The Walking Dead

I like comic books.

I am not exactly a massive comic book reader - in fact, my list of comic books that I read is quite short and not at all expert in any way, but I enjoy the comics I do read. My favourite of all time, Watchmen, is a very clever book and works as a perfect deconstruction of the genre. Since then, I've ambled into various other series by the way of recommendations, movies, and blind thumbing of comic book shelves. My recent love is that of the Zombie Apocalypse series, The Walking Dead.

The series follows, in a nutshell, a group of survivors of the end of the world. That's it. Movies in the genre normally end with a conclusion of sorts - death, rescue or a cure, but in the world of the Walking Dead that's not the point. In the treatment, the series plays with the idea that the greatest threat to the survivors is not the 'walkers' that aimlessly walk around the world, but the conflicts that must be resolved and tasked when you are to surive in a new way of life.

The story follows Rick Grimes, initally, a cop who missed the apocalypse due to being in a coma. He sets out to find his family who he is convinced is still alive. I will not spoil it any further than to say that they are still alive. Anyway, the series is fantastic and expansive, and now on it's 80th issue.

The reason I bring it up now is that the TV series based on the books has just finished in the US (and will air in the UK on Friday on FX if my sources are correct). The series takes the storyline and translates it directly to the TV screen. This has turned out to be very good, ensnaring my girlfriend even when she doesn't like scary things. Neither do I. BUt the horror that the series creates is not in the presence of the zombies and nor in a cheap thrills sense, but a real scary sense of humans struggling to survive themselves. As all great dramas should be about.

I have started rereading a comic book series that shares similarities to The Walking Dead, but I will save that series for another post.