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The Walking Dead, Vol. 2

I’ve always found zombies the most terrifying of monsters; I think because what a zombie represents is a loss of individuality and that’s one of my biggest fears. Then, of course, what a zombie craves is the organ most associated with individuality: Brains!

I read the first volume of The Walking Dead last year but didn’t pursue the second volume because the graphic novel reminded me so much of the zombie film 28 Days Later. I remember looking at the copyright page of that first graphic novel because there were so many similarities between the graphic novel and movie–I wanted to make sure I was getting a fresh zombie story.

Reading the second volume of The Walking Dead, I’m beginning to reevaluate my original take. There is only so much you can do with zombies in a postapocalyptic world and pacing is different in a graphic novel compared to a movie or traditional literature. I’ve noticed that with my favorite graphic novel series, it usually takes until the second volume before I really get hooked because there’s so much setup required in the initial story. I definitely felt that way about Fables.

In the second volume I finally know the characters and the general direction of the story, so as a reader/viewer I am able to notice the details more, the nuances. What’s coming through in the second volume of The Walking Dead is what a pain in the ass a zombie apocalypse would be–how the looting and general lack of food would affect a person only used to a supermarket and the currency of cash to provide the essentials, how people pair up as mates when the population is reduced so drastically, what it’s like to sleep in the same place so much that the structure starts to smell (the last one really got me).

My friend Susan, who lent me the graphic novel, griped because they had changed artists for the second volume. I didn’t really notice since so much time has elapsed between reading the first and second volumes, but I am bothered by how the children are drawn. Their proportions are off, so they look like midgets rather than kids. Sometimes the kids appear scarier than the zombies, and I’m pretty sure the artist didn’t intend this.

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