Pulp #616

Pulp #616

What up, Pulp peeps?! This week I’m coming to you from good ol’ Radelaide – that’s right, not even a trip interstate can keep me from rambling about all things comic-y. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to make it to Oz Comic-con due to exams and whatnot (mostly I forgot it was on) but hopefully I can make it to the next convention that graces Melbourne with its presence. Anyway, enough waffle – it’s time to talk about this week’s comic!
I decided to risk alienating some of you this week – I finally got around to reading Days Gone Bye, volume 1 of Robert Kirkman’s (Invincible, Marvel Zombies) powerhouse series The Walking Dead. I know plenty of people that are huge fans of the TV show, and while I’m not aware of as many fans of the comic, I’d heard positive things. Now, I’m not the biggest fan of the zombie apocalypse genre. I’ve only ever really enjoyed two zombie movies: the excellent Shaun of the Dead and the gloriously pulpy Dead and Breakfast, neither of which are ‘serious’ zombie flicks, so you could say that I’m not really the target audience. That being said, I couldn’t help but be rather underwhelmed – given the vastly positive feedback I’d heard about the TV show in particular, I expected rather more than what I read.
Don’t get me wrong – it’s certainly not bad, by any means – but I don’t think The Walking Dead really lived up to the hype. It’s possible that I’m merely confusing show hype for comic hype – or the TV adaptation could just be really, really good – but I wasn’t particularly engaged by the first volume.
If, like me, you’ve missed the pop culture powerhouse that is The Walking Dead, here’s the low down. Out on patrol with his partner Shane, Deputy Rick Grimes is seriously wounded after a confrontation with an armed suspect. When he wakes up in hospital some time later, however, the world is a very different place. A zombie apocalypse is in full swing – the dead are everywhere, his town is all but deserted and Rick has absolutely no idea where his family are. After gathering supplies – and getting hit on the head by a shovel wielded by a concerned survivor – Rick sets out to find his family, struggling to stay ahead of the ever-advancing tide of the undead.
With an opening sequence not unlike the “rage zombie”-lovin’ 28 Days Later and an overall tone about as bleak as George Orwell’s dystopic 1984, it’s pretty clear that The Walking Dead is not a happy book. Between the zombies, the fight for survival and conflict between the survivors themselves, there’s a lot going on, and very little of it is good. Kirkman does an excellent job of portraying Rick’s desperation and the physical and emotional fatigue of the survivors in general. This is helped considerably by Tony Moore’s (Fear Agent, The Exterminators) artwork – who knew that greyscale artwork could show gore so damn well! While volume 1 left a bit to be desired, I get the feeling that this is the kind of series that you need to stick with for the long haul – at last count, there are 24 volumes! Don’t take my word for it; get out there, pick up a copy and check it out for yourself.
Written by Alastair McGibbon