cover image Gung Ho, Vol. 1

Gung Ho, Vol. 1

Thomas von Kummant and Benjamin von Eckartsberg, trans. from the French by Ivanka Hahnenberger. Ablaze, $24.99 (182p) ISBN 978-1-950912-17-9

This exhilarating Euro-comics take on postapocalyptic survival asks: Is it more of a nightmare to battle hordes of murderous creatures, or attempt to keep rampaging teenage hormones in check? In an unspecified, ravaged country of the near-future, orphaned teen brothers Zack and Archer Goodwoody arrive at Settlement No. 16, aka “Fort Apache,” after being kicked out of a succession of other homes. The pair are incorrigible delinquents with two goals in mind—good times and girls—but find it tricky to pursue either in a community that must stay vigilant against “the White Plague,” baboonlike animals that mercilessly attack en masse. The boys get to know the settlement’s other youth, including a number of alluring young women and the requisite gang of bullies, while testing the patience of the adults in charge (who have their own dramas). Hormonally-fueled mischief ensues, escalating just as the White Plague surfaces. Combining Archie-style teenage shenanigans and rivalries with a Walking Dead narrative arc is a stroke of genius, and the creative team give it their all, with lively animation-inspired visuals and densely designed backdrops. This rowdy volume delivers ample fun at the end of the world. (Nov.)