Friday, June 15, 2012

The Steamworks: The Walking Dead Volume One: Days Gone Bye Review

Hey Gang,

So as I talked about not too long ago, I've been getting into a lot of TV shows, one being The Walking Dead in particular. I love the characters of the show, the plot, and the moral issues that the show puts these unlucky survivors through. Of course, once I saw season one of the show (which I will be reviewing in the near future), I had a natural urge to try to reading the comics. So today I'll be reviewing The Walking Dead Volume One: Days Gone Bye which contains Issues one to six of the comic. For those that don't know, The Walking Dead is a comic about the zombie apocalypse that is issued monthly. Each volume contains roughly six Issues.

Let me start off by saying thank you to Robert Kirkman for thinking of making volumes of the collected Issues. I'm not quite sure which comics have done this in the past or if it is a popular occurrence in comics, but making the material so that it comes in both traditional and graphic novel format makes it so much more accessible for everyone. While some people may love the original format of comics, I'm just not one for the flimsy build. I need something that is more durable and doesn't easily tear, like a novel or a regular chapter book (even paperback books will do). It's nothing personal; I just tend to accidentally beat up my books. I'm also not a big fan of paying a dollar or two for a comic that only has about ten to twenty pages, if that. Again, not that anything is wrong with that, I just don't prefer it. I'd rather just pay $20 every half year and get all of them in one book. They're ALSO now allowing people to buy them on their smart phones via The Walking Dead App, making this series even MORE accessible to people who prefer a digital version. This comic is literally accessible to almost everyone, which gives this comic series a decent amount of points right off the bat.

So let's get down to the quality of the story. The story starts with a police officer named Rick Grimes and his partner, Shane Walsh, attempting to stop a few criminals. The criminals start shooting, and eventually Rick is shot. He's put into a coma, but doesn't wake up until a few weeks after the zombie apocalypse has already started. From there, he sets out to find his wife, Lori Grimes, and his son, Carl Grimes. The zombies in The Walking Dead are your typical Dawn of the Dead zombies; they reanimate anywhere from 3 minutes to a few hours after they die. They can't run or climb walls or really do anything other than walk, scratch, and bite. They also need a blow to the head to be killed, meaning even decapitation wont kill them.

Rick Grimes starts off as one of those classic horror movie idiots that just so happened to survive. When he first wakes up, he seems completely clueless that these zombies can actually kill him. The only thing really keeping him from interacting with them is simply the fact that he's afraid of them. For example, in Issue Two, Rick goes into Atlanta to search for his wife and son; everyone who has half a brain knows not to go into a city during a zombie apocalypse for a multitude of reasons. While this is at first frustrating, his character evolves quickly to realize that he needs to wise up if he's going to survive. He very quickly becomes a likable character that you can relate to.

Now I'm going to start talking about some spoilers only because I plan to review the other volumes as well, and for that I'm going to need to go into story detail. SO, if you're planning on reading this comic, I wouldn't read past this point:

So Rick goes into the city and is almost zombie dinner when a kid need Glenn saves him from the horde. He brings him back to a camp of other survivors, where it just so happens Shane, Lori, and Carl also took refuge. However, an interesting romance aspect comes into play; since Shane and Lori thought Rick was dead, they began to start a romantic relationship. This soon becomes a delima because, now that Rick is back and alive, Lori wants nothing to do with Shane. Shane quickly becomes jealous, and eventually is killed by Carl. Along with all this drama, we're introduced to several other characters including Dale, Andrea, Carol and her daughter Sophia, Allen, his wife Donna, and their twins Billy and Ben. There are others that are also introduced, but I did not include them because they do not continue past Issue 6.

In short, this comic is dynamic, original, and intriguing. It kept me interested in reading more, and ending with cliffhangers were constantly present. It definitely has reconfigured my moral compass and what I view as right and wrong. The art is great, graphic, and extremely detail. Anyone who enjoys zombies will love this comic. Good work Robert Krikman (Author) and  Tony Moore (Illustrator)! Keep pumping them out!


Peter, The Steamworks

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