|Original review author:||oddguy|
|Webcomic name:||LAST BLOOD (Yes, in ALL CAPS)|
|Author:||Written by Chris and Bobby Crosby (but mostly Bobby this time) and illustrated by Owen Gieni|
|Start Date:||Dec 25 2006|
|End Date:||Been dead for years but still occasionally sporadically updates out of spite.|
|Genre:||Horror or action... I'm not sure what it's trying to be, just that it's failing at it.|
|Defining Flaw:||The comic was just a ploy to try and get Crosby's foot in the door of the movie industry and as a result his apathy towards the comic itself is transparent.|
—Bobby in a nutshell
Years ago we had a thread on our old forum talking about Bobby Crosby, his awful comics and his tendency to show up anywhere he is criticized and start arguing with people. The thread was rudely interrupted before it could reach a conclusion (however we had the pleasure of having Chris showing up instead of Bobby) but it was agreed that pretty much anything made by Robert is worth reviewing.
If for no other reason, this comic is worth writing about because, despite feverishly defending it from the slightest criticism, even its own author has admitted on multiple occasions that he hates it... which begs the question of why he is trying to turn it into a movie if he knows that it's shit.
The first few pages of the comic seem okay and give a false hope of this comic being good. They set up a nice, somber tone and, although the progression of the plot seems a bit dense, it feels like we're in for a nice, apocalyptic zombie story.
All that changes when the katana wielding vampires show up.
Story and Plot
Sometime in the near future the world has been overrun by zombies. A small group of survivors holds up in a school in the middle of nowhere when a couple of badass vampires with swords show up and tell them that they are a few of the last people on earth and the vampires want to save them because without humans the don't have any blood to drink.
The vampires explain that zombies are actually starved vampires that are being controlled by a vengeful zombie/vampire overlord who wants to destroy humanity. So far so predictable. Then, after they both have sex with one of the humans for not real reason (it didn't contribute anything to the plot), some zombies invade the school, they kill them, a few other things happen (that also don't advance the plot in any way so I don't see any reason to go into detail about them) and they find out the zombies got in through underground tunnels that were once dug by the female protagonist's grandfather which they then destroy.
As they are about to be overrun by zombies, a plane filled with vampires crashes next to them containing the badass vampire scientist who's trying to find a zombie cure and tells them that all other humans have dies and their group of 30 people are the last living human beings on earth. The vampires make their last stand during which they are all captured by the big zombie boss (who is also a nazi or something judging by his uniform) who wants to torture them by starving them to death. Then it turns out that he's actually the grandfather of one of the other characters and was friends with the grandfather of the female protagonist that built the tunnels. Oh, and he's trying to destroy the world because her grandpa stole his girlfriend.
Before dying, the science vampire mentions some cryptic names of plot elements that will never be introduced because Crosby abandons this comics once the first arc is done and he can adapt it into a screenplay, then gets stabbed in the chest and dies. After that the female protagonist makes up some contrived reason to awkwardly hug the main villain and stabs him in the back. Yep, that's the big climax. After destroying the entire world because his friend cock-blocked him 50 years ago, he gets killed moments away from victory by a cheap-shot anyone could see coming from a mile away (the fucking wooden stake wasn't even hidden. It was just tied to her forearm. How could he have not seen it?).
After that the zombies, no longer having a master, go kill crazy and the vampires grab the last humans and escape. Then, out of nowhere, that chick's grandfather inexplicably shows up on the scene with his own zombie army armed with machine guns, gives an explanation that makes no sense about how he's still alive, and mows down the other zombies. After arriving at a safe place, the male vampire from the start of the comic opens the suitcase left to him by the science vampire that contains a cure that makes him human again (end volume 1).
Volume two begins with a picture of the first page of the comic adapted into a screenplay and indicating Bobby doesn't care about this thing anymore. Over the span of a few years all that gets posted is newspaper clippings about the comic being made into a movie, a few pages that contain a random excuse to keep the plot going that leads into some more pointless zombie fighting, the author comments (that at the start of the comic were huge walls of text) get more and more phoned in, and the comic abruptly stops in spite of promises to start updating regularly again in the near future.
The art is fine in my opinion. It's certainly better than Geini's awful work on Chris's "Sore Thumbs". The Crosby brothers never really had a problem finding okay artists to draw their abominations for them (I assume running a webcomic hosting site makes them an available resource). Hell, one of Bobby's other comics, "Dreamland", was drawn by Sara Ellerton who created "The Phoenix Requiem" which, while I personally found somewhat boring, stayed on the #1 spot on TopWebComics throughout its entire run thanks to it being probably the best drawn comics to ever grace that site's registry (although that didn't make me like "Dreamless" more but rather the artist less).
