Genre: Graphic Novel/Horror
Suggested age: 16+
Author, creator, letterer: Robert Kirkman
Artist: Tony Moore
Publisher: Jim Valentino
A small town cop, Rick Grimes, led a normal life with his wife and child, that is, until he gets shot and hospitalized. In and out of consciousness for a few weeks, he wakes to find himself weak and completely alone in the hospital. Stumbling through the hospital and looking for anyone, Rick finds himself face to face with the walking dead. Somehow he garners the strength to find his way home which he finds deserted. His wife and son are nowhere to be found. After a disorienting and painful encounter with a shovel, Rick meets his new neighbors, Duane and Morgan Jones and learns little about what has happened the past few weeks; however, Rick learns enough to assume that his wife and boy have left their town to travel to Atlanta. Gearing up at his old detachment, Rick bids farewell to the Jones’ after equipping them with a reliable vehicle and ammunition and begins his journey to find his family.
Kirkman’s dialogue is intense and to the point while Moore’s illustrations lead the reader to learn that Grimes, although weakened in body and spirit, still has the stomach, the bravery and the ambition to survive. It’s evident that Grimes, although a proud member of the force, is able to adapt his thinking to the rules of the new world and what people must do to survive. Grimes even tells Jones, “I can’t think of a better way to ‘Protect and Serve” under the circumstances” when he gives him a police cruiser, guns, and ammunition from the police station. The final scene of this issue reminds the reader of Grimes’ depth of character when he performs a final act of mercy on a zombie he had encountered earlier. Moore’s black and white illustrations are graphic and detailed down to the flies wings that hover over the torn rotting flesh of the zombies in the hospital (ew!) and I feel that the choice to go with grayscale images allows Moore to go into depth with details without becoming unflatteringly grotesque.
Apart from my brief infatuation with Archie comics in my tweens, I have had very little experience with comic books, let alone novels; however, after a mild addiction to the American Movie Channel’s The Walking Dead series, I knew that I needed to explore the genre that sparked this insurgence of zombie-obsessed friends on my Facebook newsfeed!
Now finding myself ensconced in a rural town in Northern BC, I do not have a glut of bookstores at my disposal so I find myself searching for easily accessible formats that do not require me to drive two hours to buy or pick up a book. Although my current favourites are my local library, and the BC public library Overdrive eBook system, I was excited to find The Walking Dead featured in the App store as well as a free copy of the first issue of this zombie apocalypse graphic novel series. However, as a regular library junkie, I have to gasp at the $1.99 price tag per issue that took me 10 minutes to read, especially since there are over 100 issues and this is a very addictive series! For those fans who are "dying" for more, above and beyond the AMC series and the comics, try out the AMC Walking Dead Webisodes! That's where I am headed next ; )