Sunday, December 22, 2013

Book Review: The Walking Dead Volume 1: Days Gone Bye by Richard Kirkman

The Walking Dead, Vol. 1: Days Gone ByeThe Walking Dead, Vol. 1: Days Gone Bye by Robert Kirkman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I became fascinated by The Walking Dead television series in its first season.  The acting, effects, writing and direction felt as good as any horror/thriller film I'd seen in a long time.  The action was character-driven, and the premise -- that in a post-epidemic world where "the dead have risen and feed upon the living" one might have to be more cautious with the living than the dead -- has kept me looking forward to each upcoming episode for a few years now.

I didn't know about the graphic novels on which the series was based until halfway into season one, and was always curious about them.  Upon finishing the first volume, it's clear that the series and its producers have taken some liberties, embellishing or de-emphasizing as they see fit in order to serve the medium and the emerging story.  All the subtleties of the characters are a bit more "black and white" (pun intended) in the comic -- mostly, I think, because an actor of the calibre of Andrew Lincoln or Scott Wilson can say in a look or a gesture what a drawn character needs to say in a paragraph-length bubble of monologue.

I've just ordered volume two, probably because the show is in the midst of a midseason hiatus till February, and I'm missing the characters and their stories.  It's a little odd, though; the sensation is a bit like watching shadows of the people I've come to know.  Ironically, the actors have, in my mind, become the actual characters, and these well-drawn but two-dimensional drawings of them feel a bit like impostors somehow.

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