Title: The Walking Dead: Compendium 1
Author: Robert Kirkman
Year Published: 2009
Synopsis: In a world ruled by the dead, we are finally forced to finally start living. With The Walking Dead #1-48, this compendium features more than one thousand pages chronicling the start of Robert Kirkman's Eisner Award-winning story of zombie horror, from Rick Grimes waking up alone in a hospital, his band of survivors seeking refuge on an isolated farm and the controversial introduction of Woodbury despot, The Governor.
Review: I really wish I had read these before starting to watch the television show, but I am so glad that the series became popular because of the show. I love the show, and I think I loved the comics even more.
The comics are darker, grittier, and gorier than I was expecting. I mean, I knew it was going to be all of those things, but somehow a black and white comic portrays more gore than most things in color. And I really loved how everything is black and white - I really think it adds so much to the story. The artwork is fantastic, and I hardly even noticed when the illustrator changes near the beginning (I only know because I read somewhere that it happened).
I like so many more of the characters so much better in the comics than in the show. Andrea is one of my favorites - she's strong, skilled, unafraid, and willing to do quite a bit to protect Dale, the twins, and her friends. It's like she's a completely different person. A much more likable person. Rich is also less annoying in the comics. He's a better leader, and he understands his limitations much more. And he doesn't take crap from anyone. Carl is more child-like, and doesn't try to shoulder so much responsibility. He also actually listens (for the most part) and doesn't leave the house when someone tells him to get in the house.
And then there's the Governor. He's much crazier and scarier than anything that would have been able to be shown on television. And most people know he's crazy, they just don't want to get on his bad side. He's a perfect villain, and even though we don't know too much about his background we gt enough of a glimpse to see what fuels him. Most of the scenes with him were incredibly shocking, and not at all what I expected. Compared to the comic book version, the television Governor is tame.
The story is excellent, and the world building is pretty great too. It's amazing how much of this world we can learn about just through dialogue. I think that's part of the reason I love comic books/graphic novels, and why this one is so good. I would definitely recommend this series to anyone who watches the TV show but hasn't read the comics yet. Or to anyone who wants a fantastic zombie story. Or to anyone who enjoys comics/graphic novels. I wouldn't recommend it to a younger audience (I'd probably say it's at least PG-13). I loved this collection, and I can't wait to start the second compendium to find out what's next for everyone! 5/5.