Harold's Reviews > The Walking Dead, Compendium 1

The Walking Dead, Compendium 1 by Robert Kirkman
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's review
May 12, 12

Read in May, 2012

Oh. My. God.

I'm still on my zombie kick. It is amazing how far the whole zombie genre has come since George A. Romano's Night of the Living Dead. Or really since its inception with White Zombie. Yes, I'm comparing apples and oranges here between graphic novels and movies, however, the graphic novels seem to take their concepts from Romano's movies.

One of the ways that it is has evolved is the survivalist story, which is what The Walking Dead really covers. I know that this isn't much of an evolution but it seems to be taking more of a main role. Like a lot of the movies and zombie stories these days, the zombies seem to be more background noise to the survivalist story. Much like what would happen if someone had to survive in a wilderness type environment with man-hunting animals. Yes zombies in these sets of stories are dangerous but they can still be beat and defended against.

Another way that the zombie story has evolved is through the cause. At one point hell was too full, another it radio activity, and even before then, I think it was some chemical. Now we have a viruses typically. Although I'm not far enough into The Walking Dead series yet to know exactly what the cause is.

The type of zombie seems to have had many changes also. Some are fast, others are just slow and determined. Some, in the movies and possibly some books, can communicate. Some can even be Nazis. I'm glad that this book did not do anything like that. It just kept to a basic slow zombie. They have broken them down to a kind of active and passive zombie toward the end but none of them are as fast as they were in 28 Days Later or <28 Weeks Later.

The biggest reason for my kick on these zombies has to be for the first change. It is the survivalist story. I think that man vs the environment contrasts what it means to be human and how we can master our surroundings. Books like One Second After by William R. Forstchen, The Road by Cormac McCarthy, Lord of the Flies by William Golding, or even Jack London's Call of the Wild and White Fang are all good secondary books, not about zombies but more about the survivalist. What happens when we no longer have a social construct.

I cannot wait until this fall when the second Compendium comes out. Until then, none spoil anything in books 9 - 16!

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