Colin McKay Miller's Reviews > The Walking Dead, Book One

The Walking Dead, Book One by Robert Kirkman
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Sep 05, 2010

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bookshelves: graphic-novels
Read from September 05 to 12, 2010

The Walking Dead: Book One may start off as a paint-by-numbers zombie tale, but it’s an entertaining read nonetheless.

You know the beginning to “28 Days Later,” where the guy wakes up out of coma, stumbles out of hospital only to find a world of zombies? The Walking Dead: Book One rips it right off (except the character is a small-town cop and there’s no visual of Cillian Murphy’s penis). This cop, Rick Grimes, soon meets up with other survivors and together they fend-off the zombies (the slow-moving, unintelligible, chew-you-and-make you-one-of-them-until-they-get-decapitated brand).

See how many staple zombie plot points there are in there? I know the coma storyline is used to drop the reader into a world where things have already progressed too far, but the affect could be attained without using such a bluntly plagiarized device. Additionally, Rick somehow quickly finds the people he’s looking for, thereby neutralizing his initial drive. From this point on, there are too many characters, and the reader doesn’t care who lives or dies because there’ll be more of them anyway (but then again, this is a zombie book—lots of people should be dying). Yet in this mob of characters, Robert Kirkman doesn’t write one woman who fights. They just hang back and let the men bust heads. Seriously? A land of flesh-eating zombies is where maternal instinct should manifest itself as a raging bloodbath. Magically though, the men and women are able to pair off with a success rate that online dating sites would kill for (though a couple of characters mock this notion).

With all the criticism I could lob at The Walking Dead: Book One, most of it is overwhelmed by the fun and entertaining nature of the story. The fact that there are so many zombie clichés to fall into is a testament to the popularity of the concept, and I’m still a sucker for a romp in the land of the slow and groaning. Where The Walking Dead: Book One really starts to shine is when it explores a variety of moral issues—kids having guns, the ethics of killing people you (used to) know—in this zombie-filled land. Additionally, some of the better writing stems from the anticipation of knowing that everything is about to go wrong again, and, even in calm moments, there’s still tension between the living. Finally, I enjoyed the art work from Tony Moore and Charlie Adlard (even if some of those bearded faces do start to look alike), making the complete package of The Walking Dead something I’m likely to return to when I’m in the mood to read something fun again. That’s essentially why I read graphic novels anyway. Three stars.

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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Taylor (new)

Taylor Oh man, I really loved those books, I read until Vol 14. Can't wait to hear what you think.

Colin McKay Miller I enjoyed it, Taylor; will most likely get more from the library.

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