Graphic Novel Review – The Walking Dead
This has been without a doubt, the most captivating graphic novel I’ve read in a long time (which isn’t that long of a time but still stick with me…it’s good). The Walking Dead takes an approach to zombies that goes hand in hand with what regular fans enjoy the most: ongoing carnage, suspense and drama and yes of course…zombies. But it also deals with human emotions and the survival instinct dormant in all of us (well must of us).
I came across this series by coincidence while looking for the real estate section in Borders. They had seven of this books and of course, being a fan of zombie movies I got interested. Long story short, after reading the first few pages I got hooked and a few weeks later they where in my posession (xmas gift). I went thru them (1-7) within two weeks going at a slow pace and I must say it is intense how it draws you into the story, you feel you are with them experiencing the dispair, the anguish and the open season to kill people, or what used to be people.
The story of The Walking Dead is centralized on Rick Grimes,a cop that gets shot and gets in a comma. When he wakes up he is alone in a hospital bed, with no one around him. Yes, the first thing to notice is the beginning and how it’s been used quite a few times in zombie stories, maybe because its a nightmare many might hold in common (I know I do). But most people with short memory or little knowledge will quickly try to accuse the creators of copying 28 Days Later, the most recent movie with such a start, but if you remember, The first Resident Evil movie ends that way and the second installment starts like that too, but none of them are the original creators of such beginning. It was from a post apocalyptic english novel from 1951 called “The Day of the Triffids” and written by John Wyndham. So if they are going to call rip-off, please call it on the original one.
The story goes on as he discovers this new world of terror, corpses and eternal stench and of course dead people trying to eat him. He starts a search for his family and in the process meets a few other survivors and the story continues as survivors die and others join, and how even though humanity is at the door of extinction, simple idiotic problems like jeaolousy, cheating, envy and loneliness still affect the relationship of people and create wars among this other war thrown upon all of them, without any preference.
And I think that’s why most of all like zombie stories at the core. It’s a forceful maneuver to take a closer look at ones feelings, decisions, instincts and survival desires. It’s a way to, although extreme, take a closer look at what’s important and how we take shit for granted everyday, and any particular moment they could dissapear without a why but just because.
The creator of this story is Robert Kirkman, a well knowned writer that has written a few nice books for DC and Image Comics such as Invinsible, Battle Pope and the very popular Marvel Zombies (yes It seems he has a knack for the undead). The original book was illustrated by Tony Moore, a well knowned artist but after the second book (or after the seventh issue) he was substituted by Charlie Adlard, also known for his series “Savage”.
This saga was started in 2003 and five years later it is still going strong with an evergrowing fan base and a ever steady grip on an interesting story. Once again I must say I truly recommend this book, unless gore scares you. In that case I’ll see if I can review Little Lulu’s graphic novel (don’t bet on it).
Some Illustrations by Tony Moore of the characters, original artist of The Walking Dead:
Kirkmania, Robert Kirkman Blog