Imagine 28 DAYS LATER, but with the disease turning people into the primitive psychopaths in GHOSTS OF MARS, and you have the basic setup for CROSSED, a graphic novel by Garth Ennis and Jagen Burrows.
Actually, strike that. The primitive psychopaths in GHOSTS OF MARS were NICE compared to the Infected in CROSSED, the most graphically violent comic book I’ve ever read.
The story focuses on a young slacker who hangs out at a diner every night. Then a grinning man walks in carrying a bloody fragment of somebody’s spine, and the world changes forever. We fast forward and find out our slacker is now a survivalist, crossing the wasteland of America with a group of survivors seeking a place where they can be safe at last.
In CROSSED, the apocalypse is a sad, terrifying place where people are hunted by complete psychopaths. The visuals are very strong, which brings me to a serious warning: Avoid if you’re at all the squeamish type. In particular, do not read this book around children. The Infected do horrible things to men, women, children, and the visuals hold nothing back. Check out the novel’s Amazon reviews and you’ll get a good feel for how different people react to this material. The read literally haunted me for days.
In short, CROSSED is the most hardcore, unflinching, disturbing, in-your-face apocalyptic story I’ve ever read/seen.
*Update: I read one of the sequels by a different author/artist team, and found it to basically be murder/torture porn. I don’t recommend going beyond the first in the series.