The Walking Dead: Why you should read it.
by: David Pinckney
Robert Kirkman has written arguably the most popular zombie survival comic on the market. That said, we all know that zombies aren't exactly unpopular. With Marvel Zombies, 28 Days Later , and other zombie comics, what makes The Walking Dead stand out? What elements of Kirkman's zombie epic really shine?
one, the over all feel of The Walking Dead is set perfectly. Kirkman went with
using a solely black and white comic to set the mood of the comic. It gives
it a very “old horror movie” feel that is very familiar to most. Personally,
I feel that if there were color it would distract the reader. Too much emphasis
on color could shift the comic from erie to grotesque which would the feel more
like “old campy horror movie”. Now
obviously there is more then just the color choice that sets the mood of the
comic, we also have the sense of enclosure. From the start, we get the feeling
of hopelessness. Kirkman shows the reader that the whole world has essentially
come to an end and there isn't anything anyone can do about it. The characters
are all trapped in a world that none of them can do anything about, all they
can do is try to survive. How the characters react with their surrounding environment
and with other people makes you empathize with them which in turn causes the
reader to feel trapped.
The characters in the story, as mentioned above, are easy to empathize with, which is probably the most important factor in the entire comic. All the characters serve some important baring on the story one way or another. Overall though, the characters are there for drama. Seeing that it's a survival comic we need something to progress the story during the times they aren't being attacked by zombies and the perfect way to fill this time is with lots, and lots, of drama. Some people aren't a big fan of the drama genre, and neither am I, but we learn so much about the characters and get attached to so many of them through their drama filled dialog, that we can't help put like it. Sometimes the drama is so “out of left field” that it makes the reader want to keep reading about the problem at hand rather then watch them survive a zombie raid.
Amongst all of this drama there is some action and lots of events that are completely unpredictable. It seems that things in the comic happen suddenly which makes the comic a bit more scary. In the midst of a conversation between to people a zombie may on the next page jump out and bite one of the characters, to which we find that that zombie isn't the only one but a whole hoard of them has swarmed the camp the characters are living at. So much of the comic comes out of nowhere, not haphazardly, but in a way the keeps you turning the pages. There is rarely a moment that the reader feels that their isn't enough happening. Something is always happening making the read very intense.
Finally, the next important part of the comic, the zombies. There are seemingly millions of them and they aren't the typical zombies hell-bent on eating brains. These zombies just truly want to eat anyone living in anyway they can. In the comic the zombies don't talk, they aren't using limited speech to try an scare people as seen in many other zombie comics/movies. They are silent, occasionally making grunts and moans which makes them seem that much less human. The more inhuman the zombies are the more frighting they can be and these zombies are very far from being human. They are truly mindless beings with only one purpose, to consume the living.
In short, Robert Kirkman has created a great series that has propelled the zombie survival genre. If you haven't read it yet, I would highly recommend picking up the this comic. Even if you don't like zombies and drama this comic is still enjoyable, it's a comic for anyone who likes comics in the slightest.
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Published on: 2010-02-27 (2070 reads)[ Go Back ]