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The Walking Dead # 1-6 - Robert Kirkman Tony Moore

Written by Arion on Thursday, October 09 2014 and posted in Blog
The Walking Dead # 1-6 - Robert Kirkman Tony Moore
I grew up reading post-apocalyptical stories. I took a special pleasure in reading sci-fi novels or short stories about life after the great disaster, but I was also tremendously captivated by comic books that would explore this fascinating subject. I’m remembering extraordinary classics such as “Hombre” (which was published in the pages of “Cimoc”), written by Antonio Segura and with art by José Ortiz, or “Survival” (published in “Eagle”), written by Barrie Tomlinson and also illustrated by José Ortiz.

So, at least for me, the concept of a great disaster (a virus, a nuclear war, a zombie apocalypse) has always been a part of my usual readings. Let’s add to that the fact that I absolutely love zombie movies and you might probably be wondering why I wasn’t reading The Walking Dead back in 2003. A decade ago I wasn’t too keen on Image titles, so I totally missed out on the debut of Robert Kirkman’s most successful franchise.

As you can imagine, Kirkman is a zombie movies fan too. So much, in fact, that his initial draft for The Walking Dead was pretty much a remake of George A. Romero’s “Night of the Living Dead” (the original 1968 version). I wonder, sometimes, if the idea of having a series in black and white wasn’t also a homage to the master of horror (but then again, we all know that black and white was a much more affordable option than full color). 

Nevertheless, the first chapter of “Days Gone Bye” (published in October 2003) establishes a post-apocalyptical outcome from the very beginning. Instead of relying on the emotion of starting in media res, as most zombie movies do, we get to see the world as it is after the great tragedy has occurred. Rick Grimes, the protagonist, has been in a comma for weeks. When he wakes up, he finds himself in an abandoned hospital (much like Cillian Murphy in Danny Boyle’s outstanding “28 Days Later”). It doesn’t take him long to realize there is something wrong going on.

Since the series had just started and Kirkman had no idea if sales would be good, he knew he had to tell a story as fast as possible. So it isn’t surprising that Rick finds his wife Lori and his son Carl in the second issue. And what took the TV series almost two seasons, id est, the conflict between Rick and his best friend Shane, who had been taking care of Lori in more than one way, is resolved here in the final pages of the sixth issue. In general, these issues have a lot of action and plot development, clearly, there is nothing here that feels slow or decompressed.
The Walking Dead # 1-6 - Robert Kirkman Tony Moore

I’ve been reading The Walking Dead on and off for a few years now, and I think one of Kirkman’s greatest accomplishments is the way he makes his characters evolve. In these first issues, Rick is naïve, slightly clumsy, too sensitive. But as things grow darker, he will change considerably. It’s also interesting to see characters like Dale or Andrea who are first presented merely as part of the secondary cast, long before they acquire protagonic roles.

The first six issues of the series were drawn by Tony Moore, a talented artist that captured flawlessly the horror elements of a world conquered by a zombie plague. There are some brilliant pages, especially those showing large agglomerations of zombies. 

In the introduction of the first volume, Kirkman explains his intentions: “I want to explore how people deal with extreme situations and how these events change them”. Perhaps that, in a nutshell, is the essence of The Walking Dead, not the rotten corpses, not the flesh-eating zombies, not the gore, the blood or the guts, but rather the reaction of normal people in completely abnormal circumstances. Furthermore, like the best zombie movies, The Walking Dead makes us question our society. In that regard, Kirkman is faithful to the legacy of Romero and his saga of the living dead. 
There is, however, one point that I’ve never felt too convinced about, and it is the length of the series. “The Walking Dead will be the zombie movie that never ends”, affirms Kirkman. And today, after 130 issues it has become clear for many fans that the comic book is suffering from a certain fatigue, so much in fact that now the TV series is tremendously more intense and provocative than the original material.
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The Walking Dead # 1-6 - Robert Kirkman Tony Moore

Crecí leyendo historias post-apocalípticas. Para mí era un gran placer leer novelas o cuentos de ciencia ficción sobre la vida después del gran desastre, pero también estaba tremendamente cautivado por los cómics que exploraban este fascinante tema. Recuerdo clásicos extraordinarios como “Hombre” (publicado en las páginas de “Cimoc”), escrito por Antonio Segura y con arte de José Ortiz, o “Survival” ("Superviviente" publicado en “Eagle”), escrita por Barrie Tomlinson y también ilustrada por José Ortiz.

