The Walking Dead, Book 1

With the new series beginning this Halloween weekend on AMC of The Walking Dead I thought I would review the Book 1 collection of the comic (issues 1-12). Like some of the complicated sci-fi dramas on TV now-a-days, I like watching (or reading) a season at a time to more easily follow the plot and nuances and to be more fully immersed in the experience. That is where this edition is good as it includes the first twelve issues all bound together. Also, I wanted to reminisce on a good thing before tv gets a hold of it. I am excited to see it but do not have my hopes up too much for it actually being any good. Hollywood has let me down way to many times!

The comic books are like some kind of post apocalyptic soap opera on crack with an incredible intensity and haunting hopelessness. The story unfolds through the stark contrast of black and white art expressing more utter despair than a Willie Nelson album. For such a simple premise and very little overall plot other than just surviving, I have found these books surprisingly addictive and gratifying page turners and a guilty pleasure for sure.

Actually, the zombies are not the main story, they are more like just the hopeless and violent setting that this story of this thrown-together group of people takes place in. And in the mindless world of brain eating undead, many times, the humans are the most violent characters. With the foundations of society and civilization gone and survival and “the moment” all that is now real, the carnality of human race takes center stage and the main characters struggle to find some sort of meaning in love and relationships and desperately trying to search for and hang onto some sort of morality amidst the total chaos. The pendulum of drama swings frequent and in fatal arcs and you better not get too attached to any characters because just when you catch yourself musing that things might just work out….well….did I mention that there are zombies in this story?

But, in my opinion, this is the best zombie comic out there. The characters well developed and the drama very well crafted with frequent twists and lots of suspense.