I began watching The Walking Dead on AMC during its premiere season, when it was still good and made sense – sorry, not sorry. Anyhow, I gave up on the show during the Terminus season; it just grew to be incredibly silly and tough to follow.
However; although I quit the show, I am loving the graphic novels on which the TV show is based. Here is, of course, my first installment of Walking Dead series reviews. I must say with surety, the books top the show BIG TIME.
What I Expected
- Basically a word-by-word recap of a slice of the first season of The Walking Dead TV series
- Zombie cheese
- Amazing artwork
What I Got
- A tale drastically different from the show’s story – in other words, a tale on which the show is merely based
- Sort of silly illustrations, which fit the story nonetheless
- A new favorite series to read and a newfound love for graphic novels
What I Thought
The Walking Dead, Vol. 1: Days Gone Bye opens with Sheriff Rick Grimes waking up in a hospital after being in a coma for a month, only to discover that the world has changed forever – dramatically.
Shortly after awakening, Rick runs into exactly what has caused the virtual end of the world – an infestation of zombies of unknown origin. Rick slowly makes his way home, only to find that his neighborhood – and his hometown – have been abandoned.
Rick meets a pair of strangers, a father and son, who ultimately opt to stay behind as Rick heads off for Atlanta in search of his wife and son. After a long journey, involving both a car ride and hitching a horse, Rick finally runs into Glenn in the heart of Atlanta. Glenn shows Rick the ropes, including the importance of restraining from using gunfire when hordes of zombies are lurking.
Glenn leads Rick to his family – his wife Lori and son Carl – who are shocked to see him alive, living in a camp with other apocalypse survivors – Allen, Jim, Dale, Carol, Andrea, Sophia, Amy, Donna, Billy, and Ben. Rick meets and greets the additional survivors and slowly begins to trust them – they are one.
While Rick and the others attempt to block out memories of the past, Rick becomes suspicious of his old friend and partner, Shane, who seems unusually close with and protective of Lori.
Soon after Rick’s arrival, the group debates leaving the camp; however, Shane vehemently stands against doing so. Meanwhile, Rick teaches Carl to shoot, much to Lori’s dismay. Ultimately, Carl’s newly developed gun skills pay off, as he saves Rick’s life in an unlikely way.
The thing I enjoyed most about this first volume is the fact that it is similar to, yet vastly different from, the synonymous TV series. For instance, Daryl is not introduced in this installment and the whole scene which involves Daryl being handcuffed to a pipe and then chops off his own hand to free himself never occurs.
I was grateful to discover that the show does not follow the graphic novels exactly. Volume one is a great introduction to the plight of the survivors of the zombie outbreak.
Like most of the graphic novels I’ve read, Days Gone Bye is fast-paced and features amazing illustrations. With 28 total volumes to date, I look forward to following the adventures – and misadventures – of Rick and company.