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I'm Addicted To The Walking Dead Comics

by Tom Greaney
9 March 2012 14 Comments

"Addiction (n): The fact or condition of being addicted to a particular substance, thing, or activity." Well I've read 8 years worth of comics in a week, does that count?

When I was a youngster I liked reading comics. I’d get stuck in to the Funday Times of a Sunday and my dad would bring home the Beano every Tuesday. These were, of course, real kid’s comics full of talking animals and jokes I didn’t really get or enjoy. Then as I approached my teens I turned my back on many things I then considered to be ‘childish’ such as comics, tomato ketchup and hope.

Fast forward nearly two decades and I would eye any man that read a comic with a deep sense of suspicion. Then something changed; I started watching “The Walking Dead” a brilliant TV show about Rick Grimes, a police officer (played by Briton Andrew Lincoln) who wakes up from a coma, alone, in a hospital to a world gone wrong. Zombies. Bloody Zombies are everywhere.  When the first series finished after just 6 episodes I was desperate to find out what happens next in the story. I then learned that the show was based around a comic of the same name, written by Robert Kirkman.

So, I nervously cast my comic prejudices aside and started reading, in private, the first few comics. A week later I had finished 91 issues, and am now ravenous for issue 92 which will be released on December 14th. Within the space of a week I had steamed through over 8 years worth of monthly issues and I can honestly say that “The Walking Dead” comic is best thing I have ever read. I am a comic convert.

Within the space of a week I had steamed through over 8 years worth of monthly issues and I can honestly say that “The Walking Dead” comic is best thing I have ever read. I am a comic convert.

Focusing around Rick Grimes and other survivors, the story is simply phenomenal. The plot doesn’t follow the normal rules we have come all too comfortable and familiar with. The narrative twists, turns and shocks throughout. The shocks are relentless, if the story wasn’t so enjoyable, it would be stressful. I am so used to generic television and film that the surprises in the comic have often led me to stand up and walk around my flat holding my head and swearing for hours.

I never cared for the zombie genre before and although fundamental to the story the dead eyed flesh eaters are just a sideshow to the real human drama of the story. Rick Grimes is a man that wants to find and protect his family at all costs.  As the comic gets darker so does Rick’s personality and the lengths he will go to stay alive. The comic is as sinister as you would imagine living in a zombiefied universe would be. Rick and the other characters wrestle with their own minds and conscience as they try to survive in a world of lawlessness and death. Providing character development as good as any novel you would ever read.

The comic also looks amazing with its grim black and white graphics that perfectly suit the tone of the story. It is a comic for adults and a long way from the Bash Street Kids.

Simply, it is brilliant and changed the way I view comics as an adult.  I envy you the reader, with 91 issues waiting to be read. I’m just keeping an eye on the clock till the next issue.

I’d recommend the Compendium as a great start. Get if for yourself or for someone for Christmas. You really won’t regret it.

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image descriptionCOMMENTS

@TsarKiller 8:55 am, 16-Dec-2011

Great article. I to have been snared into the comic world by WD's gritty storyline and fantastic artwork. You can actually download them on KickAssTorrents, and read in PDF format. Worth a look.

Jimmy James Jameson 9:29 am, 16-Dec-2011

Loved the first series, haven't seen the second yet, and would never have considered reading the comics, for the same reasons you mention.... I've changed my mind, they sound even better than the programme. Nice one.

Jimmy James Jameson 9:35 am, 16-Dec-2011

For anyone interested, they've published the first edition free here: http://www.newsarama.com/php/multimedia/album.php?gid=1358

Stuart Owen 5:01 pm, 16-Dec-2011

I felt the same the very first time I read the Preacher books. Couldn't get enough of them. I will take your recommendation and get The Walking Dead comics pronto.

Stick 5:14 pm, 16-Dec-2011

If you read 8 years worth of comics in a week you aren't reading them properly.

Dee Montague 8:34 pm, 16-Dec-2011

The Walking Dead is the best thing I have ever read. I started reading them as the first series started, too. I'd agree with Stick though, definitely read them again. I've read the UK volumes 1 -14 and was given compendium one for my brithday and have read that twice again. It's now doing the rounds with friends. Whether you're into comics or not, The Walking Dead is a must read.

Jake Hanrahan 10:35 pm, 16-Dec-2011

Great read mate, and a fucking great thing to be addicted to I say.

Jake Hanrahan 10:35 pm, 16-Dec-2011

Try Mouse Guard too. Totally different but great.

baalroo 3:27 am, 17-Dec-2011

Funny thing is, I wouldn't consider The Walking Dead to even be in the top echelon of "mature" and "thoughful" comics being produced right now, let alone if we're just talking about the comic book medium in general. I mean, it's great that you're discovering the medium, but Walking Dead is really just sort of an average comic... not great, not terrible. It's great that it's bringing readers in though, and hopefully you continue past that one book and find some of the real gems (Blankets, Maus, Animal Man, Sweet Tooth, Chew, Box Office Poison, Paying For It,or even the new Daredevil or Ultimate Spider-Man all come to mind for various reasons). Happy Hunting

Devin 10:02 pm, 17-Dec-2011

I feel that Walking dead actually is a pretty childish comic, dressed up in things like sex and violence to give it the illusion of maturity. It's a simplistic and formulaic in the sense that it created it's own formula that it follows to a T. Beyond that, I don't find much reading pleasure in stories where the only reason the characters are built up is to make their violent deaths all the more shocking. In my opinion, Walking Dead lacks any substantial point to it's narrative, it's just tragedy porn. If you want to read a truly mature book, read something like Daytripper, or PIGS, or the new DC 52's Animal Man and Swamp Thing. Walking Dead is without a doubt a very childish book.

Chris Murray 11:02 am, 18-Dec-2011

Kudos for using the word, 'comic' as opposed to the loathesome phrase 'graphic novel' which is about as convincing as the adult covers on Harry Potter. I read the first three or four Walking Deads and whilst alright, I think it's a smashing and sadly rare example of the film version being better than the page. Whilst the book is almost invariably better than the film or TV series, it appears from this example that the same might not be true for comics.

sylvia holtzman 3:12 am, 19-Dec-2011

lot of response to this one.

riomx 8:13 pm, 23-Dec-2011

People, please don't listen to silly neckbeards like baalroo and Devin. There will always be people who try to place their preferences above those of others. To call The Walking Dead series "childish" only makes them look immature. The Walking Dead is a very well-written series with depth that continues to surprise and draw you in, almost 9 years after its first release. If it weren't a worthwhile series, it would have never built such a fervent fan base, gained so much attention and become the subject of so many conversations across various mediums in the past few years.

Kidd61 4:44 pm, 28-Feb-2012

Just finished issue 29 and I'm hooked! if only the TV was as good! Tho I hear the Governor is being introduced to the show

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