Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Walking Dead - Volume One: Days Gone Bye - Robert Kirkman and Tony Moore

Who doesn't love a good zombie graphic novel?!

I have been wanting to read this for a pretty long time, as I have been hearing a lot about it from many different people. Finally a friend of mine was able to lend it to me, and thus begins my search to find the rest of the volumes. I assume that I will also be checking out the television show now, which looks like it is going to be incredible. I don't know what it is about the subject of zombies, but I never tire of it. I am always excited to hear about them, and I think I would be hardpressed to find something on the subject that I didn't enjoy. This was no exception.

This graphic novel begins with our protagonist being shot in the line of duty (he is a police officer in a small town) and the resulting coma keeps him out of the loop for a month. When he finally wakes up, he finds himself completely alone in a rotting town, infested with zombies. I find it fascinating that with an introduction as common as the "waking up to a dead world" scenario, it ALWAYS works for zombie stories. As Rick realizes the situation with the help of two friendly survivors, he decides to move on to the larger city in order to find his wife and child. Upon reaching the city he finds that everything of order has collapsed and with the help of a random boy, finds his way to a camp set up not far from the outskirts of Atlanta. He shockingly finds his wife and child waiting for him there, and the remainder of the story goes as any zombie story does - with the characters trying their best to stay alive before "help" comes.

I think that the part of this story that I liked the most was the focus on the humanity as opposed to the carnage. Don't get me wrong. I love a good gore-fest as much as the next horror-freak, but I like the direction that this first volume has taken. I was able to form an attachment to the characters right away, hearing their stories and watching their battles, and through this I think the entire series can be strengthened. You are better able to witness how to stay alive past the typical 'killing of the dead', and it is a side that gets brushed over in a lot of zombie fiction.

I give this graphic novel a 3/5, mainly because it is so difficult to give a rating when the story is left off. I think that I need to read all of them, because they otherwise end abruptly. I found myself wanting more, which of course makes sense as you are not supposed to read just the one. I enjoyed the graphics as well. Not as much as I have enjoyed some artwork in the past, but enough. My favourite part of the novel though, is definitely the perspective taken. As mentioned on the back cover, "in a world ruled by the dead, we are forced to finally start living."

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