Now, this video has been sitting on my to-do list for some time. We haven’t talked much about the Walking Dead here on Comic Island until now, but I’m glad I’ve finally gotten around to it. This series is going to go down in history as a major game changer for the comics industry. These comics have been run for years with astounding success. This is an independent comic but regularly and effortlessly competes with Marvel and DC’s flagship title, and it totally deserves this.
See, the Walking Dead is not just a solid and fun romp with zombies, it’s a robust character piece that is well written and drawn with extreme competence. I like how just like the show, the artist Charlie Adlard does a great job at showing the slow decay of the zombies over time. This sort of detail-oriented work is a nice touch and adds a lot to the story even if the effect is not terribly obvious.
So the Walking Dead series as the whole comes highly recommended. If you are a fan of these comics but have lost interest over time, this series might be worth another look. Robert Kirkman does a great job at keeping the story feeling fresh and always pushing it in a new direction. On that merit, it does a lot better and keeping the comics feeling stale, unlike the TV show which tends to have moments of lag and bursts of slow, boring episodes. But I don’t hate the TV show, even now, after all these years. If anything, it’s an interesting experience to see what works better in the show versus the comics and vice versa.
For example, I actually think the show did a better job with Shane. In the comics, Shane is introduced as Rick’s friend, but when we see him after the fall, he almost immediately chafes at Rick’s appearance and very quickly tries to kill his one time friend. For those new to the series, it’s a shocking moment that signals to the reader that this is a new world. A dangerous world that changes people, and all to often, makes them dangerous and untrustworthy. That’s good and all, but I think the show did a better job at using Shane as a character. In the show, we see the man decline into corruption and madness. He gradually goes from a caretaker of the group to an unhinged, dangerous liability. It was tragic and I think on the whole, the show did a better job at pushing the story forward because of it. They did a better job at using Shane to convey information about the world we live in, and also understand where he is coming from, even as a sort of antagonist in the story. It’s well done and my favorite part of the first couple of seasons in the show.
But that’s not to say that the show does everything better. You might be surprised to have seen how little time the comic spends outside of Atlanta and at the farm compared to the show that spent two full seasons on these locations. The show did explore these locations a little bit better, but at the cost of making the second season feel much more boring compared to the same content in the comics. The comics also handled the conflict surrounding Herschel and the barn much better than the show. You get a better sense of what Herschel is doing and why. And then there’s the character of Andrea. Suffice to say the comics did a much better job at making Andrea much more useful and likable as a person. That definitely applies to Lori too. In the show, Lori was always a bit of a problem. She did a lot of crazy and reckless things, and though we are shown why she does it, I find it hard to relate to her decision making compared to the comics. In the comics, Lori is still a bit of a nag when it comes to how she deals with Rick, but we get a good sense of why. For one thing, she’s pregnant and not totally thinking everything she says through, but also she’s in a lot of emotional pain and you get the sense she is struggling to deal with everything that has happened to her.
So this comic comes highly recommended if you are a fan of the show, too. Events are different enough between the two media that both have merit on their own. The Walking Dead is a great way to get into comics, too. If you know somebody who likes the show or just the idea of zombies, but doesn’t read comics, the first graphic novel makes for a great gift and is super easy to get a hold of. I’ve done this before, and the person I gave it to really appreciated it.
Anyhow, we only covered the first 18 issues here, so it’s really just the tip of the iceberg in this video. The comics have been going on far too long to cover all of them in any depth in a single video, so we’re going to have to break these into parts. It will be easier for me to produce and lets me test the waters in terms of views. I’m not sure how much attention this video will get, but I expect people are going to be pretty excited about this one. We’ll see. If they are, if there’s a big push here for more, then I’ll happily keep going through the comics over time.