Sunday, October 16, 2011
WALKING with the DEAD on AMC - COUNTDOWN TO HALLOWEEN (Day 16)
I like a good horror story. I like a good zombie story. Stress the word ‘good’. These days zombies have saturated and oversaturated pop culture. We’re practically up to our armpits in ‘em. As a ‘genre’ zombies are like any fare, if they’re popular they will be done to death. Pun intended.
It’s not like zombies were as common as clay back when the first issue of THE WALKING DEAD came out. Sure, there was a popular film called 28 DAYS LATER, a popular novel by Brian Keene called THE RISING and a few other things digging up from the ground like a corpse reanimated. But it was nothing like it is now… zombies had yet to form into mobs. You would see one occasionally and evaluate it on it’s own qualities. Now there are so many you can’t throw a detatched limb without hitting a few.
I was one of the few thousand or so folks who was there from the very beginning with THE WALKING DEAD, the Robert Kirkman comic book published through Image. It was initially the very compelling art by Tony Moore that inspired me to pick it up off the shelf (and order it more heavily for the comic shop I work at than the usual Image first issue). I didn’t know Kirkman’s writing from Adam.
The art was strong and stark and let the story flow like an open vein. But what made me stick around is that by the time that first story arc ended, I had grown to love the characters and how they, in vein, tried to find a way to live in that nightmare world. Many refer to it as ‘Survival Horror’ rather than ‘zombie plague’ and I kind of agree.
Like it’s comic book counterpart, the television series looked compellingly drawn. Same strong characters, vivid visuals and horrific situation. I nearly expected a replay of the comics on video. Only, there were some differences. Enough so, that by the end of the first season, I had as little knowledge as to what would happen as the preverbial newcomer. And that was fine with me as that meant a freshness that would be lacking for me otherwise.
And, it seems, like the comic, which grew and grew it’s audience with each issue (It don’t happen like that, folks, sales are supposed to drop as time goes on.); the tv series is growing it’s audience. Makes one wonder what would’ve happened had AMC had faith enough in the series to keep it going for twelve episodes in it’s first season instead of the anemic six we were allowed.
We may soon find out how far this zombie plague will go, in fact it begins again tonight… so quiet people. Hold your breath… it may be your last on this Earth.