Comic Book Review: The Walking Dead, #1-6 (Days Gone Bye)

"The Walking Dead is an American monthly black and white comic published by Image Comics beginning in 2003. The comic was created by writer Robert Kirkman and artist Tony Moore (replaced by Charlie Adlard from issue #7 onward) and chronicles the travels of a group of people trying to survive in a world stricken by a zombie apocalypse.

"The Walking Dead is centered around Rick, a small-town police officer from Cynthiana, Kentucky, his family, and a number of other survivors who have banded together in order to survive after the world is overrun with zombies. As the series progresses, the characters become more developed, and their personalities shift under the stress of a zombie apocalypse. Fighting growing despair — and sometimes each other — the group searches for a secure location which they can finally call home."

Robert Kirkman's The Walking Dead is a planned epic, in true masterpiece fashion. According to Kirkman, "It's the zombie movie that never ends." To be honest, some of the fans are right. It does start out a bit like 28 Days Later, with the main character, Rick, waking up in an empty hospital in the middle of a zombie apocalypse. Wounded in a gun fight and left in a coma, he wakes to find his home town completely abandoned and his wife and son nowhere to be found. So he raids his police station for guns, ammo, and a police cruiser, and sets off for Atlanta, hoping to find them at his in-laws'.

Kirkman says, "George A. Romero's movies are the zombie bible," and it shows in his work. They are slow-moving zombies, in which the cause of the dead coming back to life hasn't been revealed yet, and the whole comic is in black and white (other than the covers). But instead of a straight horror comic, Kirkman has written what he considers a drama unfolding during a zombie invasion. His story lies in character development rather than shocks and scares. So far, I've found myself quite pleased with his work, and this first story arc only serves as a basis for what is sure to be a very long, engaging story. Kirkman also says that if he had it his way, he'd continue The Walking Dead until he dies. While that's very unlikely, one assurance to his fans is that he doesn't plan on turning over the writing to anyone else, which is usually where comic books go awry.

Best quote: "This? This's a scratch. Just a scratch..."

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