Merry Wanderer of the Night + LIFE

The Walking Dead Volume 1

I went to Daydreams, the comic book store in Iowa City a few weeks ago to ask for some really great comic books. The guy at the counter didn't wait a second to put a copy of The Walking Dead, Vol. 1: Days Gone Bye in my hands. I was intrigued-- I'm not a humongous zombie fan, although lately I've become more interested in how zombies represent humankind. This appears to be of interest to Robert Kirkman as well because in his introduction to the book because he says what he 's going for is not "goofy characters and tongue in cheek antics" but rather to "show us how messed up we are." And he does a great job of doing that.

Rick Grimes, a Kentucky cop, wakes up in the hospital after a gun wound to find that the hospital is completely empty. Or at least that is what it appears until opens the door to the cafeteria and finds the floor covered with zombies. He runs out of the hospital to find there are zombies everywhere, and returns to his house to find it abandoned. He then goes out on a search for his wife and son who could quite possibly be dead. The beginning of this story was gripping and I was turning the pages so fast to find out if he would find his family again, or if he would be taken over by zombies.

The comic book gets a little sour towards the middle though. This comic book doesn't have the most sincere dialogue around the middle parts. There is a lot of shouting and anger, but it all felt very stiff to me which made the whole experience of the comic book a little dull. Towards the end the characters talk about their life before the zombies and how they envision life in this new world, and that is when the book really starts picking up. The dialogue stays at this mature level for the rest of the comic book, and by the end I wanted to jump up from the bench I was sitting on to go get the next book and find out what happens next.

Overall this is interesting idea and I'm interested to see how it plays out. The artwork is fabulous, grayscale, and really detail oriented. I hope the mature dialogue carries through to the next book because there are so many ideas that could be explored if only the writing was a little stronger.

I'm giving Volume 1 a C.

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The Walking Dead Volume 1 + LIFE