By: Robert Kirkman (writer/letters), Tony Moore (art) & Cliff Rathburn (gray tones)
The Story: A man wakes up from a coma to find the world has been overrun by zombies.
Review: News Flash!!!!! There will be a TV adaptation of The Walking Dead beginning on AMC on Halloween night (Oct. 31, 2010). Unless you have been under a rock, you will have already heard this news and if you are a big fan of the comic series, you have doubtless been telling family and co-workers how awesome the show should be. Likely you’ve been hinting to these same people that you just happen to have a complete collection of The Walking Dead in the socially-acceptable-for-adults “graphic novel” format (since no only geeks would be seen to read -sigh- “comic books”) and would be very happy to loan these trade paperbacks out.
Or perhaps you are a non-comic fan who has seen the news of the show and believes that you should always read the book before you seen the movie. So, you go on Amazon or drive to your local bookstore and look up The Walking Dead. Where do you start?
Well, it is pretty easy with a series like TWD… You start with #1 which is the subject of this review and is titled “Days Gone Bye”. This volume is not Watchmen when it comes to sales figures, but it is still making appearances on Top 10-20 monthly sales lists years after its release (which is an achievement in the flavor-of-the-day comics industry).
So, how is this volume that collects issues #1-6 of the comic series? “We” all presume that this is what the first season of the TV show will be based upon, so is it good source material? If you’ve never read comics, will you like it? If you lend it to a co-worker, will they enjoy it or fling it back in your face?
What’s Good: Robert Kirkman does a wonderful job of establishing the basic story in this first volume. That is the feeling of being alone, loss of family, join at reunion with people you had thought were lost and, of course, the zombies in the background.
It is very important to note that this series isn’t really been about zombies. This comic is not “Night of the Living Dead”. The zombies are a dull, background noise that kills characters when they least expect it or when they become careless. Sure, there are a few “oh shit” moments in this volume where the survivors have to get away from the zombie hordes, but that is not the focus of the story.
So, if the zombies aren’t the focus, what is? It’s the people, dummy! Imagine being in a small group of ~10 survivors clinging together, starring at the end of the world. How do you find food? Where do you sleep? And most importantly, who is in charge? Is it the strongest? The smartest? The most vicious? Although it becomes a theme in later volumes, there are seeds planted here about the breakdown of basic human institutions.
Filed under: Image Comics | Tagged: Cliff Rathburn, Dean Stell, Graphic Novel, Image, review, Robert Kirkman, The Walking Dead, The Walking Dead TV series, The Walking Dead: Days Gone Bye Vol.1, The Walking Dead: Days Gone Bye Vol.1 review, Tony Moore, Trade paperback, Zombies | Leave a comment »