Post by nerdbastards contributor and Zombie purist Drew Bergmark- Twitter @ViggoTheCarp
With Halloween just days way everyone is chomping at the bit for “The Walking Dead” on AMC. As you know the Frank Darabont produced and directed pilot is based on the highly acclaimed Image Comics series by creator Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore and Charlie Adlard. A zombie apocalypse story that’s not about Zombies popping out of no where to give us a good scare or an excuse to exercise cliched Zombie killers. No, it’s a rich, smart, character driven story about what happens when a group of people are forced to survive in a world ruled by the dead. While, we are all excited about the show lets take a moment to reflect on the highly acclaimed comic series itself. For those that have read the series this is just another excuse to get you amped for the show. For the folks that are new to the series you need to pick it up now, or at least read the first few issues in prep for the premier (First Ep. follows first 12 pages of issue one). Let this introspective be your guide.
Through dark nights and unsure days, any survivor of the zombie apocalypse fears their next step could be their last. In the southeast region of America, survivors band together to live for another day in Image Comics popular series The Walking Dead. It seems like the only two things holding them together is the bond of humanity and their will to live another day. Robert Kirkman wrote the story while Tony Moore has predominantly done the art for the series (from issues #7 to #24, Charlie Adlard worked on the art). The comic book series has yet to hit 100 issues but has already been green-lite for a new AMC TV series. What did these executives over at AMC see in the title that made it worth bringing to the small screen?
In every story, there is some kind of dramatic action like murder or adultery. In the Walking Dead, you follow the story of Rick Grimes a cop who after being shot has to go through the realization that he has awoken from a month long come in order to defend himself through the zombie apocalypse. In a small town, Rick gathers his things to go find his wife and son in Atlanta. Rick finds his family outside the city in a small pack of survivors where they begin their story of survival against the zombies. The Walking Dead captures the heart of the readers through its characters and what may happen to these characters. This is where the comic truly shines brightest with the interactions between each character, from heart break to the mending of those whose hearts were broken. The story that is told through the panels and cover art seems to go deeper than what pages can hold. Things go unsaid that in many other comics would be said obviously ruining a bit of surprise or curiosity for the reader. While this story doesn’t need to be in the hands of kids, older audiences will enjoy the story for its humor, sense of adventure and constant risk that the characters endure.
Though many comic book readers would question the reasoning for leaving the panels black and white, I don’t question the artist’s choice to do so. Leaving color from the panels gave the impression that the character’s world is much darker than the real world and with this painful situation, the characters no longer see these unimportant parts of the world causing the black and white to symbolize their own visual filters. The art, though black and white, still gives readers the storytelling that an instant comic classic would deserve, but the cover art conserves color to appeal new readers to pick up the comic.
Again I ask: what did the executives over at AMC see in the series that made it worth bringing to the small screen? The story of struggle between life and death, between the zombies and survivors creates a tension that is rarely seen in such an artistic storytelling. The art that seems to go deeper than what the panels could hold making the world more believable than just a story in a comic book. That is what the executive producers saw and why you should start reading the series as soon as possible. Be sure to also check out the series premiere on AMC Halloween night!