Y’all know by now I’m obsessed with all things Walking Dead. I started reading the comic almost two years ago, but never got around to finishing the first compendium because I didn’t want to jump ahead of the television series. I had watched seasons one and two which ended just before the prison arc. Now that I’m midway through season four, I finally felt ready to finish the huge tome that had been sitting at my bedside collecting dust for far too long.
The Walking Dead follows Rick Grimes. He’s a small town Southern sheriff who is shot in the line of duty just before the zombie apocalypse begins. When he awakens from a coma a few weeks later, he’s alone in a hospital in a world overrun with the undead. His mission becomes finding his wife and son and staying alive.
It’s a simple premise, but the social commentary is anything but. The many, many characters are so well done and so compelling that I’m shocked every time I think of how many words there aren’t in this graphic novel. The walking dead actually refers more to the humans still living because humanity feels almost like a thing of the past in this new, brutal world. Many people have become monsters. Others are struggling daily to avoid just that. No one is left the way they began.
And people die. Hell, almost everyone dies.
What I love most about the reading/watching experience is how well both mediums compliment each other. The show brings to life the essence of the comic perfectly – and I don’t often say that. The series fills out the holes, the details, the development of the comic. But they aren’t the same beast. Each tells stories in different ways. You might get from the same point A to the same point Z, but B-Y will be entirely unique which never leaves the audience bored. I’ll even go ahead and admit that the television show might actually be better than the source material. Robert Kirkman even agrees with that observation to a certain extent.
I can’t wait to get my hands on the second compendium. I’m no longer afraid to read ahead for spoilers. And you shouldn’t be either! Even if you only pick only one medium – the written or the visual – you just can’t go wrong with The Walking Dead.