Through no actual planning, issue 6 is the last issue of The Walking Dead volume 1. This will be the last issue I read for awhile because the TV series comes back tonight and I don’t feel like keeping track of the two storylines at the same time. The Graphic Novel Novice series will still be around, though. I won’t cover another comic issue-by-issue again but I will try out some other series.
A few weeks have passed and many members of the group have been taking target practice with cans a ways away from the camp, with Andrea showing particular proficiency. Rick has decided that Carl is going to learn how to shoot even though Lori is less than thrilled with the idea of her seven year-old child carrying a gun. Carl appears to be a decent shop and Rick enlists the help of everyone else in the group to let him know if they ever see Carl treat the gun like a toy or go to take it out of his holster in a non-emergency situation.
In this issue, we get the first disagreement between Rick and Shane, Rick and Glenn almost outsmarted the walkers while going further into Atlanta than usual to gather guns and ammunition, and Lori and Shane got up to a little something while they thought that Rick was dead.
Rick approaches Shane while he’s on watch and tells him that the group should move further away from the city. Shane disagrees, saying that if the government begins to recover that they’re going to save the cities first. Rick acquiesces but wants to train everyone in firearm use and arm them in the case of further walker attacks.
The third issue of The Walking Dead starts to highlight the differences between the comic and the TV series. We meet all of the members of the camp and there are a few different faces when compared to the show.
Instead of Daryl and Merle Dixon, we get Allen, Donna, and their twin sons Ben and Billy. There was a Donna with a husband named Allen and a son named Ben that were introduced as a part of Tyreese’s group on the show but the names were really the only thing that they had in common with the comic book characters. The names were probably used as a shot out to the fans of both the books and the show.
This issue started out a little slow for me. Once again, there were many frames of Rick moving through the world without much text. He runs out of gas and can’t manage to get more but fortunately, he finds a horse. The horse provides the exciting chance for exposition, where Rick tells the story of the day that his son is born. We learn that his wife is named Lori and that his son is named Carl (finally).
I often think that I should be a person who is into comics and graphic novels. I’m a self-proclaimed nerd. I like movies based on comic book characters, especially the more recent Marvel movies. I’m a voracious consumer of pop culture in general. Still, there always seems to be some kind of barrier keeping me away. Part of it is that the worlds that I’m most familiar with are DC and Marvel and they both seem impenetrable. There’s so much history and the completionist in me can’t stand to start from somewhere other than the beginning. Another problem is that on the few occasions where I’ve tried to read comic books or graphic novels in the past, I find that my eye wanders around the page. I’m unable to take in the story through both the text and the art.
I am determined to fix this hole in my pop culture diet. I’m starting with The Walking Dead because it’s independent from a larger universe and because I’ve always wanted to read it in order to compare it with the AMC series. Each week, I will read one issue of The Walking Dead and comment on it as a new comic book reader here. We’re only going to run this series while the TV show isn’t running so this series will disappear for awhile starting the week of February 9. That way, even if I want to compare the TV show to the book, you will never have to worry about being spoiled unless you aren’t caught up with the most recent episodes aired on AMC.