Review: The Walking Dead, Volume 1

Written By: Kellie - Oct• 28•12

the walking dead volume 1

Publisher: Image Comics
Publish Date: September 26th, 2006
Source: Purchased

Rating: 4/5 Walking Dead agree… these comics are awesome!

Summary: 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: There is no government, no grocery stores, no mail delivery, no cable TV. Rick Grimes finds himself one of the few survivors in this terrifying future. A couple months ago he was a small town cop who had never fired a shot and only ever saw one dead body. Separated from his family, he must now sort through all the death and confusion to try and find his wife and son. In a world ruled by the dead, we are forced to finally begin living. -Goodreads

Review: I started reading The Walking Dead, Volume 1 after finishing off season two of the television show and becoming completely obsessed. I volunteered to write a comparison for Geek Speak Magazine, looking at the differences between the story and characters in the show, and the original comic book which was a lot of fun and have since become a fan of the comics as well. In the end, I still prefer the show, as those are the versions of the characters I’ve gotten attached to, but this first collection of stories from The Walking Dead universe is still well worth a read for graphic novel lovers.

The first collection of comics covers two story arcs (according to Robert Kirkman at least), both of which are fast paced and a little terrifying. Both stories cover a nice balance between the external threat of the zombies, and looking at the sometimes much scarier realities of what people are capable of. There’s even a brief stint where we get to see the consequences of plain old human stupidity. For me, zombie stories are all about the survival elements and The Walking Dead shows that reality so wonderfully. It’s dark, and scary but the elements that have shaped human society are still there. Love it!

The art in the comics is great and really bring the grittyness of the apocalypse to life while still making the characters seem like genuine people, just doing their thing at the end of the world. Personally, the best part has to be the zombies as they are wonderfully detailed while still having a lesser ick factor on the page, than they do on screen. There is a lot of detail work throughout every issue, and there is no question that the art is as much of what brings these stories alive as the dialogue.

My biggest issue with the comics is only really in comparing it to the shows. The pacing is just too much, too fast and so it never really feels like there is any tension building, as anyone can die in the span of three panels and the characters are constantly on the move from place to place. There is still a huge cast of characters though, so readers never get enough time to get genuinely attached to anyone besides Rick.

Volume 1 leaves off in essentially the same place as the first episode of season 3 of the show. There are quite a few changes, and the whose who of survivors is different but the story is very much the same. I really enjoyed reading the comics, even with a general idea of how the story was going to go. It’s fast paced, tense and just a tiny bit hopeful. Even in the very worst situations, there’s still some good to be found. While I’m sure most graphic novel fans have already read a good chunk of The Walking Dead, I will still go ahead and say I highly recommend these comics for both fans of the show and other zombie enthusiasts.

Buy The Walking Dead, Volume 1
@Amazon (US) @Amazon (CAN) @The Book Depository

Second Opinions:
@Book Whore Blog
@Reeds to Reels
@Graeme’s Fantasy Book Review

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