Just like the old saying goes, "Better late than never!" Nothing could be further than the truth when it comes to The Walking Dead. So I missed the boat on the original publication...by seven years! But still, it is a testament to how strong this story is, that it still maintains all of its relevance today.
Santa was kind to me this year, bringing me the first 5 volumes of The Walking Dead TPB's. Unable to wait for the 25'th, I decided to read volume one a little early.
Everything Robert Kirkman is going for in this book can be captured in one simple quote I've taken from the back cover, "In a world ruled by the dead, we are forced to finally start living." Kirkman's first instalment of this acclaimed series examines the finer intricacies of the human spirit when placed under extreme duress. And what could cause more duress than the end of the human race at the hands of cannibalistic zombies?
Everything from survival, to loneliness are explored by Kirkman in a way that makes the roaming zombies secondary. Like Gord Downey of the Tragically Hip so eloquently sang, "Everything has it's breaking point...", for officer Rick and his friends it's the collapse of the American infrastructure, government and all.
Kirkman helps us understand just how vulnerable we are. Our dependence on technology, institutions, commerce, even each other, is so deeply ingrained, that most of us would be absolutely screwed without it! It is this vulnerability that allows this story to hit so close to home. The fact that a zombie story can even come close to touching "home" is testament to this stories greatness.
I look forward to seeing how the survivor's group continues to interact, especially as their secrets unfold. With Rick finally in charge of the group, they will probably move camp, opting to stay away from the major cities as much as possible.
I was originally scared away by the black and white art. It didn't take long though to see past the lack of colour and deeper into the story. In fact, I think the black and white panels are what will give this story some of its staying power.
Regardless of your opinion for things zombie, or even horror, you owe it to yourself to check this book out.