Monday, March 12, 2012

Days Gone Bye by Robert Kirkman (TWD)

Title: Days Gone Bye
Author: Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore (illustrator)
Series: The Walking Dead #1
Publisher: Image Comics
Year: 2004
Read in: Danish
Where'd I get this copy: Library
The Walking Dead, Vol. 1: Days Gone Bye on Goodreads.

Teaser (from Goodreads):

An epidemic of apocalyptic proportions has swept the globe, causing the dead to rise and feed on the living. In a matter of months, society has crumbled: There is no government, no grocery stores, no mail delivery, no cable TV. Rick Grimes finds himself one of the few survivors in this terrifying future. A couple months ago he was a small town cop who had never fired a shot and only ever saw one dead body. Separated from his family, he must now sort through all the death and confusion to try and find his wife and son. In a world ruled by the dead, we are forced to finally begin living.


I honestly thought I'd read Days Gone Bye through half closed eyelids ready to throw it against a wall if it became too macabre because, well. I really don't like zombies. They disgust me and I fear them more than anything and just plain yuck. But The Walking Dead did it elegantly enough that I didn't need to have my digestion reversed and enjoy my breakfast once again. So that's definitely a win on their behalf.

I'm sorry, but this is just not okay.

The thing I probably enjoyed the most was Robert Kirkman's way of not just telling a story about zombies, but a dystopic survivalist tale of zombies. Like, he got all the interesting parts involved, the individual man, society, and family, while at the same time avoiding a testosterone-dominated zombie killing spree. Perfect! It's some of the same things I look for in robinsonades, which lets me think it's okay if I classify The Walking Dead (Days Gone Bye at least) as an apocalyptic fantasy robinsonade. You know, the whole "How will this small group of people handle it when they lose everything, there's danger lurking around every corner and there's no help available from the outside world?" That is the foundation of an excellent story according to me.

In general are graphic novels and mangas not my forte. The awkward mix of text and illustration they provide confuse my brain. I feel much more at home with a real book, you know, one whose main ingredient is letters and commas put together in nice sentences with usually no pictures at all. Not because I don't like graphic novels, comics, and so on, but the text to illustration ratio is extremely odd. It makes me uncomfortable. 

But Days Gone Bye did a fantastic job. It didn't live up to my (prejudicial) expectations, quite the reverse: it proved me wrong. So it's a happy 8/10 score I'm awarding it with.

Frederikke, out.

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