I only recently started reading comic books again, and one of the first ones I picked up was Robert Kirkman’s series The Walking Dead, published by Image Comics. While I read each comic individually, I figured it’d be most efficient to blog about them as one, which is why you’re getting them as The Walking Dead compendiums 1 and 2. Technically, this only includes issues 1-48 and 49-96, but I’ll update with more posts as more compendiums come out (so, in a couple of years I’ll write about this amazing series again).
Kirkman’s series is really interesting to me because of his investment in character development. He sees the series as a space in which the characters can truly evolve and deepen over time, and I think this is definitely something that you can see after even just a few issues. Of course, do what I did and read 100+ issues in half a week and you’ll really see the characters grow and change. As a reader who’s really driven by well-developed characters (as opposed to plot, which interests me, but not to the same extent), Kirkman’s writing is really appealing to me.
I can’t only talk about the writing, though. The original artist, Tony Moore, did amazing work. However, since he only illustrated issues 1-7, I’m skipping ahead to focus on Charlie Adlard’s art. In a word, it’s stunning. Cliff Rathburn’s shading is really something, but Adlard’s images bring the books to life (which is ironic, considering all the zombies populating the pages). He has a talent for using an effective combination of extreme close ups and long shots (I’m relying on film speak here…maybe I’ll learn more about how to talk about these things in terms of comics soon) in a manner that enhances the drama and suspense. There are some genuinely striking images that stick with you for a long time (the close up of Carl’s injury in issue #83 that caused so much uproar from readers comes to mind).
All in all, this is a series worth sticking with. I may have gotten addicted to it in a whirlwind of reading over the past four or five days, but I’ll be following it from this point forward. You might try giving it a go, too. It’s worth it.
GOOD FOR: Readers who enjoy complex characters, fans of post-apocalyptic tales, and anyone who’s caught up in the zombie movement.
BAD FOR: People seeking a nice lighthearted read, anyone who really can’t stomach the thought of the undead, and readers who aren’t interested in a long-term commitment.
GOOD WITH: World War Z, Marvel Zombies, and Shaun of the Dead (yes, the movie).