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Old 12-30-2007, 06:29 PM
Scored: 10
Views: 13,992
Walking Dead, The

Reviewer: Dave
Review Date: December 30, 2007

Released by: Image Comics
Release date: 2003-Ongoing
MSRP: (Various)
Comic book/Softcover & Hardcover Trades

I'm once again a geek. I suppose I never was not a geek; while I did in fact take a break from comics, I could often be found playing computer games or watching various Sci-Fi movies of some sort. Throughout my childhood I read comics on a regular basis, with all the popular ones - Batman, Spiderman, and Superman - being my favorites. In my early teens I discovered the EC horror comics and it managed to quench my thirst for some good horror stories. Fast forward fifteen years to today - I'm an old man at 31. I have two children, a 401k, and my idea of fun is comparing our resident reviewer Rhett to Marc McClure from Superman.

A few years back I posted a note on the forum that I was interested in getting back into comics. I asked for some recommendations and received many. One popular recommendation seemed to be The Walking Dead series from Image Comics. My desire to start reading again never came to fruition, however, until just a few weeks ago as I started doing all my Christmas shopping. My son Jonathon loves comics and I decided to get him some graphic novels for Christmas. He loves Army of Darkness, so I ordered him Marvel Zombies Vs Army of Darkness. While going through the checkout at Amazon, I decided to search for my old thread ask for recommendations and take a look at some on the list. The Walking Dead stuck out, so I ordered the softcover Volume 1.

A week later Volume 1 showed up on my doorstep. It was love at first sight; I devoured the entire series in a week. The rest is history. Read on for my review.

The Story

inline Image The Walking Dead begins with Kentucky police officer Rick Grimes waking up from a coma. He stumbles about the hospital only to find out that it's abandoned, as well as infested with the living dead. He manages to escape the hospital but quickly discovers that it's just as bad outside. He goes home to find an abandoned house, where he's attacked by a father and son who mistake him for a zombie. When Rick comes to, the father brings him up to speed on the collapse of society and the infestation of the living dead. Rick goes to the police station to load up on ammo and heads to the nearest large city in hopes of finding his wife and son.

Rick does meet up with his family and it is here where the story of The Walking Dead begins. For me to tell you more of the story would be a disservice to both you the reader and to the comic itself. Instead I'll give you my thoughts on the story and encourage you to give it a try for yourself. I will say this: the next several volumes are filled with adventure, betrayal, death, joy, and yeah - zombies and ample helpings of blood and guts.

inline Image I should preface my thoughts on the story by admitting I'm a nut for the apocalypse. Something about the end of the world has always fascinated me. While I hope to never see it, the idea of it, the limitless story possibilities and countless adventures, seem perfect for storytelling. Such is the case with The Walking Dead. Don't let the similarities to the opening of 28 Days Later turn you off. While much of the The Walking Dead as bits and pieces from other zombie films, The Walking Dead takes them further.The zombies will appeal to the horror fans out there, but they really only play a minor, supporting role. The Walking Dead tells the story of life after the collapse of society. It tells the story of individual characters and their struggle for survival in the aftermath. These stories and characters are what make The Walking Dead so good, not the zombies. Any regular reader knows that is the advantage a comic or novel has over a film - there's no running time, no restriction in telling the story. That's why the book is almost always better than the movie - better character development and more time to tell the story.

inline Image When Volume 1 showed up on my doorstep, I devoured the entire series in a matter of a week. There's a comic shop just around the corner from me that I had only been to once before. I never bought anything, but they had a great selection. I drove over to see if they had any of The Walking Dead comics. They did. In fact, they had several of the graphic novels. I quickly bought the hardcover Volume 2 and started reading. Oooops...I missed a Volume. Turns out that two of the softcover volumes equal one of the hardcover volumes. I went back for softcover Volume 2, leaving me with lots to read. I won't go on and on, but since the store was running a 20% off sale between Christmas and the end of the year, making their prices very similar to Amazon, I ended up buying hardcover volume 3 and softcover volume 7. I've read them all and am now anxiously awaiting softcover volume 8 on January 15th. At that point I'll start reading the individual issues. I'm hooked.

I knew after Volume 1 I was going to somehow review The Walking Dead on the site. I struggled with how I was going to do it. I originally planned to review just Volume 1, but after nearly reading the entire series, I decide to post an overview to the beginning. Each individual book has its own strengths and weakness, but the entire series is strong and I can easily recommend it as a must-read.

Image Quality

inline Image The comic is drawn in glorious black and white by Tony Moore. A quick peek at Wikipedia informed me that Charlie Adlard took over drawing at issue #7. The drawings are well done and the black and white works well in The Walking Dead. There's an eeriness to black and white, as fans of Night of the Living Dead and Carnival of Souls are no doubt aware. While color would be nice for some of the blood and guts, I do prefer the black and white. It just seems fitting for a dead world to have no color.

The covers are in color and the hardcovers contain many of the comic covers in the back. It is nice to get a peek at some of the characters in color.

Final Thoughts

I had planned to spread out my enjoyment of The Walking Dead over a few months, but the sheer strength of the story and characters caused me to read the entire series in a matter of a week. Fans of the dead will love this one, not necessarily for the zombies, but for the strong story and characters that Image Comics has given us. Highly recommended.


Story - A-
Image Quality - A

Technical Info.
  • B&W
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Old 12-31-2007, 01:38 AM
Nice review! And I would totally be down with more horror comic related reviews in the future. I too have just recently got back into comics (about a year ago after almost a 10 year hiatus), and received The Walking Dead Vol. 1 hardcover for Christmas. I have heard good things about it, but it's nice to hear an opinion from someone who is a horror movie fan, I am desperately looking forward to reading it now!
Old 10-16-2008, 09:39 PM
Great review. I have read vol. 1&2 of the paperback collections and really dig the vibe and pacing. Not a lot of horror grabs me in comics but Walking Dead is great.

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