05 December 2010

The Walking Dead comic

I started watching the new TV show "The Walking Dead" 5 weeks ago and got hooked. I'm not a huge fan of zombies, I like them but I do prefer vampires or Lovecraftian monsters. There are a few zombie movies I like, but most of the time they just feel like a big letdown when you sum everything up at the end.

The AMC show on the other hand is above average - it's even quite good. The writing is not constantly up to a high standard, people act like idiots but the zombie special effects are fantastic. So I heard that it was based upon a comic books series by a guy named Robert Kirkman, the comic released roughly 10-12 times per year has been going since 2003 which made be very curious on how much the TV show would stick to the source material and how long the TV show could possibly go on. Especially since Kirkman doesn't seem to have any end in sight for this series. So while waiting for the last episode of The Walking Dead season 1 being aired tomorrow I got hold of 54 issues of the comic.

I figured I would take a break and actually do some reading, haven't had the chance for that in ages, and with most of my school work done, reviews finished and no pressing painting schedules I spent the whole day reading and just recently finished number 54.

Got to say two things - first I'm pretty impressed with the quality of the series. The characters and story are great. The zombie killing is fantastically gruesome, guts and gore everywhere.

Second, I don't think you'll spoil the TV show by reading the comics, after reading 54 issues and having seen the 5 aired episodes I see little similarity. The backbone  is the same, so are the main characters. But the TV show just takes a different direction.

I rarely read comics, last comic read during my "adult" life was Watchmen which I bought and read prior to watching the movie adaptation, other than that I mostly read comics when I was younger, 10-12 years, remember reading an awesome comic series called Valhall (which was in Swedish) which was about Norse mythology and taking place from the point of view of the Gods like Thor, Loki and Odin and them fighting all sorts of mythological beasts, giants and each other. 

Walking dead is great though, other than it being somewhat short (like 22 pages per issue) and in black and white (it would have been awesome to see all that mayhem in color) I do recommend getting a bunch of issues and read them. You'll be surprised at the direction of the story as it progresses. I would pretty much recommend the TV show as well, while not being a 10/10 and consistent it still beats 90% of the crap you get to watch on TV these days by miles.


5 comments:

  1. Heh, people acting like morons is a big part of the zombie breakout package, since it's us who are the real monsters and blah de bla blah.. Sorry, just went a bit professor there for a while, never mind.
    I actually just wanted to give a thumbs up on mentioning the Valhall comics (although the Walking Dead is kick ass). It's nice to see that someone remembers the classics.

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  2. Yeah, I used to haul a bag of them from the library , the librarian always looked at me as if she wouldn't believe I could lift that bag up let alone move around with it LOL!

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  3. Just seen the first 6 paths of the TV series made from this EPIC comic, and it's a totaly briljant TV series.

    You just have to see it.

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  4. The TV show, for me, was good up to the 4th episode. I felt that episode 5 and 6 which had nothing to do with the comics just went "apeshit" and left me with mixed feelings. Hopefully season 2 will be closer to the source material having read 77 issues of the comic I think the story from the comics could be left pretty much untouched and they could focus on developing the characters in the TV show. The whole CDC situation is made up for the TV show. And it was the weakest part of the first season. Especially that "McGyver countdown escape in last second" ending lol :D

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  5. I'm of the same mind as you. With all of the Zombie craze in comics and wargaming the past few years, I'm well burned out on it.

    However, I too watched the first season and was hooked by the human drama. The zombies are part of the setting, not the characters, and I think that's why it works so well.

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