Creator/Writer: Robert Kirkman
Artist: Tony Moore
Penciler/Inker: Charlie Adlard
Gray Tones: Cliff Rathburn
Letters: Robert Kirkman
Genre: Zombies, Post-apocalyptic
Publication Date: September 26, 2006
Format: Illustration, 144 Pages
Publisher: Image Comics
Synopsis (Product Description):
An epidemic of apocalyptic proportions has swept the globe, causing the dead to rise and feed on the living. In a matter of months, society has crumbled: There is no government, no grocery stores, no mail delivery, no cable TV. Rick Grimes finds himself one of the few survivors in this terrifying future. A couple months ago he was a small town cop who had never fired a shot and only ever saw one dead body. Separated from his family, he must now sort through all the death and confusion to try and find his wife and son. In a world ruled by the dead, we are forced to finally begin living.
Quick & Dirty: This darkly dangerous tale pulls you into an apocalyptic world of zombies, mayhem, and cannibals. You can run, but you can’t hide. You are The Walking Dead…
Opening Sentence: This is not good.
This October a new series on AMC, The Walking Dead, will premier. Frank Darabont, director of The Mist, one of my favorite horror movies, is the new series’ writer, director and producer. I knew The Walking Dead was based on the comic book of the same name, so I decided to check out the source material, and wow! I’m glad I did. The Walking Dead by Robert Kirkman & Tony Moore (with help from Cliff Rathburn) is among the greats of the genre, comfortably sharing the stage with Dawn of the Dead, 28 Days Later and Max Brooks’ World War Z. The Walking Dead is, if nothing else, certainly the best zombie comic to date. Admittedly, as a sporadic comic reader, I had really low expectations before I sat down to read this series. I’m pleased to say that Robert Kirkman shattered my expectations and that The Walking Dead is genuinely one of the most compelling stories I’ve ever read in any format.
Volume 1: Days Gone By covers issues 1-6, which follows Rick Grimes, a small-town sheriff. Rick awakens in an abandoned hospital (evoking a little déjà vu for those of us familiar with 28 Days Later). It isn’t long before Rick realizes something horrible has happened while he’s been in a coma because there are bodies everywhere. Worse still, Rick soon discovers that these corpses don’t stay still. They roam. They lurk. But worst of all, they bite. Rick and his family, along with other scattered survivors, struggle to survive in a world overrun by the walking dead. Survivors are outnumbered and completely fu*@ed. You’ll quickly get swept up in Rick’s story. You’ll find yourself hoping for the best, but also dreading what might lurk around the corner, under every car, and behind every closed door. Kirkman excels at conveying an almost palpable sense of dread and the result is no one EVER feels safe.
This is a character driven story and is as much about each character trying to cope with their new reality as it is about huge action scenes. Quite naturally, this new reality takes its toll mentally and physically. The constant threat of death from the walking dead is only part of the horror. Indeed, the living are to be feared as much as the dead. Sometimes more so. Much of the story of The Walking Dead centers around whether people are fundamentally good or whether in times of crisis they will do anything to survive. Are you willing to do anything, and I mean anything, to survive? Will you leave a friend to die to save yourself? Would you kill to save yourself? Would you kill to save your child?
The artwork for The Walking Dead is beautiful. Every emotion is captured with great detail by Tony Moore and Cliff Rathburn. It takes real talent to draw ordinary people. An old man or a scrawny teenager is a lot harder to draw than a brawny spandex clad superhero. The artists pay just as much attention to the decaying cityscapes and to the undead themselves. It’s amazing that no two walking dead ever seem to look alike and quite a tribute to the ample artistic talents of Tony Moore and Cliff Rathburn.
The Walking Dead is a MUST read series. It’s well written, finely detailed in black and white, and addictive. Trust me; the only thing tougher than trying to survive the zombie apocalypse is having to wait for the next issue.
The Walking Dead Series:
12. Volume 12
FTC Advisory: I purchased my own copy.
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