- Book by:
- Robert Kirkman
The Walking Dead comic is the monthly black and white comic* book series created by Robert Kirkman (creator, writer, letterer) and Tom Moore (artist).
The Walking Dead comic is the monthly black and white comic* book series created by Robert Kirkman (creator, writer, letterer) and Tom Moore (artist). The comic is the inspiration behind the AMC television series The Walking Dead and the series reflects on a group of people led by officer Rick Grimes and presents graphical detail of what happens to people when they are thrown into extreme survival situations—a zombie apocalypse—and how these people deal with these situations.
I wondered if the television show The Walking Dead were at all similar to the “Walking Dead” comic. So I did a little ‘googling’ and found an online digital sample of the comic from Graphicly. A pretty neat and brief digital presentation titled “Days Gone By.” The option is there for you to purchase the full versions of the comic book series. The digital teasers were just enough to pull you into the story.
There’s an intro into the tale by Robert Kirkman explaining what he believes is wrong with many of the zombie films we watch at the movies and on television. The storylines tend to lack consistent lead characterizations–failure to present character familiarization. In order to empathize with the characters presented in survival situations, there must first be an understanding of the characters, in order to understand why a character responds to certain crisis situations. Too often, everything is thrown at us in movies before we get to know who we should be rooting for–just when you think you know the character, they either get killed prematurely or they are deemed ineffective in gaining audience loyalty. Predictability kills the context of the story, so what winds up happening is this: a montage of sequels that lack consistent character/story development, and are supplemented with multitudes of CGI hocus-pocus in the hopes we buy into the crap being presented to us. Please refer to the series of Scream and Friday the 13th – Jason film series.
From the beginning, the “Walking Dead” comic proceeds “realistically,” and I am using the term “realistically” loosely here to reflect what is “factual” in the comic book. Officer Rick Grimes is shot and wakes up in the hospital. Injured, he soon realizes that he is alone, and quickly comes across a half eaten corpse. This is what you see in the first episode of season 1 of The Walking Dead television series. Rick is soon attacked and realizes that there is something gravely wrong in the world. The comic dialogue is minimum but is keenly carried by its graphical detail. You are not missing any part of the story because you are immediately engrossed with the visual content. The zombies are covered in flies and maggots. The environmental surroundings depicted are aptly decayed; the grass is overgrown, the buildings are destroyed and vacant, and neighborhoods are abandoned. Eventually, Rick realizes that his survival is the only option he has if he ever wanted to see his family again.
The story runs perpetuity. So each issue basically chronicles different groups of people trying to survive, as no one is safe in the series. This is what keep readers coming back for more. Hell, the characters aren’t even safe from themselves because there’s a constant element of drama and problems that persist when the social structures that originally held them together begin to break down. The characters are extremely well developed. This is what’s truly enjoyable about the comic series; also, that there is an ever lingering presence of doom. It doesn’t force the reader to believe in a series of false hopes in that the zombies would soon “go away,” or that there will soon be a medical miracle, or cure all, and that everyone in the world will soon shake off their zombie cooties and things start getting back to some form of normalcy. No, in this world, you either adapt and kill to survive—or you die. Plain and simple.
I’m guessing that the AMC series will stick close to the comic as well as it possibly can. Even with the incorporation of a new character, Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus), viewers will appreciate the show’s ability to challenge viewers, and throw new characters into the chaos–there has to be other survivors. Even if everyone in the story may die trying to find this out.
Watch Season 2 of The Walking Dead, Sundays at 9 pm/8 pm Central on AMC.
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