Monday, May 2, 2016

The Walking Dead Volumes 1& 2 by Robert Kirkman (writer) and Tony Moore(artist)

I will admit that I found the television series boring to the extreme.  There was simply far too much, "BOO!" ZOMBIE!!  After a while it got old.  I watched four episodes then gave up.

However, I loved the premise; instead of trying to explain how it all happened we just follow the main character, after he recovers from a coma, as he discovers and adapts to his world.  The narrative begins after the plague has been around for a long time.  How does he cope?  How does he come to terms with this new reality?  Where is his family?  Will he ever be able to have a normal life again?

I have coworkers who love the show and talk about it after every episode.  Everybody I talk to says the same thing; it's not really about the zombies but about how the "living" cope with a changed world.  It's a post-apocalyptic story which can always be interesting.  But I really did not want to invest in watching more television.  Instead I thought I'd go to the source material and read the collected editions of the comic series.

My friends were right the story is not about the zombies, although they are everywhere just like snow is everywhere in winter.  Volumes one and two collect the first 12 issues of the series.  Like a novel the entire story is told in chapters, also know as plot arcs, of 6 issues each.  There are currently 25 collections in print with the 26th due out soon.  The comic is still in production so there is a lot of this world to explore.

I've been reading the series in eBook format borrowed from the Edmonton Public Library.

Volume 1 tells the story of our main character, Rick, a sheriff's deputy recovering from injuries sustained on the job.  He makes his way from the hospital to his home then begins to search for answers and his family in Atlanta.

Volume 2 picks up the story with Rick, now the leader of the group, and their search for a safe haven.  First they find a gated community then a distant farm.  There is a gathering tension as food and fuel run low and members of the group begin to crack under the stress.

So far I've enjoyed the series but I am not sure if I'll be able to sustain my interest.  Since The Walking Dead is still in production as a comic there is likely no satisfying conclusion.  Comics live and breath on open-ended story telling, I get that, and each chapter is a story in and of itself, with a cliff-hanger ending.  I'm just not sure I'm willing to spend a lot of time in such a bleak world.  As story tellers I'm sure Kirkman and Moore will break the tension from time to time.

Robert Kirkman - writer

Tony Moore - artist.

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