**spoiler alert** My first experience with the Walking Dead was the premiere of the TV series on AMC, so I came to the comic late. It was one of those**spoiler alert** My first experience with the Walking Dead was the premiere of the TV series on AMC, so I came to the comic late. It was one of those books I felt like I should be reading but just ever made the plunge with for any number of vague reasons. When I finally decided to take the plunge last week I wanted to read as much of the story with one purchase as possible, so I grabbed the compendium which containts the first 48 issues of the comic.
The story starts out simple (and familiar) enough, a lone man awakes from a coma in a hospital to find the world in a much different state than he remembers. The dead are walking and have overrun the country and there are very few survivors left. After a botched trip to Atlanta, Rick (the main character), meets up with a group of survivors (included his wife and son) and they do their best just to get by. As expected there are casualties along the way and their numbers diminish.
This is where the story takes an interesting turn--as it progresses it becomes less and less about the zombies and more about how a group of people manage to cope at the end of the world. After they discover that people aren't turned into zombies from being bitten, but rather just from the simple act of dying. Rick makes the proclamation that it is the survivors who are the titular walking dead, not the zombies. The inevitability of death and the knowledge that it will turn you into a roamer/lurker/biter/zombie. It was an well written bit of misdirection--lure people in with a tale that superficially seems to be about a zombie apocalypse and keep them hooked with a fascinating and extremely well written character study of people who were once normal but now have to live and cope in extraordinary circumstances.
At this point I doubt I will be able to wait for another compendium and will simply pick up the trade paperback volumes, but either way I cannot wait to see where the story goes next....more
I would be hesitant to call Player One a return to form for Douglas Coupland. Without a doubt it his best novel since Hey Nostradomus! but it really rI would be hesitant to call Player One a return to form for Douglas Coupland. Without a doubt it his best novel since Hey Nostradomus! but it really reads more like a "lost" novel from the Generation X - Girlfriend in a Coma era. In Player One, Coupland does what he used to do best--lovingly craft believable, realistic characters and puts them into a world that is fantastic, yet not entirely out of the realm of possibility. Gone is the forced self-indulgence of jPod and shorter, quicker narratives of Eleanor Rigby or the Gum Thief. While what is going on their world is interesting and has repercussions for the four main characters, they are truly the stars of the show. Through a welcome blend of the storytelling aspect of Generation X and the introspective ideas of what it means to be human in an increasingly fast paced post-modern society of Girlfriend in a Coma, Coupland gives us a glimpse into 5 hours of the lives of four (former) strangers who initially couldn't be more different from one another. As they deal with the world crumbling around them, we get a glimpse into their inner workings and personalities. Ultimately the reader is left contemplating the ideas of individuality and whether or not it really is something worth attaining or just a manufactured by product of our society and societal norms....more