The only thing that really bothered me about the art was things like character's tendency to strike cool poses or the art trying to appear dark and edgy from time to time. But I blame that less on the artist and more on the Last Blood's overarching tone of hilariously failed posturing.
The writing is what really sinks this boat. For starters, the characters are ridiculously badass for no apparent reason. The comic seems to operate on a 13 year old's idea of what "cool" is. The stupid characters include "Mac", who inexplicably has the ability to kill armies of zombies with only an axe despite being a regular human, a couple of sword carrying vampires, a marine who constantly poses for the camera while shooting zombies and, what I think is the best example, the aforementioned science vampire, "Addison Payne". Yes, "Payne". And if, like me, you too immediately had a flashback to that one, really stupid movie that Will Smith did with his son where his last name is "Raige", then you'll be delighted to know that there is also a character literally named "Rage" who is a pro-wrestling vampire that likes killing things for fun. But back to "Addison". Addison is cool. We know that Addison is cool because the comic tells us he's cool, all the other characters tell us he's cool and, even though he never actually does anything cool, he wears sunglasses indoors and always scowls so he must be cool.
This is the problem. You can't just make us like someone. Making a character quite and brooding doesn't work anyone. No one is impressed by it. You can't just write a bunch of unlikely skills into a character's repertoire, have it effortlessly kill a bunch of enemies (especially in a fictional universe where every other person can do that) and expect us to jizz our pants over how awesome he or she is. But the worst offender of the gang has to be "Val", the female vampire/stereotypical male fantasy of a badass action girl who kills things with a sword and then picks out random dudes she demands have sex with her and give her a million orgasms (because she's so tough and sexually liberated) before promptly telling them to fuck off once she's done.
However, the writing has other pitfalls other than the fact that all the characters have nothing in their personality besides a bunch of random traits that are supposed to make us think they're cool. There is also the issue of plot holes and contrivances. The plot is driven almost entirely by coincidences. The reason the school has yet to be destroyed by zombies is that it was built in the middle of nowhere and the rest of the town around it was destroyed days prior by a tornado, the town just-so-happens to house a bunch of demigods taking human form because there is no other explanation of how ordinary people are capable of fighting zombies so well, the grandchildren of both the person who caused this apocalypse and his arch nemesis who made him do it live there, their grandparents also happened to be the only two people in the world who knew vampires are real (but them having turned into vampires themselves had nothing to do with that. It was just another coincidence). And by pure, miraculous happenstance these are the people who end up being the last humans alive.
Crosby makes no effort to explain how any of this makes sense. Reality just twists and turns to bend to the plot's convince. And when something can't be explained away by it being pure chance then it just isn't explained at all. The story is riddled with gaping holes. There is no explanation as to how exactly that one guy came back to life and took control of the second undead army, the vampires can detect zombies from miles away but somehow let them enter the school via tunnels right under their nose and don't even notice one a few feet away from them while discussing exactly how many there are in a 10 mile radius, the cure for vampires is useless because nowhere in the comic does it say that it works on zombies (and even if it did, Addison only left enough for a few people and not all of humanity), and when the second volume starts and Bobby needs an excuse to keep the plot going, one of the characters speculates that the zombies will now inherit their master's sense of smell and will continue to attack them. Nowhere in the comic is it indicated that there is any reason to expect that to happen, it isn't part of the comic's internal lore, and yet, that's exactly what happens the moment he finishes his sentence.
—Bobby, displaying his skills at diplomacy
Bobby is probably an asshole. At least that's what everyone says about him.
There were a lot of rumors flying around about him for years until everyone lost interest in him and anything he does. The gist of it was that he (and his brother) are a couple of loons and that Bobby regularly goes on meltdowns and attacks the users of his forum and anyone who criticizes his comic or mentions his name. Various threads have been graced by the presence of Bobby Crosby when they made the mistake of saying something about him, to which he would respond by swooping in to call everyone lairs. These little spectacles include threads on Halfpixle which got deleted and have no archive so I got no clue what went on there abut am nonetheless sure it was hilarious and sad, on "GodAwfulFanFiction" where the same thing happened, a Project A.F.T.E.R thread by an old member of our site where he called people retards and told them to kill themselves because they misspelled the name of a character in "Marry Me" and then tried to backpaddle about sarcastically telling them he loves having his time wasted by them by claiming he was actually being serious, "Me and You and Mary Sue" where he argued with people for five months and various SA threads that I don't have access to. We, as I mentioned, were only lucky enough to get a visit from Chris, but El Santo from the Webcomic Overlook had to deal with Chris when he reviewed Sore Thumbs, with Bobby when he reviewed "Marry Me", and with both of them at the same time when he reviewed this very comic. For some reason neither of them left a rant in the comment section of the reviews for "Dreamless" or "WICKEDPOWERED" (by contrast, when he reviewed "No Pink Ponies", which was made by the same artist as "Marry Me", the guy commented without acting like a giant dick).
