05 April 2013

Review: The Walking Dead: Compendium One

Comic trade paperback, n.pag.
Published 2010 (contents: 2003-08)
Acquired January 2012
Read March 2013
The Walking Dead: Compendium One

Creator, Writer, Letterer: Robert Kirkman
Penciler, Inker, Gray Tones: Tony Moore
Penciler, Inker: Charlie Adlard
Gray Tones: Cliff Rathburn
Letterer: Rus Wooton

What I really want is for The Walking Dead to come to an end, but that's the one thing I can never do. The forty-eighth issues collected here are relentless, sometimes in a good way, sometimes in a bad way. Characters are killed off, maimed, tortured, &c. in a way that's rare in serial fiction-- but you soon learn not to get to close to any of the characters as a result. (Except for poor, perpetually subjugated and neglected Carol. She was my favorite.) Luckily(?), there's an eternal flood of new characters to come in as old ones depart, so that there's always someone that Rick Grimes can feel bad about when they're killed.

But this means it will all never end. What I want is for the characters to successfully build a new civilization and fly off into the sunset, utopia in their wake. But The Walking Dead is very specifically design to stop that from happening: it's about the impossibility of human kindness in these circumstances. Or perhaps, all circumstances. No matter what you do, someone else will come along and screw it up. For the series to end, positively or negatively, would be dishonest, so it must continue to lurch forward from contrived plot to contrived plot, aimless like the zombies that litter its pages. And like the main characters often do, I feel like I should end it all because nothing worthwhile is ever going to happen... yet I'll continue to slog through until the bitter end, because knowing is better than not knowing, even when there's nothing good to know.

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