The Walking Dead: Book One - Robert Kirkman et al.

In the Afterword, Kirkman explains that he loves zombie movies but always hates the ending. Specifically, he hates the way that they don't really address what happens to society after the helicopter swoops in and saves the heroes. So, he wanted to create a zombie movie that never ends, one that kept following the consequences and characters as they lived in this forever-changed world. Of course, you can't do that in a movie; you have to use TV or comics, so Kirkman went with comics.

This particular book collects the first twelve issues of The Walking Dead in a slick hardcover book, all in glossy black and white (except for the cover gallery in the back). The cover on the version I read is different from the one pictured and is a little subtler, with a hint of Mike Mignola-black/white/red to it. It's pretty well-illustrated, with fairly recognizable characters and appropriately gruesome undead. There's a good amount of variation in the panel layouts, with some striking full-page bleeds at times. The writing is okay, with the story being a bit better than the dialogue itself.

Kirkman doesn't waste much time: on the first page, you see Officer Rick Grimes get shot while trying to apprehend someone. On the next page, Rick wakes up in his hospital bed some unspecified amount of time later, and discovers zombies locked in the cafeteria. Who needs exposition? Now that we've jumped into a world with zombies, Rick tries to make his way to Atlanta to look for his wife and son, and of course encounters lots of zombies and a few survivors along the way.

Overall, it's not a bad zombie story. I think Kirkman does a good job imagining what the world might have been like when people were still figuring out the epidemic, and then the difficulties of staying alive. Interestingly, getting eaten by zombies is not always the biggest concern for the survivors. There's a lot of suspicion and distrust going around, and being forced to band together doesn't always suit everyone. And, of course, since this is a zombie movie that never ends, characters can develop and then die, and new characters enter the scene. It's only the beginning, and I suppose if the comics are selling well it could continue for quite some time.

Not necessarily at the top of my list, but if I came across more I would probably check it out.

Fed to jonathan's brain | June 18, 2007 | Comments (0)


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