Like many readers, I've been an on again/off again comicbook fan for many years... In the last couple of years (since the year 2000) I've returned to the fold, this time taking advantage of the many top-quality graphic novels out there, and Robert Kirkman's "Walking Dead" was one of the titles most frequently recommended to me since I started this reading spree. It lives up to the hype.
I just finished reading books 1-4, which collect the first twenty-four issues of the comic, and man, I can't wait for book #5 to come out. The series tells the story of a guy named Rick, a small-town cop and self-described Barney Fife who wakes up from a hospital stay to find the world changed around him -- it's zombie time, but zombie time with twist. The twist is that, unlike all the movies and TV shows we've all seen, "The Walking Dead" has a much longer, open-ended story arc -- Kirkman and co. don't have to wrap things up in a tidy, two-hour package, so there is space for the story to unfold at its own pace, with character development that's more prolonged and in-depth than the usual zombie flick allows. By the end of Book 4, the crisis has lasted about a year and Rick and his band of survivors are about twelve strong, having lost about an equal number of family and friends over the course of the story. It's a taut, grim, reflective plot line that keeps your interest and compels you to read. I, for one, hope this isn't just another one of those neat B&W comix that kind of fizzle out, but rather that Kirkman really gets the chance to do what he says he wants to do, and follow Rick's saga as far as he can. Anyway, I'm hooked. As long as he keeps writing this series, I'll be first in line to buy it. [copyright joesixpack @ slipcue.com ]