Mikhaela's Reviews > The Walking Dead, Book One

The Walking Dead, Book One by Robert Kirkman
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Jun 03, 09

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bookshelves: graphic-novels-and-comics
Read in May, 2009

Wonderful artwork and good writing (I read this in French translation while in Paris, but I assume it was just as well done in the original). BUT! It doesn't really add anything original to the whole zombie thing, and starts the same way as 28 Days Later. Not to mention that all the ass-kicking and fighting is done by men, men, men--the women wash the laundry and scream and run from zombies and drop their guns and are fought over by men. And the only woman in the book who complains about this is portrayed unsympathetically. If the later issues aren't any better on this front, I'll have to stop reading.
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message 1: by Max (new)

Max Misch You're a typical feminist. Kirkman portrayed the comic accurately. Most women would panic during a crisis. Men would keep the women safe and secure.

message 2: by Stacey Marie (last edited Apr 16, 2012 10:31PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Stacey Marie Mikhaela - If you actually read the whole thing so far there are a LOT of really strong women. Near the end of book 2 (I think) we're introduced to one who is probably one of my favorite characters (Michonne) -- who is not only female but also black. Andrea is also pretty strong-willed and tough for a young girl, if you read more than just the first few issues you would know this. Also, this aside, during a time of crisis like this where society has broken down, it would be likely that women, especially those who have had 3 kids and were chubby housewives before the apocalypse broke out, would take care of domestic chores as the men do the hunting and other more dangerous tasks. In the reality show "The Colony" the women just naturally take care of these responsibilities. The men are overwhelmingly grateful and do not take it for granted -- it's extremely necessary. It's a partnership. If you look down upon domestic chores like cooking and doing laundry then the problem lies with your thinking.

Early on most of the female characters have children and need to stay alive to protect them. If you had children would you willingly volunteer to go on a zombie hunt when there are men willing to do it?

I also don't think most of us realize how dangerous it is to be a woman in a place with no police or other authority. In third world countries women are kidnapped and sold as brides thousands of miles away where they are slaves. The same thing would happen in this situation: women would become a commodity and they would be especially targeted.

I agree with Max that Kirkman portrayed the world of the undead rather accurately. .. Keep reading if you want to see some tough broads.

Here's a picture of Michonne btw, it's the cover art for her appearance issue:

=)Sorry for the wall of text! But I really love this comic series. Michonne will appear in season 3 of the TV show as well.

Kirsten I think it's a valid criticism, and I think dismissing it as "typical feminism" is, well, dismissive. If I hadn't been told that it got a lot better in this regard, I'd have been kind of annoyed, too. Mikhaela, did you ever get around to reading the other books? What did you think?

Joanna I agree with you totally. So weird to see people talk about women (generally, I admit) and dismiss my concern about women not acting in the comic as I want to act or would act myself. Last I checked I was a woman... But hey I heard it got better!

Stacey Marie Can you guys like not see my post orrr..?

Kirsten So I've now read all seven volumes that have been published thus far. Overall, my impression is that while Kirkman occasionally portrays misogyny, I don't know that he himself is a misogynist, if that makes any kind of sense. As the series progresses, you see some people -- men and women both -- fall apart completely. They sometimes fall apart along gender lines (see: Shane's breakdown and the way it's acted out vs. Carol's), but since those gender lines exist in real life, it's hard to fault Kirkman for it. He seems to be trying to portray, as realistically as possible, the psychological aftermath of a disaster like this on a fairly diverse group of people. So you see people act in ways that are both admirable and unconscionably stupid. I also think that Kirkman became more aware, as the series progressed, of how he was portraying women, and made an effort to keep things more well-rounded.

That said, I still think it's a mistake to be dismissive when a woman reads something that's supposedly realistic and raises her eyebrows about the behavior of female characters. If a male reader read the first volume of a critically acclaimed comic series and remarked out loud that all the male characters seemed to be bumbling "Mr. Mom"-type sitcom dads, I'd hope that people wouldn't just shake their heads and say, "Typical male reaction..."

Jess Definitely keep reading! It gets better.

Chris Kelly Actually, the beginning of this story, like the beginning of 28 Days Later is a ripoff of Day of the Triffids, John Wyndham's awesome post-apocalyptic novel about killer plants from outer space.

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