Title: The Walking Dead, Volume 1: Days Gone Bye
Writer: Robert Kirkman
Artist: Tony Moore
So, you know when you buy a book based on strong critical reviews but actually expect you won't like it yourself? Such was the case for me with The Walking Dead. Zombie stories are everywhere these days and I generally don't care for them. I'm not a big fan of blood and zombie narratives are soaked in the stuff. The tales also tend to be predictable:
What are those things?
Woah, they're trying to eat us!
When they get you, you become one of them!
How can we possibly win?
And so on...
Of course, the driver behind the current zombie fad is this very comic book series, a commercial and critical sensation which has spawned an equally acclaimed TV show (nope, haven't watched it yet). Now, having read Volume 1 (comprising the first six comic issues), I understand why. This story is really good!
Don't get me wrong. There's loads of blood and the zombies are just plain grody. But once you get past the usual horror show trappings, our band of survivors is a compelling bunch. Led by Rick Grimes (what a perfect name for such a tale!), his wife Lori and son Carl, the troop must contend not only with the obvious challenges of their desperate circumstances but also the interpersonal tensions which arise among a small group of people in a stressful situation. Everyone's place on the moral spectrum is fluid. It didn't take me long to become invested in the characters' survival.
I'm definitely up for more.