Graphic Novel: The Walking Dead; Volume 1: Days Gone Bye by Robert Kirkman and Tony Moore
Summary: Rick wakes up from a coma to discover the world has been overtaken by zombies. He sets off for Atlanta where he hopes to find his wife and son so that they are together when the army fixes things. He does find his wife and son, but he also finds a desolate world of survival that may be impossible to fix.
Characters: I sometimes have a hard time connecting with characters in graphic novels. I read a lot of first person narratives and I like being in characters heads. Graphic novels always feel like I’m getting a glimpse of a character more than actually getting to know them. That said, I liked most of the characters in Days Gone Bye. Rick was easy to root for–a cop who only wants to find his wife and kid. Even though we don’t get to know the inner workings of his head, his motivations were always clear.
All of the other characters had their own stories and personalities and I enjoyed watching them try to survive together even though they were all so different.
Plot/Pacing/Structure: It was kind of slice of life… watching Rick as he tried to figure out the world after zombies took over. But I was interested. I read it in one sitting (it was short, but still). It was more about the character relationships than fighting zombies and when the big zombie attack came, I was so engrossed in the interpersonal drama that I was completely taken by surprise. Yes, I was surprised by zombies attacking in a zombie book.
Moments I Loved: Like I said, I was surprised by the big zombie attack and because it was unexpected, I really enjoyed it.
WTF Moments: When we find out that Rick’s best friend is in love with Rick’s wife… oh man! I was surprised. That is the kind of drama I like. Then, when we found out that they got it on when they thought Rick wouldn’t return! I like drama!
SPOILER ALERT At the end, Rick’s son (7 or 8 years old) SHOOTS AND KILLS a non-zombie. This man was about to kill Rick, but STILL. It was a horrifying moment, as it was supposed to be.
Artwork: I really liked the artwork. It was easy to follow and the lettering was easy to read. I’m still pretty new to reading graphic novels and I sometimes get lost in the layout, so easy to follow is really important to me. I was able to concentrate on the story instead of trying to figure out in what order to read the speech bubbles. The black and white suited the story well. Color would be a little too gross to depict decaying flesh and the sketching just enhanced the gritty feel of the story.
Overall: I really enjoyed it, because it was very character based. It was a harsh world and there was violence involving children, but enjoyable. I’ve already checked Volumes two and three out of the library.