Parodies are hard to do well. The worst parodies are unbearable, the best deconstruct the tropes. I was afraid The Mocking Dead would be the former, but since I got it as part of a huge Humble Bundle, it was nearly free for me to check out. Luckily it turned out to be less Scary Movie and more like something Mel Brooks would put together.
It is a competent story that stands alone without any knowledge of what it parodies. While Spaceballs is funnier if you know Star Wars, it’s enjoyable without any knowledge of it. Similarly, the only things The Mocking Dead takes from The Walking Dead are the black and white color scheme and zombies. This saves it from the Family Guy-ization of parodies (eg Scary Movie, Not Another Teen Movie, etc).
However, the greatest original contribution is that of laughing zombies. The art is so perfect – it captures what’s always been horrific about Joker’s laughing serum. Bad guys coming at you with a grin plastered on their face is creepy. Combine that with being undead and laughing and it’s almost terrifying.
The Mocking Dead is not going to be a classic nor is it an awesome comic book. But it’s a good story that pokes fun at zombie tropes and current nerd/pop culture. (With a little politics thrown in for good measure) I’d recommend it for the zombie geek in your life.