Book Review: The Walking Dead: Days Gone Bye by Robert Kirkman

Wednesday 13 November 2013

A Dreadful Murder: The Mysterious Death of Caroline LuardThe Walking Dead: Days Gone Bye
Robert Kirkman
Genre(s): graphic novel, horror, post-apocalyptic
Published: September 26th 2006
Pages: 144
Rating: 4 stars

The world we knew is gone. The world of commerce and frivolous necessity has been replaced by a world of survival and responsibility. 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: no government, no grocery stores, no mail delivery, no cable TV. In a world ruled by the dead, the survivors are forced to finally start living.

I've been wanting to read a graphic novel for quite some time, and seeing as I've recently become more than a little involved in The Walking Dead TV series, I figured that this would be the best place to start.

Overall, I did really enjoy this first volume and will definitely be continuing with the series and reading graphic novels in general. It took me a few pages to get the balance between reading and looking at the pictures right, but once I'd got that sorted out I flew through this (seriously, I read it in an hour or two). I also feel that I'm going to be able to enjoy the graphic novels and the TV series as two separate entities. I was aware of the changes made before picking this up, but not to the extents by which they were made. The ending of this volume certainly took me by surprise!

The story telling throughout was very cleverly done as well, although I do feel in places it was a bit out of place. A few times, I found myself flipping back a page to make sure I hadn't missed a page or panel because the next bit of dialogue was jarring in how disconnected it was. (See: Rick talking to the horse he rescues)

That being said, I thought it was a very clever way to introduce character development and back stories without being glaringly obvious. 

My only other complaint is that I felt things happened very quickly. Maybe that's because, unlike a book, you don't have to read a full page of text and the text you do have to read is nearly always dialogue. I just felt that one thing after another after another was happening, and that the pacing was a bit off. However, I felt in some series of the TV show things moved too slowly, so perhaps I'll find a happy medium regarding pacing by combining the two. 

In short: I'll definitely be getting my hands on the next volume as this was an incredibly quick, fun read. The illustrations were done in a really nice style; they weren't too cartoonish but they always weren't overloaded with detail (them being in greyscale was a nice touch too, I found). I'm very excited to see how things play out and how I'll next be surprised. 

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