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Book one of the Walking Dead

Comic book about the travels of a group of people trying to survive in a world stricken by a zombie apocalypse.

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In a World Ruled By The Dead, The Living Is Finally Forced To LIVE!!

  • May 17, 2010
I’ve often stated that I was weary of all the “zomedies” that have come out in the movies (though some of them were good) and that I wanted more of a real zombie related storytelling with minimum social commentary and yet has the right amount of humanism going for it while displaying good amounts of blood and violence. So I came to collect most of the issues (and Tradepaperbacks) of ‘THE WALKING DEAD”. I didn’t know how I was going to divide my reviews for the highly acclaimed graphic novel series since the stories are pretty much tied together and honestly I was busy with movie reviews; it was only until communities such as “Café Libri” and “Reality Inked” came to be that I felt motivated to review more comic books.
Well, thankfully, the series has come out with a huge hardcover called “The Walking Dead: Book One” that contains volume one and volume two of the series. So here I am, about to review one of the most awesome non-superhero horror graphic novel I’ve ever had the pleasure to read. Written by Robert Kirkham and illustrated by Tony Moore and Charlie Adlard in black and white (as a homage to the original zombie horror film “Night of the Living Dead”) “The Walking Dead” is a character-driven endeavor that make us question the very fabric of society. The series is proudly published by Image Comics.
   Volume One: DAYS GONE BYE
Rick is a cop who wakes up from a coma amid a nightmare when he finds that this small town has been overrun by hordes of the living dead…zombies! Escaping from the hospital and is taken in by a kindly man named Morgan Jones and his son who fills him in with what is happening. Rick is led to believe that Atlanta is a safe haven for survivors and so he departs in the hopes of finding his wife Lori and his son. Morgan and his son chooses to stay in the town of Harrison.
What Rick finds in Atlanta is a city ruled by more flesh-eating zombies as Rick fights to survive with gunfire merely attracting more of the undead. A young man named Glenn comes to his aid and they escape to a nearby camp where there is a small number of human survivors--that includes Rick’s wife Lori and their son Carl. His partner Shane had helped them out of the city and the remaining survivors stay within a few miles of Atlanta in hopes of a rescue. But Rick’s challenges are just beginning as they must find supplies, weapons and food the best they can while having some differences with the other survivors…


The first volume starts off as something similar to “28 Days Later” as we see Rick wander around the small town. The book does show a strong commentary of ‘people helping other people’ and that it seems like the most extreme of situations often bring out the best in all of us. I guess writer Robert Kirkham wanted to say a bit about the humanity; that perhaps even without government, stores and TV, people will help each other much more, not only because it is the right thing to do but also people tend to lean on each other for comfort and to maintain a sense of order and ‘belonging’ to a group. Humanity also maintains a strong drive to protect one’s established habit as demonstrated with the unspoken rivalry between Shane and Rick.
“Days Gone Bye” is also a reflection of Rick’s past, and his future. Much as he has managed to reunite with his family, he remains uncertain and fears for the future. Lori is a woman who may feel some self-guilt as for leaving him behind in the hospital but obviously a good mother does what she is supposed to safeguard her son. The characters in the first volume are strong and the script does a terrific job introducing each one to the reader. We get to know them intimately as they introduce themselves by the campfire. I found the characters to be quite compelling and they were nicely developed through dialogue and their interactions.
This volume also has a good number of intense sequences as we see Rick and Glenn go to the city in search of supplies utilizing the ‘smell’ of the undead to make themselves blend in. It was a clever approach to develop a rule to how zombies see us and why they don’t feed on each other. The zombies here are your traditional shambling undead who moves rather slowly and with the cause of the zombies themselves being left for the imagination. Are they a product of a virus or something more supernatural? The volume climaxes with a very unnerving scene between Rick and Shane where secrets are revealed following a zombie attack on camp.
Fleeing from their camp after the lost of lives, Rick leads our survivors and drives off in an RV away from any major cities in the hopes that they can find shelter from the blizzard somewhere. On the road, they bump into another small group of survivors led by man called Tyreese. The two groups join together and find shelter in a estate to spend the night. Little do they know that zombies have also sought shelter from the snow under the same estate.
Barely escaping with their lives, and losing most of their supplies, the group stops to hunt for food when Rick’s son Carl gets mistaken for a zombie and is shot. The group is taken in by a man named Hershel and his family who lives in a farm who tends to Carl’s bullet wound. But Hershel has a secret in the barn that may cause them their very lives…
“Miles Behind Us” follows the same established themes in volume one and affords the repercussions of the zombie attack and the secrets revealed in the end. It also further develops the relationship between our survivors and further develops its themes of humanism and strong characterization. People want company when they are afraid, lonely and mournful of dead loved ones so most of the characters are revealed as having a small comfort zone through companionship, friendship and sometimes even through sexual intercourse. 

