Friday, October 9, 2015

Days Gone Bye by Robert Kirkman

 Cover image for The walking dead

Reviewed by Ambrea

When small-town sheriff Rick Grimes is caught in the cross fire of a shootout, he doesn’t expect to survive let alone wake up in a coma weeks later—and he certainly doesn’t expect to find zombies outside his hospital room door.  But his grave situation doesn’t deter him from finding what’s most important to him:  his wife and son.  Now, bound for Atlanta in the hopes of finding his family and friends, Rick must learn how to survive in a world that seems determined to kill him.

Packed with stimulating art and gripping stories of survival in a post-apocalyptic world, Days Gone Bye (which is the first compiled volume in the Walking Dead graphic novels series) is an incredible piece of work.    Not only does the artist Tony Moore perfectly render the story, Robert Kirkman weaves an incredibly intricate story of survival, loss, life and death that’s both compelling and tragic.  Kirkman’s skill as a storyteller is truly incredible, creating characters that are believable and stories that are interesting, even with zombies thrown into the mix.

Days Gone Bye is a fascinating graphic novel.   As the precursor to the television series, The Walking Dead gives readers—and fans of the TV show—the opportunity to really dive into the crazy, tragic world that Kirkman and Moore created.  I really had the opportunity to get to know the characters:  what they felt, what they thought, how desperate they were to survive, what they had to endure to reach their current destination.  And I had an opportunity to become attached to each and every person, to like them or appreciate them (which is a big mistake.  It’s best not to get too attached, believe me.).

I admit that I was initially hesitant to begin Days Gone Bye, since it did fall into the realm of “zombie literature,” but I enjoyed Kirkman’s graphic novel.  It’s suspenseful, even if other parts are pretty horrible, and it kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time.  It’s the first volume in the series, and I think that Kirkman and Moore are off to a pretty great start.

However, I definitely wouldn’t recommend The Walking Dead for a younger audience.  Filled with strong language, gore, frightening images, and a fair dose of horror that’s sure to make a reader’s stomach turn, Days Gone Bye is probably a little graphic for some readers.  Honestly, I don’t think I read a single issue in which multiple people didn’t die.  As I quickly learned, it’s not just the zombies to watch out for—it’s the survivors.

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