The Walking Dead Comic ReviewMovieMaven
Okay, before you all start bitching about how a girl can't write about comics, just read it first. And then say that. Seriously, I have been devouring The Walking Dead as quickly as I can pick it up. So far I have only read the first two volumes of the trade paperback. I prefer the single issue comics, myself, but I am trying like Hell to get caught up and my local shop doesn't have any of the older issues. So for now, I will give you the rundown on the first two volumes and then maybe we can go on from there.
The basic plot is that the world has been overrun by zombies (guess you knew that part) and we are following a group of survivors as they are doing their best to live through the nightmare. The creator, Robert Kirkman, has a very interesting foreward that explains his whole reason for writing this series.
It seems he is like many of us in that the most intriguing thing about zombie apocalypses to him is the effect that it has on people and everyday life. He intends to explore the changes that we would all go through in such a situation. The Walking Dead is to be a "sprawling epic" that will showcase Rick, our protagonist, and give us the details of how he differs from beginning to end. Kirkman envisions this as a serious work with an in-depth social commentary not unlike the beloved films of George A. Romero. That attitude is what has sucked me in and it is also what keeps me coming back. The second issue also has an afterward by Simon Pegg (of Shaun of the Dead fame) that is surely worth a read.
In volume one, "Days Gone Bye" (which includes single issues 1-6), Rick is a police officer who awakens from a coma (28 Days Later style) to the aftermath of chaos and makes his way back to his home in search of his family. When he arrives, his wife, Lory and their son, Carl are gone.
Upon hearing that many people have fled to Atlanta with the hope of being protected, he begins his search for them. What he finds in Atlanta is not what he expected. Through sheer luck, he runs into a kid who saves his life and takes him back to his camp where Rick is reunited with his family. This is where the story really begins. We watch what happens as strangers are forced to deal with one another as well as the collapse of civilization. Think of it kind of like The Real World, but with zombies.
In volume two, "Miles Behind Us" (issues 7-12), the RV is loaded up and they are all on the move. They have lost some companions in recent battles as well as to madness so everyone is on edge. All the time living under the same small roof has begun to wear on their nerves, and the survivors are eager to find a safe place to stretch out. During their travels, they meet up with another man who is traveling with his daughter and her boyfriend.
They find a seemingly abandoned neighborhood and think they are home free. Well, nothing is that easy. Pretty soon they are on the road again and end up at the farm of an old man and his passle of kids. They kick it there for a while until tempers start to flare and they are once again on their own. But this issue has loads of surprises in store for our poor travelers. Even the possibility of a safe haven at the end. I can't wait to read the next one.
Now that I have spent so much time showering this series with accolades, I will now admit that I don't find it to be perfect. Sometimes the dialogue can be a little weak and tiresome to read. Some of the characters can be annoying as well. And I also never recall there being THAT much snow in Atlanta. But these problems have obviously not been bad enough to stop me from reading it from cover to cover as soon as I bring it home. It is fun, a little scary, and jam-packed with good, old fashioned zombie-killing action. More important than that, though, is what Kirkman is attempting to say. I think he says it very well.
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