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The Walking Dead

The Walking Dead (Image)

(Image, 2003-Present)

™ and ©2003 Robert Kirkman

Trade paperback and hardcover editions of series collect different issues.

One wouldn’t think that a comic book that borrows so heavily—deliberately or otherwise—from a mediocre British pseudo-zombie flick would sound promising. But Robert Kirkman not only makes it work, he makes it downright riveting.

The aforementioned film was the otherwise forgettable 28 Days Later, which opened with the story’s main character awaking from a coma to find that the entire world’s population was either dead or transformed into mindless, zombie-like creatures. Kirkman’s story opens in virtually identical fashion, complete with the usual undead clichés: slow-moving, flesh-eating, vulnerable-to-head-trauma, etc.

But what makes this volume so enticing isn’t scores of undead roaming the streets. Instead, it’s his character-driven story of a rag–tag group’s survival: survival, not just from decaying hordes of former humanity, but also from their own internal conflicts. The undead are not the story’s focal point; they’re a conflict—and only one of the story’s conflicts, at that. So Kirkman, instead, focuses on the story’s main characters and quickly makes it a page–turner. Buy this book and just try not to read it in one sitting.

— Jim Johnson

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