Graphic Novel Discoveries – The Walking Dead



The Walking Dead,

Robert Kirkman (& Tony Moore) & Charlie Adlard

The world we knew is gone. The world of commerce and frivolous necessity has been replaced by a world of survival and responsibility. An epidemic of apocalyptic proportions has swept the globe, causing the dead to rise and feed on the living. In a matter of months society has crumbled: no government, no grocery stores, no mail delivery, no cable TV. In a world ruled by the dead, the survivors are forced to finally start living.

How has it taken me so long to get around to reading this amazing comic?  The first season of the TV show blew me away all those years ago and the first volume of the comic (Days Gone Bye) has done the same.  I mean, I adored the artwork.  (So much so, I picked up a signed print at this year’s TORONTO FANEXPO.)  And the writing.  And the pacing.  And the way there was necessary violence and gore without it ever becoming gratuitous.  I just really liked it, okay?  And can we talk about the page to screen adaptation of season 1?  Because there are comic panels and characters that have been translated DIRECTLY to screen, and it makes my purist heart flail.

Volume 2 was just as fast paced, bloody, and well written as the first but I’m not as enamoured with Adlard’s artwork as I am with Moore’s.  And that’s something I’m going to have to reconcile within myself, because Adlard is the current illustrator, meaning I have some 100 issues to get used to his work.  I don’t hate it, but the illustrations come across a lot heavier than Moore’s – and in a completely black and white comic, that makes a big impact.  At times it’s almost as if Moore drew in pencil and Adlard uses a Sharpie.  Again, I don’t hate it, it’s just a different style.

The TV show lost me somewhere around the middle of season 3.  I’ve since picked it back up and I’m still speechless at some of the amazing episodes from last season, but now reading the comics, I’m interested to see where the two differ.  My first observation is that the comic covers a lot of ground in a small number of episodes, whereas the TV show has a tendency to get bogged down in one place – cough PRISON cough.  And I definitely prefer the faster pacing.  We’ll see where the next volume takes me.  (Urgh.  It’s the prison, isn’t it?)


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