Tuesday, June 19, 2007

More reviews -- The Walking Dead (keeping spoilers to a minimum)

The 5th and 6th volumes of the Walking Dead came in the mail yesterday and I polished them off last night despite also playing 2 hours of badminton. I just couldn't put them down. :) And to clarify, I had read "Books" 1 and 2 which are hardcover collections that contain 2 volumes (a total of 12 monthly issues) so that's why the number might seem a bit off. Volumes 1 and 2 were in book 1. Volumes 3 and 4 were in book 2. And since book 3 is a little ways off I picked up the Trade Paperbacks this time. Now on to the review (one review for both books)...

The Walking Dead volumes 5 and 6 -- Volume 5 picks up with the small group of survivors (what's left of them) exactly where volume 4 left them but it's not long before their lives take yet another twist (as if being surrounded by zombies wasn't enough). And in this case, it's witnessing a helicopter crash but their search for survivors lead to a whole new can of worms, the "Governor" and his group of survivors. Without giving too much away, let's just say the Governor has taken a different approach to survival than Rick and the gang and it doesn't take long for their approaches to clash. And that's what volume 6 is all about, the beginning of that clash. These two volumes are actually quite chilling despite the focus being somewhat off the zombies. It's the actions of the survivors this time around. And for those who think that maybe Rick has gone too far in his actions, in the Governor you have someone a teensy bit further (the "teensy bit" there is somewhat sarcastic). And maybe it's that human versus human element that makes the violence here a little more grotesque but it can't take all the credit, these two volumes definitely up it a notch or two. And it's not just a shot or two, they make sure to spread it out so the reader can really get a sense of what's happening. In some ways it kinda reminded me of how Alan Moore stretched out Jack the Ripper's final killing in From Hell. It's not just one shot or a scream, it's page after page. Except in this case, nobody is dead yet. So yeah, it's definitely a mature readers book and not one for the squeamish. Having said all that, the story continues to be excellent though somewhat slow paced here do to the focus on certain events. And the art continues to catch the carnage and emotion well. I can't wait to see what happens next. The Walking Dead makes my recommended reading list. The only question that remains for me is to pick up the individual issues (now that I'm pretty much caught up) or go with the trade paperbacks still (which I'm considering due to the book's apparent irregular shipping schedule). The monthly thing might be nice but it's also nice to get a full 6 issues to read at a time. I know with volume 6 I'd kinda be disappointed when an issue or two focussed on that one horrific event only where as with the volumes, it's just part of the bigger story. So yeah, I might stick with the TPBs for now.

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