As for the rumors themselves, they range from Bobby sending people crazy emails when they said something he didn't like, artists who work with Bobby not wanting to be associated with him, Bobby being banned from his own brother's forum, artists staging a walk-out from KeenSpot if Chris didn't promise to keep his brother under control, and either Chris or their mother offering him money not to associate himself with the site anymore. The other thing that people always say about him is that he doesn't (nor did he ever) care about any of his comics beyond using them as a means to convince someone to let him make a movie. This is pretty much self-confirmed by his sudden loss of interest in this comic at the end of volume 1, "Marry Me" having the word "Movie" in its URL and Bobby making himself a (totally undeserved) IMDB page.
I don't know how much of any of this is true (besides the part of him having meltdown on his and every site he goes to) and I'm sure I could find out more stuff to add to this bio if I could bare to read the massive comment sections that he is involved in and the massive rants he left on them, but none of this is anything that you won't find on any other site. So here's a little BWW "exclusive": Around the middle of 2012, someone contacted me via our Facebook page to tell me that she noticed that Last Blood has not been updated in years and posted in the comic's comment section that she speculates the movie project fell through. Within hours Bobby showed up only to leave a comment with a link containing information about how the movie thing is progressing. So, if this proves anything, its that Bob is still as crazy and thin-skinned as ever.
—Bobby, in December of 2007
As of this moment, the "Last Blood" movie seems to be stuck in some sort of production limbo (it's been in the making since '07) and I honestly could not be happier about that and hope it stays that way.
The truth is that this supposed movie is a guaranteed flop. Stepping away for a moment from reviewing webcomics and focusing on reviewing film, I have to say that an adaptation of this property is doomed to fail. It's doomed to fail as a horror or a zombie movie because zombie movies are inherently about the human condition and the decimation of our humanity at the face of certain doom and there is nothing horrifying or though provoking about taking the "Resident Evil" approach to the living dead and having some paint-by-numbers stereotype of a badass protagonist plow through them without breaking a sweat. It's doomed to fail as a vampire movie because everything it wants to do has been done before. This comic wants to be a movie and that movie wants to be "Daybreakers", but sadly it looks more like "Twilight" to me.
To say that this plot is tired is an understatement. This sort of plot has long since collapsed on the floor from exhaustion and is waiting for the sweet release of death. It is a starved, beaten horse, gasping its last breath as the whips of soulless corporate execs egg it on to pull the overstuffed cart of forgettable summer movies tied to its back one final step. A sad combination of "Zombie Land" and "Blade", lacking any of the charm of the former, but retaining the latter's overtone of trying way too hard. This movie is "Underworld" mixed with the 2010 film "Legion" or "Van Helsing" with a side of "28 Days Later" or any one of the other million "Vampires Vs. Werewolfs" (or in this case, zombies) movies combined with any one of the billions of "Last survivors of humanity hold up in a house against zombies" flicks.
And the funny part is: It isn't even that popular! "Last Blood" was never a well liked webcomic. I don't know where Crosby is getting his inflated "20 million readers" figure that he used to pitch this thing, but as someone who has been following webcomics for years, I can tell you that "Last Blood" was never popular or well known beyond its creator's dubious reputation and the only reason it wasn't completely lost to obscurity like thousands of other, generic webcomics is that Crosby had the full force of his brother's webcomic hosting site to shove his comic in everyone's face whether they liked it or not.
If whoever bought the rights to this joke honestly believes that adapting it into film will automatically bring 20 million of its fans flocking to the theaters, he is about to be sorely disappointed. Even at the height of its "popularity" the comic's fanbase was probably a fraction of that number and has since dwindled due to them either losing interest or being outright alienated by Bobby's lack of interest in his own comic and his off-putting attitude.
- Sore Thumbs - His brother's comic that we reviewed
- The comic itself
- His site with links to some of his other shitty comics
- His IMDB page (lol)
- Encyclopedia Dramatica's "Keenspot" article - Contains a segment about him
- Project A.F.T.E.R thread where he made an appearance
- Me and you and Mary Sue article about him - He's in the comments
- Webcomic Overlook's review of "Marry Me" - In the comments here too
- And here in Overlook's review of "Last Blood" - Both of 'em are in this one
- There are more links I could dig up but I think this speaks for itself
Last Blood is part of a series about keenspot