Published: May 2009
Publisher: Image Comics
GoodReads Blurb (This is the blurb for only the first issue of The Walking Dead, so as to not give any spoilers):
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.
** Be warned that I would recommend this book for only mature YA readers who are not disturbed by graphic violence or sexual content. **
So I have to say that my only interest in reading this was because I love the AMC show. Zombies had never really been a genre that I wanted to read at that time, and comics ranked even lower. However, I wanted to know where the characters were headed as well as seeing what was different.
I'm very glad to say that my love for the TV show did not cause me to dislike anything about the comic. In fact it made me appreciate the interactions between the characters (both in the comic and on the show) even more. I do have to admit that I missed Daryl and T-dog who do not appear in the comics, but the comics have a much quicker revolving door of characters, although the core characters of Rick, Lori, Carl, Carol, Andrea, Dale and Glenn stay consistent.
There were so many differences that to me the comic and the show are separate entities, and I hope that the show doesn't stick too much with the comics. Both are dark and character driven, but the comic is a much more disturbing look at human behavior. The sexual content and truly disturbing violence builds as the issues progress, and although I really enjoyed the beginning issues, the later ones seemed like they were trying too hard to push the boundaries of what people will read.
This compendium ends in a way that I would never have expected. I was shocked and definitely not prepared for some of the deaths that occur. But in order to move the story and characters forward it had to be done. I just wish it hadn't felt like such a massacre. I'm debating now if I want to read more issues and I think I'll probably wait. I enjoy the show more than I liked the comic and show producers have said that eventually the show will follow some of the same story lines. I want to be surprised and at this point my heart is with the show.