Volume One of The Walking Dead

I finally got to it this morning. I finally read The Walking Dead: Volume 1, Days Gone Bye. I’m kind of struggling today, feeling half dead myself. So I think I’m going to go back and re-read it when I feel I little more awake. On the weekends I’m going to cut myself a little slack on getting a morning post. Usually I stay up late on Friday and Saturday nights, so weekend mornings I’m kind of out of it… like right now…. Still, I’m going to try and do this. I’m not exactly sure how, and I don’t want to spoil anything in case you haven’t read the book yet. If you haven’t figured it out from my other posts, I’m not much of a review writer (or any kind of writer… honestly I’d rather be working on a vector project right now, which I plan to do as soon as I’m done with this), so this is going to be short and simple. I guess I’ll just get to it….

The Walking Dead is written by Robert Kirkman and illustrated by Tony Moore, published by Image comics. It’s the survival tale of Officer Rick Grimes, his family, and a group other survivors in the aftermath of a zombie apocalypse. In the introduction of the book, Kirkman says he wanted to “…explore how people deal with extreme situations and how these events CHANGE them.” Although I’ve only read the first volume, so far I’d say he’s done a pretty good job at that. Let’s say you just woke up out of a coma inside of an abandon hospital, then you get attacked by some seriously fucked up looking people, and wander out into the streets and see this…

Page from the Walking Dead

What would you do? I’m guessing you might have some sleeping problems the rest of your life.

Overall, I really enjoyed the book, and I hope to pick up the next volume as soon as I can (which might be awhile since I’m broke). My only minor criticisms are that I felt the story was a little rushed, and while most of the characters were flushed out very well (like Rick, his wife Lori, and his partner Shane), others seemed like their only purpose was to be  potential zombie fodder (Andrea and Amy).

The only thing that really bugged me was a statement Kirkman made in the introduction: “Give me ‘Dawn of the Dead’ over ‘Return of the Living Dead’ any day.” To me, those are two different animals, separate, but equal in awesomeness. “Dawn of the Dead” (both the original 1978 George A. Romero film, and the 2004 Zack Snyder film) was a post zombie apocalypse film. It was more of a survivors tale, and that’s cool if you want that. “Return of the Living Dead” (1985) wasn’t really a zombie film, and it wasn’t a post apocalyptic survivors tale. Yes, the dead came back to life and starting munching on the brains of a group of idiot kids (who wouldn’t want to see that?), but they were not the mindless masses of wandering corpses you get in Dawn of the Dead, Night of the Living Dead, Day of the Dead, etc…. The living dead of that film were intelligent, they could communicate, and even set up traps (“send… more… paramedics.”) which made them way more scarier and dangerous. Also the shot to the head rule didn’t work on them.  Finally, the mixing of cannibalistic brain eating living dead corpses with punk rock was just fucking genius (like peanut butter and chocolate). So, personally, I love them both, and don’t consider one better than the other because they’re two different stories. What do you think?

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