Stephen's Reviews > The Walking Dead, Vol. 01: Days Gone Bye

The Walking Dead, Vol. 01 by Robert Kirkman
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's review
Dec 04, 2013

really liked it
bookshelves: comics-graphic-novels, dead-heads, sf-apocalyptic-and-post-apocalyptic, 2000-2005, horror
Read from May 11 to 13, 2011 — I own a copy


4.0 stars. You can see by the ratings and the other reviews of this book that a lot of people think very highly of this series and it is certainly justified. This is the kind of excellence in both writing and art that make the graphic novel an incredibly power medium when it is done well. Here….it is done very well indeed. The writing and the art are superb and I don’t think you could ask for better.

Basically, the set up is very familiar. It is a zombie apocalypse, society has broken down and the walking dead control the cities with bands of humans living in the outskirts trying to survive. I think that is enough background for you to understand the basic premise of the series.

Therefore, rather then do a detailed plot synopsis which others have done very well, I thought I would mention 3 things (beyond the aforementioned writing and art) that I really thought set this series apart from your typical zombie/undead apocalypse story.

1. The Realism

The creators of this story have started with an impossible, unbelievable premise and yet from there have done their best to make the reader forget that we are dealing with science ficiton. They have imbued the story with a very realistic tone and the actions and inactions of the characters in the story felt authentic.

2. The Story’s Focus/Pacing

While the zombie’s in this story are very important and provide a great “danger” this story really focuses on the lives of the survivors and how the breakdown of society can affect people differently. The character development is excellent and the emotional resonance is stronger than you typically see in this kind of story.

3. The Zombies

One thing that really struck me while I was reading this is that I found myself feeling sorry for the zombies. I think this was something intentional on the part of the creators. For example, there is a scene early on when Rick is leaving the hospital and there is a female zombie that has here lower body crushed and basically can’t move (I haven’t seen the TV show…yet…but I think this is the woman from the show):
Her body is emaciated and yet she can’t die (presumably for quite a long time). She is just lying there moaning and unable to move. She looked...pitiable, at least in the story.Later on Rick sees this same zombie again and she is in the exact same spot and you can tell it makes him sad.

There are similar scenes throughout the book including this…
Here, Rick and a boy are sneaking into town to try and find more guns and they come across this scene…all of the zombies you see are “alive” (i.e. zombie alive) and yet many of them are trapped and can’t really move. I found this aspect to be very compelling and added an additional layer to the dread of becoming one of these creatures. I thought the writers did an excellent job in this respect.

Overall, I was very impressed with this first volume and plan to continue reading the series. Well written, well constructed plot with believable characters and an engaging storyline. As far as I was concerned, the story was only missing two things that would have made it perfect:


But that's just me...and I'm a GUY...and I refer you back to the first picture.
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Comments (showing 1-10 of 10) (10 new)

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Brenda This is a series that I really liked when I started, but as it went on I hated it more and more. That didn't stop me from reading it, though. It was like a train wreck I couldn't look away from.

Stephen Brenda wrote: "This is a series that I really liked when I started, but as it went on I hated it more and more. That didn't stop me from reading it, though. It was like a train wreck I couldn't look away from."

I am just getting started so I may run into the same issue. I really liked the first one.

message 3: by TK421 (new)

TK421 Zombie strippers, huh....I'm gonna have to think about that one.

message 4: by Stephanie (new) - added it

Stephanie You have to watch the tv's really good!

message 5: by Stephan (new)

Stephan van der Linde I got this one too!
Nice review, this one deserves a boost on my never-ending to read list ;)

Kemper Oh, you gotta a lot of depression ahead of you...

message 7: by Lindsey (new)

Lindsey Lang Stephanie wrote: "You have to watch the tv's really good!"

YES! the tv show is my hubby and i's fav new show of last year!!! we absolutely can't wait until season 2..........

Brianna I love walking dead its one of those things u save time for no matter what

message 9: by Jack (new) - added it

Jack Nice man

Stephen Herbas Love the tv show and game:)

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