Review: The Walking Dead, Vol. 1: Days Gone Bye (#1-6) – Robert Kirkman.

twd1Being only familiar with the first season of the Walking Dead (something I intend to fix at some point), I thought it was about time to read the comic books. It helps that I have the entire published collection sitting in my living room. So, here goes.

I like black and white comics. There’s something about them, especially when dealing with something like zombies. You expect blood and gore, and conveying everything without the use of red is the challenge, and for succeeding I can’t help but admire Moore’s work.

Rick is shot while on the job and falls into a coma, waking up in a deserted hospital. He soon clocks something isn’t right – maybe it’s the fact that no one appears to be in any homes, or maybe it’s because the undead are roaming the streets. Take your pick.

Searching for his wife and child, he heads for Atlanta, where he believes they would have escaped to. He lands himself in an even deeper midst of monsters, but is found by Glenn – a lone survivor on the streets – and is taken to a camp outside the city, relieved to find his family there.

Without continuing into the finer plot details – although anyone reading this likely already knows from the television series – there is a mix of characters, and this initial compendium is the chance to present them before they (I expect) get picked off one by one.
There’s a neat variety for an initial group without ticking the boxes of diversity for the sake of it. You’ve got the manly cops, the playful kids, the older generations, the enthusiastic people, the skeptical and ungrateful and Lori, who is equally detestable off-screen. The point is to view change (see – I read opening paragraphs by authors!) and the first installment is definitely enough to get me interested in where they go.

Enjoyable and well executed. Pages aren’t used to ram plot into every space, but create different ideas and feelings. The two that stand out are one page dedicated to silent consolation and the one where Shane snaps and it gives a number of characters a reaction space. Far from page fillers, and it brings a little something different. So again, kudos to Moore.

Late to the party, yes. But the lure of a Kindle when travelling has impeded time for comic books. That was until now. Four for laying the groundwork, but I imagine it won’t take long to be bringing in five in future installments.


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