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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