepia and white; gray and white or occasionally an almost black with white. They add to the story tension which is never really seen except for out of the corner of the eye. Or in one case, out of the corner of the ear (you the viewer hear the encounter more than see it). Nothing is straight forward, but it is a basic story about the end of the world and what happens to the few humans left. Yes, this is a zombie art graphic novel that is aimed at ages 14 to adult, but in the end, it is just a story about everyday life.
The score breakdown: (Averages to 3.5 if math is right, so it is a solid 4)
4 interesting art, with some powerful (when there) details
4 story was different, set up, an experience
5 gut-wrenching experience overall
1 for the ending which left me confused and WTFing!
And to lighten the mood:
Q: What do zombies say before a fight?
A: Do you want a piece of me?