Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Week 21: The Walking Dead, by Robert Kirkman and Tony Moore

The Walking Dead comics series is apparently what the popular television show is based on. I had never seen it before, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. This book is the collection of the first six comics in the series. It opens with a gunfight in which Rick Grimes, a police officer, is shot by a criminal while his friend and partner Shane looks on. Rick awakens in a hospital several weeks later, emerging from a coma that he had slipped into as a result of his injuries. He is unable to find a doctor and he quickly realizes that there is no one else in the hospital besides him. Stumbling upon a boarded-up door to the cafeteria, he opens it to find a throng of half-dead zombies. They are horrifyingly gory and immediately attempt to grab Rick and feast on his flesh. He manages to escape and sets out on a mission to figure out what’s going on. Outside of the hospital, he encounters more zombies, but no other human beings. After taking an abandoned bike, he returns to his home to find his wife and son missing. A neighbor helps get him to the police station where he suits up, takes one of the cruisers, and embarks on a trip to try to find his family. The story follows him as he learns how to navigate this new world and starts to get the hang of how to deal with zombies. What happened to the world while Rick lay in a coma is never explicitly explained, but the reader starts to understand more and more as the story progresses. Like any post-apocalyptic tale, there is a certain innate fear that is triggered by the thought of a scenario like this. It’s impossible not to think what one’s own self would do if the world suddenly fell apart. Perhaps a story like this can even serve to make us appreciate our lives a little more, even if zombies probably aren’t knocking down our door anytime soon. The humanity of the story really shines through to make this story rather moving and engaging.

1 comment:

  1. This is one of my favorite series! It's a zombie story for sure, but it's the character work that really shines. The writer started the series as an avid fan of zombie movies who felt the most interesting part happened as soon as the end credits roll. That "what happens next?" moment. Great series.