Ten Essential October Comics: ‘The Walking Dead’

We’re just going to plain ignore the fact that “Ten Essential October Comics” has drifted into November. That’s right, move along, nothing to see here.

Oh, wait! There is something to see here…an Essential October Comic that has staggered off the page and into its own hit television series.

3. The Walking Dead by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore and Charlie Adlard

Despite the title, it’s important to remember that The Walking Dead is NOT about zombies. If it were, it’s doubtful that it would be approaching 100 issues and nine years of publication. Robert Kirkman’s series has always been about the human element of the zombie apocalypse, about the struggles of the survivors to make sense in a world which reason and logic seem to have abandoned. Kirkman has used the zombie platform to tell a thrilling adventure story about a group of people doing all they can – good and bad – to stay alive, and it’s because of the characters he’s created that the book remains as compelling today as it was when the first issue hit the stands.

No plot summary is necessary, because if you don’t know about The Walking Dead by now you probably ended up here by accident. If that’s the case and it sounds intriguing, then by all means go and pick up the paperback or hardcover collections. What you’ll find is a book full of excitement, fleeting hope, sometimes staggering gore, a pervasive feeling of dread, and, often, outright horror. It’s a testament to the work of Kirkman and his artistic collaborators Tony Moore (through issue #6) and Charlie Adlard (still going strong since #7) that they are able to invoke more emotion in the static, black-and-white pages of a comic book than many filmmakers can muster with the added advantages of sound and motion.

The television series is very good, staying faithful to the essence of the series while clearly striking its own path. But if you want the full, unfettered effect of Kirkman’s creation, buy the books. October, November…it doesn’t matter. This is classic stuff, unfolding right in front of our eyes.

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