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CR3 #42: The Walking Dead 1 - 11 by Robert Kirkman

I've been trying to figure out if these are worthy of being part of the Cannonball Read, and have finally decided that putting them all together as one entry is probably okay. And if it's not okay, who exactly is going to stop me?

So I'd heard of The Walking Dead graphic novels before the show debuted on AMC. One of The Boyfriend's co-workers happens to be an avid comic fan, and one evening when we were all out, I asked if it might be possible to borrow the books from him. The next day, issues 1 - 4 arrived.

The beginning of this reminds me very much of the beginning of the movie 28 Days Later, in that it is one man (in this case, police officer Rick Grimes) waking up in a deserted hospital and staggering outside to discover that the entire world has fallen apart while he's been unconscious. He's not sure where his wife and young son have gone, and also...it turns out that the dead have risen to walk the earth.

The books follow Rick and his journey, first to find his wife and son and then--as he collects a small band of survivors--to look for a safe place to settle down. The first several books are pretty good, though there are a lot of characters, and at times it can be a little confusing. Also, Rick's wife is a gigantic whining pain in the ass. The drawings are really very cinematic, which definitely adds to the tone of the whole set. However, as things go along, the plot becomes very melodramatic...most of which doesn't even have to do with the zombies. By book 9 I was turning every other page and muttering "Really? REALLY? So that's where we're going with this?" I think that while one one hand it was great to have this epic and continuing story unfolding, on the other hand it takes a lot to fill 11 books, and toward end it was getting ridiculous.

On the whole, I'd recommend this to fans of zombie lit or graphic novels, since it is extremely well-drawn, and does have some great moments. Unfortunately, I don't think it would be very good for an introduction to either genre.

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