Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Review: The Walking Dead by Robert Kirkman

Title: The Walking Dead
Author: Robert Kirkman, Charlie Adlard
Series: Comics 1-12
Pages: (unpaged)
Publisher: Image Collins
Format: Hardcover Vol 1.
Genre: Graphic Novel/Post-Apocalypse
Source: Bought

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.

My Review:
This was my first ever graphic novel! Yay! I mean I've read a few before, but mostly I got bored or irritated at all the drawings and ended up quitting before I really gave them a chance. I guess I just like to read actual words and picture the story myself instead of having to see all the illustrations...and am not a visual person. I find diagrams and pictures to be more distracting than helpful, so graphic novels tend to be a challenge for me. Still, I HAD to read The Walking Dead for class and was pleasantly surprised with what I found. I was a little daunted by the size at first, but didn't take into account that pictures take MUCH less time to read. I finished the massive tome in about an hour, which was a relief because I started it about an hour and a half before class *shame-face* It was surprisingly good and the AMC series follows it relatively well up to the point that I've read to. I really enjoyed the tv-series and I liked being able to compare the two, though a lot of stuff happens in the comics that are completely different. I think the zombies are scarier in "real life" than they are on the pages of a comic, but they were still creepy enough to make me have terrifying zombie dreams all night.

 From violence, to bloody-gore, to humans going crazy under the pressure, The Walking Dead has everything you want in a zombie book. The show has been hailed as a really great portrayal of the human characters, not focusing so much on the dead, but more on the living. The comics follow the same path very well. The dead aren't present for a lot of the time. Sure they cause a random bite, or attack, or what not...but the book revolves around how the characters interact with each other and the dead now that they have been faced with the end of the world. It was great to watch how each character struggled with their humanity and ethics to deal with the death and destruction.  As twisted as it sounds, I really liked watching characters like Shane go quietly crazy until they completely snapped.

Because the format is mostly pictures, I feel the need to share a couple particularly terrifying, disgusting, or awesome ones. I apologize in advance if they cause disgust, nightmares, etc. This one is when a member of the group turns zombified and attacks another member...sucks doesn't it? Or should I say bites?
These are very gritty and dark pictures...as you can imagine for a zombie apocalypse type of book. There is a really cool depth of emotion to them paired with the sketchy, black and white print that makes the whole book seem so desolate and creepy. I love it!
Kirkman hasn't really revolutionized the genre of post-apocalypse zombie literature, but he definitely makes an enjoyable story. He doesn't need to be inventive or innovative because let's be honest people, this stuff works. We like seeing shambling hordes of rotters go after people we care about. We love the tension, the suspense, and the terror of a rotting undead army descending upon us. We just like zombies...at least for the time being...and we want to revel in our shambling, gory, friends. I will say, that you shouldn't get hung up on details. There are a lot of things that don't fit or are slightly unreasonable...or completely unreasonable. But if you suspend your belief for the short hour or two it takes to finish, you will definitely get a kick out of the books.
I give The Walking Dead 3.5 Keys. It is a pretty great zombie book, and it was a super quick read. I didn't get as much character development as I wanted, but I can kind of see that being caused by my reluctance to enjoy graphic novels. I liked the plot and the dark twistyness of it all will appeal to any supernatural reader. I read it for class, but I think I'm going to continue on with the series because it was definitely fun. And now I'm curious to see where the series goes because it's a TON different in some aspects from the AMC show.  So yep...thanks for stopping by!


  1. I wonder if the series The Walking Dead was based on the Graphic novels or has anything to do with it at all.