Monday, February 6, 2012

The Walking Dead

Before becoming a super-creepy hit show on AMC, The Walking Dead was a comic book.  I read the "Compendium One" - a huge collection of the comics that weighs roughly 1400 pounds - on Joker's recommendation, who read it at the recommendation of our friend Matt, and I can't wait to keep plugging on in the story.

First of all, the television series to date barely scratches the surface of the comics, and there are a few major character and plot differences.  I love the show, but the comics are better.

If you're unfamiliar, the story takes place not long after a zombie apocalypse has hit the country - cities are abandoned, the government has collapsed, most people are now living dead, and things are a real mess.  Rick Grimes awakens from a coma in a small town hospital that has been abandoned.  He's got no clue what has happened until he stumbles into a room full of zombies.  Completely freaked out, he hurries home to see if his wife and son are OK.  He finds they've left the house, learns that most people had headed for Atlanta and the "protection" of the city, and sets out in pursuit.  With a bit of good luck, he escapes from zombie-overridden Atlanta and finds his family, who've joined up with a haggard band of survivors.  From there, the group manages to beat the odds - for a while, at least - together.

I am actually amazed at how great the series is.  The art is black and white, and it's OK but not spectacular.  The zombies are scary and there is quite a bit of gore (both actual and implied).  The characters seem to be what makes it so compelling.  Rick and his family aren't even the most interesting characters.  Dale and Andrea (who is super irritating in the show), Glenn and Maggie, Hershel, Susan, Axel, Tyreese and Michonne (the last three aren't even in the show, at least not yet)... they are incredibly well developed, and their methods of dealing with their hell-on-earth reality are all fascinating.  The major bad guy - The Governor - is a terrifying, mentally ill psychopath, and the protagonists encounter a number of other also-terrifying (and human) bad guys along the way. 

Frankly, it's a great read.  I'm not done with the series - in fact, I believe new issues are still coming out - and I can barely put it down. 

No comments: