Four previously released stories are combined together in one volume of zombie-liscous wickedness. Each story centers around an evil madman turning kids into zombies, and one student named Trevor always manages to be away from the action and therefore never turns into a zombie. He returns every time to a classroom filled with his zombie classmates and must find a way to turn them back to normal. In Night of the Homework Zombies, Trevor leaves to go to the bathroom while their substitute teacher Mr. Winkelpoof turns all the students into homework loving zombies. Trevor figures out that by forcing them to do fun things again his friends can become human once again. Dr. Branium is quickly apprehended and sent to jail. In Invasion of the Gym Class Zombies, Trevor rips his shorts and has to leave while the gym teacher, Mr. Brawnium turns the class into sports crazed zombies. Trevor visits Dr. Branuim in jail to ask for help in turning his friends back to humans. Come to find out, Dr. Branium and Mr. Brawnium are brothers. The last two stories — Day of the Field Trip Zombies and Secret of the Summer School Zombies — follow the same formulaic story.
This collection of stories doesn’t flow well and feels very disjointed. If you didn’t know they were previously released as separate stories, it would be very confusing as to why Trevor and Dr. Branium look completely different in each story (minus the last story where Dr. Branium doesn’t appear). The various illustrators took completely different takes on the story and the artwork is not similar. The plot for each story is the same, kids turn into zombies and Trevor beats the bad guy and everyone is saved. While these glaring inconsistencies are troublesome to this reviewer, kids will still be drawn to the colorful, cartoonish drawings and the very relatable and popular subject of zombies. The school setting and potty humor will be very appealing for boys.
Tales of the School Zombies
by Scott Nickel
Art by Matt Luxich, Steve Harpster and Cedric Hohnstadt
Stone Arch Books, a Capstone Imprint, 2012