The Walking Dead

I am a huge fan of the horror genre: movies, video games, books… anything. However I am only a fan of horror when the story is done right. Night of the Living Dead (the original) is one of the greatest movies ever made… Dawn of the Dead, one of the worst. I’ll take Silent Hill over Resident Evil any day, and Walking Dead is my favorite comic book hands down.

Horror for the sake of gore is nothing but senseless tripe. I want to be scared and entertained. And while the Walking Dead doesn’t exactly scare me, it definitely entertains. The gore is a sidebar. The meat of the comic is the interaction between characters. The trials and hardships they face. The everyday mundane events that are either amplified or played down when juxtaposed with a world filled with death and slow quiet mayhem.

Two years have passed since Walking Dead #1 was released. I started this series after the 3rd volume had been out for some time. I purchased all three and read them within just a few days. Not because the story lacks thoughtfulness, or because the art lacks detail. I just couldn’t put it down. I read as soon as the baby would fall asleep and in to the wee hours of the night. I read when she was awake and my wife needed help. I read when I was supposed to be taking out the trash or watching a movie. I just couldn’t put it down. I was (and still am) highly adicted.

The story behind the Walking Dead is a simple: Officer Rick Grimes gets shot and wakes up in the hospitol… only to find that the world has turned zombie for some unexplained reason.

The intricacies to the plot are complex: love, murder, insanity and death… lots of death. People die left and right… quite often people you have become attached to.

Each issue leads directly in to the next… like one big unending movie. That’s part of the appeal for me. I love seeing the deterioration of the characters, the minuet changes in their appearances, and sometimes massive changes in their character as everything becomes harder to deal with.

After reading the Walking Dead two things becomes clear: Robert Kirkman is a genius, and Tony Moore, Charlie Adlard and Cliff Rathburn are masters of the arts. Every issue is done in black and white with grey tones using inks and wash. This creates a very dramatic bleak feel to the whole series.

My only real problem with this series is it’s so horribly depressing. It just seems like nothing ever goes right for these people… but that’s life I suppose.

If you haven’t read the Walking Dead yet, now is a good time to start as Image has released the Walking Dead Omnibus which collects all of the issues up to #24 (the current issue) in one hard cover book. Very cool, but ringing in at $100 (US) it’s also a tad on the pricey side. If you’re hesitant to drop 100 bucks without knowing what you’re getting in to, check out the online preview at You can read the entire first issue for free. If you like what you see but still don’t want to spend the cash, you can purchase the individual volumes for $12.95 a piece ($9.95 for volume 1). Of course this will only get you to issue #18 as volume 4 hasn’t been released yet… but it’s on the way.

The Walking Dead has went through two years of consistent, slow paced entertainment and is supposedly selling better now than ever before. If you like horror, read this series.

Update: The Walking Dead Vol. 4: The Heart’s Desire has been released. This encompasses issues 19 – 24 and is definitely worth reading.

15 responses to “The Walking Dead”

  1. Nice review of a great book. But, yeah, it is pretty bleak. I think it’s Kirkman’s best work, even overtaking Invincible of late, and completely eclipsing anything he’s done thus far for Marvel. I’ll be keeping my eyes peeled for that omnibus, although it’s probably a limited edition.

  2. Jhunt: first off, thanks for the compliment. I’m not sure that omnibus is limited… I don’t recall reading that it is.

    Have you had a chance to read Marvel Zombies? unfortunately the only comic shop in town sold out before I could grab a copy… they haven’t gotten a restock in yet either. I’m very disappointed. As much as I can’t get in to Marvel right now, Kirkman is great and I really wanted to check this book out.

  3. Yeah, I picked up Marvel Zombies. It was a heck of a lot better than it had any right to be. The Magneto dialogue was a little off (some coolspeak came out of his mouth), but it was a funny, evil little book. And the art was really nice (if pictures of decapitations and oozing wounds can be described as “nice”). Worth picking up if you’re a zombie fan.

  4. I got hooked on the series too,but not in the traditional way.I got the first 3 graphic novels as a present and have since bought 4 and 5,and am truly addicted.Theres only problem,i refuse to buy the single issues now and that means im pretty far behind in the storyline which drives me nuts,NOW i see they have 1 hardcover out and another coming soon that takes us up to issue 24(im up to date to issue 30 in the last graphic novel).So heres my dilemma do i waste money buying the current format i have chosen or wait until hardcover #3 comes out!….And when will that be?I see no information on the image website or anywhere else that shows a release date on the next few books.

  5. walking dead is the greatest comic i have ever read. I have finally caught up to the current issues. Although the orginal dawn of the dead was a masterpiece. I think that the remake sucked, but any way i think any comic book read, zombie movie fan, or someone who loves a good story should pick up Walking Dead as fast as possible

  6. o yeah matt mc.donnell, i have been reading the trades up to 5 and i am also in a delima. I dont no if i should buy the issues up to 36, or wait till feb 25 to buy the 6 trade. although i tihnk i am going to just buy the issues because I have to no what happens to (don’t want to give anything away) the characters.

  7. Rick: I agree the new Dawn of the Dead wasn’t very good at all… although I didn’t really care for the original all that much.

    I ended up stopping with the trades and going to single issues… I just couldn’t wait long enough for the trades to come out!

  8. i think dawn of the dead remake was awesome. you lot dunt know a good zombie film if it hit you in the face. i think if they make a film out of the books AUTUM they will fukkin rock! go george A romero!!!! you rock dude!!!

  9. I am intensely into this Walking Dead and I was unaware it was prosperous among many others. I would say it’s one of the most honest pieces of literature, and it’s in comic form!

    Release date is now May 31, 2007. I will wait. Supposedly April 25, which is today, but if my luck is like that of anyone from the series it will be the last day of May.

  10. Im a complete sucker for anything zombie related if its done correctly (uwe bolls zombie movie sucked). I love playing games with zombies in them and i love romeros movies.

  11. I just recently started reading The Walking Dead and I must say this is one of the best Zombie stories I have seen in the last few years. I can’t put it down. The story is put together so well. I can’t help but put myself in Rick’s shoes having to deal with his wife and kids not to mention the rest of the group. This is a great piece of work.

  12. I have got read past the first six issues, as I put it down after Tony Moore left the pencils.(shame on me) but the first six issues are possible 6 of the most well done comics in history. Issue 1 has a special place on my wall.

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