Scott Lambridis (ed.), Brainchild... a collection of artifacts. Omnibucket, 2006. ISBN 9780877457908. $15.00.

Reviewed by The Exploding Boy

If you love zombies, then there's no question that you'll love Brainchild, last year's release from Omnibucket Inc. Between the 55 colourful pages of this "collection of artefacts", the fledgling zombie hunter will find everything they need to know about the basic genre, while the connoisseur will discover plenty of unique yarns to feast their eyes upon.

There is some terrific stuff here, from the broodingly serious (‘Black Days’ by Rebecca Brock) to the unapologetically gory (‘SPQR’ by David Senecal) and on to the repulsively erotic (‘The Oldest Profession’ by Scott Lambridis). The latter story is an astonishingly novel take on the undead theme, breathing new, putrefied breath into a sometimes-hackneyed genre.

And the originality doesn't stop there. There is a fascinating article from film scholar Mia Epstein about the female undead in film and literature, guaranteed to make you view the entire genre in a different—though still delightfully red-filtered—light. The true origins of Snow White alone make the journey worthwhile. Hell, there is even some poetry, a strange, lopsided work from the same author. The imagery will leave you cold while the sheer inventiveness heats your blood.

Any production like this would not be complete without its artists, and here the art works brilliantly to support the stories. There is gruesome pop art from Paul Kelley III, macabre visions from the excellent David Senecal, and some genuinely sinister portraits from Heisler Mulano. All of the art suits the theme perfectly, a mesmerising collage of flesh eaters, mixed into a visceral soup of creative innovation.

I can't promise you an easy night's sleep after daring the pages of Brainchild, but I can promise a ghoulish treat for genre lovers. Dead or alive, or just surviving on the edge of the zombie apocalypse, you can't say fairer than that.

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