Review: The Walking Dead, Volume 1: Days Gone By by Robert Kirkman

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars, Genre: Graphic Novel/ Zombies, Pages: 144, Level: Easy

An epidemic of apocalyptic proportions has swept the globe, causing the dead to rise and feed on the living. In a matter of months, society has crumbled: There is no government, no grocery stores, no mail delivery, no cable TV. Rick Grimes finds himself one of the few survivors in this terrifying future. A couple months ago he was a small town cop who had never fired a shot and only ever saw one dead body. Separated from his family, he must now sort through all the death and confusion to try and find his wife and son. In a world ruled by the dead, we are forced to finally begin living.

Graphic novels are not my thing so giving this five stars is a really big thing. When I first saw the previews of the tv series, I wanted to read the comics first. I was hooked from the beginning.

Since I am accustomed to very long books, The Walking Dead seemed a little choppy at first. In addition, I had some problems following the bubbles and would mix them up, which of course messes up the flow and tempo because I had to go back and re-read. But I quickly got the flow of it and the reading got easier.

I am in the process of reading the series a second time. I am taking it slower and studying the pictures better, which obviously enhances the story- something I am sure any graphic novel/ comic fan would tell you is a must. I am enjoying it even more the second time around. For any first time readers, I would recommend reading slowly. It is tempting to get through it fast just to finish it, but it is much more satisfying to take your time. Also, you’ll remember more and when you watch the tv series, that will help you compare the tv show with the series.

I think Kirkman did a great job developing the characters quickly. Right away I had my favorites. Unfortunately, my least favorite character is Lori. She is a nag, nowhere near self-sufficient and has totally refused to accept that her environment has drastically changed and she will have to change with it if she wants to survive. It’s annoying.

And no one is safe. So while you may not be able to detach yourself from a particular character, don’t be surprised if that character doesn’t make it. Even main characters aren’t safe. That is one of the things I really like about Kirkman. He can make me scream at a book.

If you have already watched the tv series, you will notice a lot of differences from the very beginning. While the tv series stays true to the spirit of the books, the details are much different. Characters are different and they don’t die in the same order or in the same way. I know some people don’t like that, but I think it works in this case. If the tv series was exactly the same, there would be no surprises for me. This way, while I know the general direction of the tv series, I am constantly surprised.

Bottom line, give it a try. This is coming from someone who had never read a graphic novel before this one. Now I follow 4 different series. The Walking Dead may make a convert out of you.

Reviewed by Christina

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