Así que, al menos para mí, el concepto de un gran desastre (un virus, una guerra nuclear, un apocalipsis zombi) siempre ha sido parte de mis lecturas habituales. Añadamos a eso el hecho de que las películas de zombis me encantan y ustedes probablemente se preguntarían por qué no estaba leyendo "The Walking Dead" en el 2003. Hace una década no valoraba mucho los títulos de Image, así que me perdí por completo el debut de la franquicia más exitosa de Robert Kirkman.

Como pueden imaginarse, Kirkman también es fan de las películas de zombis. Tanto, de hecho, que su borrador inicial para “The Walking Dead” era básicamente un remake de “La noche de los muertos vivientes” de George A. Romero (la versión original de 1968). A veces me pregunto si la idea de realizar una serie a blanco y negro no fue también un homenaje al maestro del terror (claro que todos sabemos que el blanco y negro era una opción mucha más económica que el color). 
The Walking Dead # 1-6 - Robert Kirkman Tony Moore

No obstante, el primer capítulo de “Días pasados” (publicado en octubre de 2003) establece un desenlace post-apocalíptico desde el comiendo. En vez de apoyarse en la emoción de comenzar en media res, como sucede con la mayoría de películas de zombis, vemos al mundo tal como es después de que ha ocurrido la gran tragedia. Rick Grimes, el protagonista, ha estado en coma por semanas. Cuando despierta, descubre que está abandonado en un hospital (al igual que Cillian Murphy en la sobresaliente “28 Days Later” de Danny Boyle). No le toma mucho tiempo darse cuenta de que algo malo está sucediendo. 

Como la colección recién empezaba y Kirkman no tenía cómo adivinar si es que las ventas iban a ser buenas, él sabía que tenía que contar la historia lo más rápido posible. Así que no es sorprendente que Rick encuentra a su esposa Lori y a su hijo Carl en el segundo número. Y lo que le tomó a la serie de televisión casi dos temporadas, es decir, el conflicto entre Rick y su mejor amigo Shane, quien se había estado encargando de Lori en más de un sentido, se resuelve aquí en las páginas finales del sexto número. En general, estos números tienen un montón de acción y desarrollo argumental, claramente, no hay nada aquí que se sienta lento o descomprimido.

He estado leyendo "The Walking Dead", con interrupciones, por algunos años, y creo que uno de los grandes logros de Kirkman es la forma en la que hace evolucionar a sus personajes. En estos primeros números, Rick es ingenuo, ligeramente torpe, demasiado sensible. Pero cuando todo se torna más oscuro, él cambiará considerablemente. También es interesante ver a personajes como Dale o Andrea quienes al principio son presentados meramente como parte del elenco secundario, mucho antes de que adquieran roles protagónicos.
The Walking Dead # 1-6 - Robert Kirkman Tony Moore

Los primeros seis números de la colección fueron dibujados por Tony Moore, un talentoso artista que capturó impecablemente los elementos de terror de un mundo conquistado por una plaga zombi. Hay algunas páginas brillantes, especialmente aquellas que muestran grandes aglomeraciones de zombis. 

En la introducción del primer volumen, Kirkman explica sus intenciones: “Quiero explorar cómo la gente lidia con situaciones extremas y cómo estos eventos los cambian”. Tal vez eso, en resumidas cuentas, es la esencia de "The Walking Dead", no los cuerpos podridos, ni los zombis devoradores de carne, ni la violencia, la sangre o las tripas, sino más bien la reacción de la gente normal en circunstancias completamente anormales. Más aún, como las mejores películas de zombis, "The Walking Dead" nos hace cuestionar nuestra sociedad. En ese aspecto, Kirkman es fiel al legado de Romero y su saga de los muertos vivientes.
Hay, sin embargo, un punto que nunca me ha convencido del todo, y es la extensión de la colección. “The Walking Dead será la película de zombis que nunca termina”, afirma Kirkman. Y hoy en día, después de 130 números es evidente para muchos fans que el cómic está sufriendo una cierta fatiga, tanto así que de hecho ahora la serie de televisión es tremendamente más intensa y provocadora que el material original.

Originally Published at http://artbyarion.blogspot.com/2014/10/the-walking-dead-1-6-robert-kirkman.html

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About the Author - Arion


Arion, who is either from Chile or New York (it’s not really clear) writes a blog that the Outhouse steals on a regular basis.  Arion is by far the nicest of all the staff writers and the most well behaved only having been banned from one country.  One thing we really appreciate about Aroin is that he writes his reviews in English and Spanish and we hope someday he’ll translate this blurb for us.  We’re not so good at languages, just look at how well we write in English if you need proof.  You should bookmark Arion’s blog -  http://artbyarion.blogspot.com – and actually look at it.  There will be a quiz at the end of every month.

 


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