More characters are fleshed out as the relationship between old man Dale and a young woman named Andrea. We also see blossoming lust and love among the younger characters; no surprise that in these intense situations, people want to feel warm, loved and wanted. Therefore, they engage in sex. Rick and Lori’s challenges are only just beginning and I was impressed as to how the writing evenly spaced out the character growth of Rick’s family and the other characters of the book. It took careful planning and maneuvering no doubt, to set a tone and mood as good as this one. If I had to say which one had a better impact on me, then “Miles Behind Us” wins by a margin against “Days Gone Bye” although by a very slim one.
This volume also introduces new characters in the personas of Tyreese and his small group, Hershel and his family made up of Lacey, Arnold, Maggie and three others. What really impressed me is the fact that they are not minor fillers but they play significant parts in the script. Tyreese is introduced as someone who will see as part of the story but Hershel’s role was very important as he represented another human aspect in this lost society. Hershel would aid his fellow man up to a point, yet he harbors a sense of sympathy for the undead; rationalizing that no one knows what they are and they may just be undergoing a change. His argument with Rick as to why he keeps zombies in his barn is one of the book’s most powerful moments. It was portrayed with such strong passion, realism and emotion that my jaw almost dropped.
There was a heartbreaking moment as we see this volume’s climax as it goes out to prove once again that grief, anger and loneliness can blind us to the obvious, that one has to respect one's loss, and try as we may, humanity will always do what it deems best for survival, sometimes away from morale principle. I suppose when push came to shove, we tend to ‘work alone’ to insure survival.
The art by Tony Moore in volume one was a little more cartoonish (but in a good way) it appeared more polished and brighter to reflect the more pleasant commentary about unity and discovery. Volume two’s art by Charlie Adlard feels darker, grittier and more edgy to reflect its more depressing mood and tone.  The series is pretty bloody and gory, and seriously it is filled with emotional, visceral drama. The sex scenes are mostly hinted at through some illustrations and when the characters talk about it. The script is pretty realistic and filled with coarse language at times, so this is NOT your kid’s comic book. 
Truly “The Walking Dead” is a thought-provoking piece of dramatic horror fiction. It makes us question, feel, sympathize, fearful and this zombie comic book has those elements by the TRUCKLOADS. I hope you guys are in the mood for a sprawling ZOMBIE EPIC that humiliates the zombie movies we’ve seen recently…

This Review is a Cafe Libri-Lunch.com Exclusive
In a World Ruled By The Dead, The Living Is Finally Forced To LIVE!! In a World Ruled By The Dead, The Living Is Finally Forced To LIVE!! In a World Ruled By The Dead, The Living Is Finally Forced To LIVE!! In a World Ruled By The Dead, The Living Is Finally Forced To LIVE!! In a World Ruled By The Dead, The Living Is Finally Forced To LIVE!!

