Wednesday, January 14, 2009

When Words Collide: Zombie Landscaping

Did Robert Kirkman leave Marvel and craft a hastily-produced manifesto because he couldn't tell a multi-year serialized story in which Mary Jane learned to use a katana to defend NYC from an attacking zombie horde?

Probably not.

But he's pretty damn good at long-form serialized storytelling, and after spending the last couple of weeks devouring the nine collected volumes of "The Walking Dead," I realize how completely idiotic I've been for ignoring this series for all of these years.

It's really good.

So join me in this week's "When Words Collide" column as I explore the subtle nuances of "Zombie Landscaping."


Malpractice said...

First off let me say I enjoy Robert Kirkman's work. I love Invincible, Irredemable Ant-Man, and Astounding Wolf-Man, and I was a faithful reader of Walking Dead for many years but as of last year that ended.

When I first picked the book up i found it to be a compelling look at the human condition through the lens of a zombie movie that never ends, and was continually amazed at how Kirkman kept the pace going without missing a beat, and found new and inventive to keep these characters moving from place to place without ever being able to get comfortable anywhere. The irony of the title also made the hope that the characters felt of actually returning to a regular life all the more heartbreaking.

That was until i got to issue #24 which was around the time Rick announced that "WE ARE THE WALKING DEAD, PEOPLE!!!!" that the book started to lose me. Then that stupid crap with that Govengor character started and the book just continued on a downward spiral for me. I also found the writing just didn't have that spark that it use to, and Kirkman started relying more and more on shock value to move the book along. I just became more and more bored with the book, and was just buying it out of habit at that point. I think it was around that "Made To Suffer" arc that i just dropped the thing.

I have heard that some intresting stuff has happened since i stopped reading that has really given the book life again but i really don't have any desire to read it anymore. Not to mention most of the discussion of the book just amounts to "HOLY SHIT, I can't believe they KILLED THAT GUY!!!!", "THAT WAS FUCKED UP!!", "That's some sick shit", etc. I am glad you read it and enjoyed it though, and that the book still sells really well (anytime a creator-owned indie book is giving the big 2 some competetion is a great thing), and regardless of what i think of the book now, the first 4 trades worth of the series is some of the best comics of this decade easily.

Malpractice said...

Also, if you dig Walking Dead i suggest giving Antony Johnston's Wasteland a try. It's another take on the post-apocalyptic survivor tale that takes place a hundred years after something called The Big Wet which destroyed modern society as we know it, and we follow the group's journey to the find the fabled land of A-Ree-Yass-I. That might sound stupid but trust me it's a really engaging read.

James said...

"Rick announced that "WE ARE THE WALKING DEAD, PEOPLE!!!!""

Hahahaha that's still funny.

Kyle said...

You know you're reading a good zombie comic when half the cast dies (though only if it was good to that point, death alone does not a good story make).