Book Review: The Walking Dead, Book 1 by Robert Kirkman (Series, #1) (Graphic Novel)
When cop Rick wakes up from a coma brought on by a gun shot wound, he discovers a post-apocalyptic mess and zombies everywhere. He sets off for Atlanta in search of his wife, Lori, and son, Carl, and soon teams up with a rag-tag group of survivors camped just outside of Atlanta.
I just want to point out that this review is purely focused on the graphic novel, not the tv series. I haven’t even seen more than 10 minutes of the tv show, so remember this is about the books not the show. Thanks! Moving along….
I almost gave up on this within the first few pages, because COME ON. Can we PLEASE get over the whole oh I had a coma and then woke up to a zombie apocalypse trope, please? First, it is so highly statistically unlikely that it was laughable the first few times it was used in my beloved dystopian novels, but at this point it just looks lazy. Come up with some other way to start the apocalypse, ok? I don’t care if your main character is out of touch with reality for a few days because he’s on a drug-fueled sex streak. At least it would be different! Also, a cop, really? You want me to root for a cop? And everyone trusts him because he’s a cop? A cop is the last person I would put in charge if I was a member of a rag-tag bunch of survivors; I’m just saying.
Once we move on beyond the initial set-up though to the group of survivors caravaning their way across America, the story vastly improves. The people are real. They’re scared. They’re angry. The snap easily. They hook up with whoever is convenient (and not necessarily young and hot). They teach the kids to use guns. It’s everything we know and love about post-apocalypse stories.
The artwork is good. Scenes are easy to interpret; characters are easy to tell apart. The zombies are deliciously grotesque, although I did find myself giggling at them saying “guk.” Guk? Really? Ok….
The best part, though, is the people that in your everyday life you are just like, come on, god, bolt of lighting, right here? They’re the ones who get eaten by zombies! It is excellent. So that really annoying chick in camp? Totally gets her head bit by a zombie. It’s cathartic and awesome.
The cast is diverse, and no, the black guy is not the first to be eaten (or the red shirt guy for that matter). It wouldn’t kill Kirkman to be a little less heteronormative, but he’s still got time and more survivors to add.
Overall, this is a good first entry in a zombie apocalypse series. Kirkman needs to be more careful to stay away from expected tropes in the genre and bring more of the creativity it is apparent he is capable of. I recommend it to fans of zombies, obviously.
4 out of 5 stars
Source: Public Library