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July 17, 2010
Ok, this is one of your reviews that I rated, but that I forgot to comment on. *bad me!* Anyway, I love your enthusiasm with zombie related books and graphic novels. It's so much fun and different. Wonderful illustrations in this piece. Thanks so much for sharing the review with us here at Cafe Libri. :)
May 27, 2010
Trashie reviewed the series a while back didn't he? I know I remember reading about this elsewhere. Maybe this will make it more of a possibility for me than it was before because I've really been wanting to get hold of it but I've been having to cut back on things lately.
May 28, 2010
The WALKING DEAD Conpedium is actually real cheap now; $ 32.00 for 48 issues. I loved this series ever since Trash reviewed it. I may actually get to review the entire volumes (I also reviewed volume 2), it is just so downright unpredictable and depressing...just brilliant!
May 28, 2010
Oooh. That still hurts though. I'm sort of saving my pennies because a friend told me of a place right in Chicago where she bought an all regions DVD for $75 and that included shipping!
May 28, 2010
oh, an all-region player is a great investment for sure. But I am telling you this series is HORROR-ZOMBIE Epic storytelling! I am not easy on 5 stars remember.
May 28, 2010
I know, I KNOW! But my VCR player is starting to show signs that the heads are either in dire need of cleaning or alignment and these days its almost cheaper to get a new one than to have it fixed, that is if you can find one! You can't even buy anything to clean 'em with anymore. I can't live without a VCR.
May 28, 2010
LOL! I am with you, I still have an old VCR. I think nowadays, they come in combos right? what are we going to do with the movies that never came out on dvd without a VCR?
May 28, 2010
My second TV has a combo but the DVD player gave up the ghost after less than 6 months and the VCR is the one that's currently giving me problems after less that 4 years. At least VCRs themselves are pretty cheap now. No more $1200 models. Without Tivo I need one to record stuff while I'm out too.
May 17, 2010
You've turned into zombie comics boy. Cool, I can dig it. Just don't start eating people. ; )
May 18, 2010
can I at least eat some brains? ;-)
May 18, 2010
Only junk food brains (ie. Republican brains). : )
May 18, 2010
nah...I need some with nourishment. smart people food! :)
May 18, 2010
Yeah, but if you eat the smart people then you'll be inundated with dumb ones wherever you go.
May 18, 2010
crap... I can't win!!
May 18, 2010
You could always eat the brains of the dumb people first and then move onto the smarter ones. : )
May 17, 2010
I have all of the TPB's for this man, EXCELLENT REVIEW good sir, well done indeed.
May 17, 2010
Thanks, Alex, I may review one more volume before my break.
More The Walking Dead reviews
review by . August 12, 2008
I am always a big fan of the post apocalytic genre, I love movies like the Mad Max series and the Romero zombie films.  And one gripe I always have is that the endings of those movies rarely leave you feeling satisfied, since it can't go on forever, and they need to resolve it somehow.  When I found out about The Walking Dead comics, it really piqued my interest, since it will be an ongoing series about this group of people trying to survive not only the zombie outbreak, but also …
Quick Tip by . June 19, 2010
review by . June 17, 2010
I'm a huge fan of anything related to zombies, so of course I couldn't pass this series up. I quickly read all the trade paperbacks and am eagerly waiting for the rest of the series, as well as the television show coming on AMC sometime this year. Although zombie stories have been told in movies, books, and comic books for years, The Walking Dead manages to keep the subject fresh and alive...so to speak. There were a few characters who I disliked at the beginning but eventually grew to like …
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About this book


The Walking Dead is a ongoing comic series about a group of survivors of a zombie apocalyse.  It started similar to 28 days later, a police office named Rick Grimes who was wounded on duty and went into a coma, woke up weeks later and found the hospital abandoned, and upon further investigation, found out the world is now overrun by zombies, and his family no where to be found.  He believed his wife and son went to Atlanta to find shelter with relatives, and the story unfolds when he found his family and a group of survivors on the ourskirt of Atlanta.

Creator: Robert Kirkman
Artist: Tony Moore (issue 1 ~ 6), Charlie Adlard (issue 6 ~ present)
Publisher: Image Comics
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ISBN-10: 1582406197 (hbk.)
ISBN-13: 9781582406190 (hbk.)
Publisher: Image Comics
Date Published: August 2, 2006
Format: Book One [First 12 Issues]
First to Review
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