You are Officer Rick Grimes of the Cynthiana Police Department in Cynthiana, Kentucky. You are in the middle of a hostage situation when, BLAM! Blood is everywhere and it’s yours. the hostile has shot you and you start to black out. You wake up in a hospital but find it completely deserted, what do you do? Where do you go? This is, “A continuing story of survival horror”. This is the graphic novel, The Walking Dead.
In the after word of the first bound volume of The Walking Dead, creator and writer Robert Kirkman says, “I wanted a zombie movie that never ends. I wanted a zombie movie that allowed us to watch the characters grow and change over time. One that allowed us to follow the end of the world to its natural conclusion.”
According to an interview conducted by IGN, when Kirkman first pitched the idea at Image Comics, the publishers basically said something to the effect of, “It’s not interesting enough, and it won’t fly as a straight zombie book.” Kirkman replied, “Well look, this is how it’s going to be: The whole book is going to be as I pitched it, but as the issues progress, eventually I’m going to reveal that it was actually aliens who caused the zombie uprising. And it’s going to be leading to this big battle between the humans and the aliens, and the aliens did this to kind of weaken the humans’ military forces, and eventually it’s going to be this big alien invasion.”
With that, they green lighted it. Luckily at that time the horror industry was booming with zombie ideas. By the time the first book came out it had picked up a lot of readers and fan interest. So, although he never intended to add aliens to the story, and only said it so Image would produce it, the publishers also saw no reason for him to do so.
While I hold Professional hatchet Degrees (PhDs) in zombie history and zombie survival, I must admit that this graphic novel blew me away. It’s got all the elements of a classic Romero film with all of the character development. The ultimate success of any zombie anything is the way in which characters grow and develop. Sure, the backdrop and initial conflict are the living dead, but it’s even more interesting to look at how people react to each other and the sacrifices some make in order to live in this new world order. I don’t want to give any spoilers away, but this series has more twists and turns than Lost and 24 combined. People have internal conflict and struggle, that’s life. What Robert Kirkman has done is taken that and added hordes of the undead.
I don’t want to say anything too in detail about the graphic novels so as not to spoil it for those unfamiliar with it or the show, but would also like to remind people this is completely different from the show in almost every way imaginable. So if you’re a fan of the show some sequences starring your favorite characters may be completely omitted or produced with different characters.