Friday, 26 July 2013

Days Gone Bye

Title: Days Gone Bye
Series: The Walking Dead #1
Authors: Robert Kirkman
Illustrator: Toby Moore
Pages: 144 (paperback)
Published: September 26th 2006
Published by: Image Comics

An epidemic of apocalyptic proportions has swept the globe, causing the dead to rise and feed on the living. In a matter of months, society has crumbled: There is no government, no grocery stores, no mail delivery, no cable TV. Rick Grimes finds himself one of the few survivors in this terrifying future. A couple months ago he was a small town cop who had never fired a shot and only ever saw one dead body. Separated from his family, he must now sort through all the death and confusion to try and find his wife and son. In a world ruled by the dead, we are forced to finally begin living.

Rick Grimes is a good-guy police officer with a wife and son. It's just an ordinary day for him. Until he gets shot. Then wakes up an indeterminate amount of time later alone in an empty hospital. Then finds out that he's living right in the middle of the zombie apocalypse. So, you know, not a great few days. He sets off to try and find out what happened to his wife, Lori, and son, Carl, but soon finds himself in a whole mess of trouble.

I really enjoy the TV adaptation, so I figured I'd venture into the heretofore unexplored genre of comic books graphic novels to see how it all started. One thing I was not expecting was how short it was; it took me less than an hour to read the whole thing, which I suppose shouldn't have been as surprising as it was. While there are some extended conversations, most of the action and story is visual.

And I did enjoy it. It was a little confusing to see how much had changed when they were making the show, but I could also see all the similarities and even picked up on a couple of shots which must have been taken straight from the illustrations.

The story was good; there was always something going on, whether it be personal conflicts or zombie attacks. Really the story is more about the former than the later, and the zombie-apocalypse is just the backdrop for all the drama! There were even a couple of funny moments, for me, often due to the "uhh"s and "gak"s of the zombies. And the ending definitely came as a surprise. I mean, I knew (well, guessed) it would happen eventually, but wasn't expecting it this soon!

I'll probably carry on with the series at some point, because I want to see the story develop in its original form and I've heard (and seen thus far) that a lot has been changed. Plus one of my favourite characters from the show, Daryl, hasn't appeared yet. Apparently one of my favourite characters is an invention of the television series, so I'm not intrigued to see who else they've invented, or left out. More changes than I'd expected going on here.

So I'm semi-converted to graphic novels...I'm not hooked, but I think this was a good introduction. And I'll definitely be open to others written by authors of books I've enjoyed - I know both Neil Gaiman and Joe Hill have their own series out there.

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