Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The Walking Dead, Volume 1: Days Gone Bye

Chances are you have at least heard of the hit show adaptation of this series on AMC. It originally started as a comic book in October, 2003 and has been coming out regularly since. Currently the series is up to 109 issues, and this trade paperback collects the first six issues.

The story here is about Rick Grimes, a policeman who wakes up after being in a coma to find that the world has been overtaken by zombies. After he gets his bearings, he goes home to find the place abandoned. Fearing the worst for his wife and son, he fights back fear and despair to travel to Atlanta, the nearest big city where they may have gone to get help. When he gets there, he meets a number of human survivors, some of whom he knows. I don't want to spoil much, but Rick learns that maybe he has as much to fear about people's intentions as he does from the mindless bloodlust of the dead folk.

This series was written by Robert Kirkman, one of the partners in Image Comics. He has written a number of series, from the irreverent and blasphemous Battle Pope to the teenage superhero yarn Invincible to the silly and gory Marvel Zombies to the entertainingly crazy Super-Dinosaur. It was drawn by Tony Moore, an artist known for his work on horror series like The Exterminators and Fear Agent. Both creators have been nominated for Eisner Awards, and their creation The Walking Dead won the 2010 Best Series Eisner. Additionally, these two creators had a spat over the rights from this zombie series but apparently have settled their differences.

As might be expected from all its fame and popularity, this volume has received many positive (if spoiler-filled) reviews. Alex Giles recommends it for a variety of readers, stating, "Even if you are not a comic book fan and have never read one before I would still say pick this up and give it a read as I could see a lot of non comic book fans loving this too." Dean Stell called it "A very strong first volume.  Read it and you’ll be hooked." There is also an interesting discussion of the comic books contained in this volume from The Onion A.V. Club. I think this series is addictive and compelling, with lots of drama, intrigue, and horror done masterfully.

This book was published by Image Comics. A preview is available at

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