So what did you think of Episode 1?  I liked just about everything about it.  The casting and the production both captured the tone of the comic.  A few observations:

  • I like the creator credits: "Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore, & Charlie Adlard"  Both artists had a lot to do with the look of the comic and the TV adaptation, even if they aren't credited with co-ownership in the comic.
  • The conversation between Shane & Rick in the police car before the shootout was not in the comic, but it establishes their relationship nicely.
  • The shootout itself was much more elaborate (and violent) than the comic version.  I guess they decided it needed to be more dramatic for TV.  No big deal.
  • The meeting with Monroe & Duane in Rick's old neighborhood was done really well.  The bit at the end where Monroe was unable to shoot his zombified wife is an addition, which enriches the portrayal of his character, as well as presenting the complexity of the zombie phenomenon in the story.  How human are they?
  • Rick's horseback entry into Atlanta was terrific!  It's no surprise that they've been using a shot from that heavily in the series promos.
  • My one real complaint: I thought that the zombie behavior was inconsistent.  Most of them are slow, shambling, and mindless, as they are portrayed in the comic.  But when it serves to increase story tension, they suddenly become considerably smarter and faster.  I don't think the zombies in the comic would have followed Rick under the tank, for example.
Looking forward to the rest of the series, like few things on TV recently.

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First of all. I haven't seen the tv show yet. The guy playing Rick was in an excellent UK 20-something drama called This LIfe - one of my favourite ever series. He played a much-loved character called Egg. I wonder how his accent is holding up?

There is a piece on Walking Dead on Mindless Ones just now. I noticed it in the comics, but the commentators there reckon the TV show is even more mysogynistic than the comics. In the comics, all the women seem to be weak acquiescent/subservient sorts or hysterical basket cases. Most of them ar there to provide sexual comfort, sewing services and babies.

I know survivalist stories tend to be somewhat reactionary, but Zombie stories do have excellent progressive precedents in the Day of the Dead films, and sci-fi apocalypse stories had two groundbreaking characters in the 80s in Lt Ripley and Sarah Conners.

It's the only black mark I'd make against the comics as they are otherwise excellently written and plotted. I read vols 4-7 over the weekend back-to-back. They are perhaps the most compelling comics I've ever read, so it's a pity Kirkman is back-sliding on the progress that's been made in these kinds of stories over the last few decades.
I never read the comics. Is that necessary to really get the series? I'm not a zombie or gore fan. Is it more than that?


Philip Portelli said:
I never read the comics. Is that necessary to really get the series? I'm not a zombie or gore fan. Is it more than that?

No, you don't have to have read the comics. And the story is really about the survivors, not the zombies. It's a character-driven story, although there are zombies and gore.
Notwithstanding what I said above about some of the dodgy sexual politics in the comics, I have to say that the story is incredibly gripping. I'd dare you to read the first issue/volume and not want to continue with it asap. Like you, I have normally no time for the rotting undead! Give me a stylishly dressed Vampire any day.

I'd very much doubt that you'd have to read the comics before seeing the show. Its for mass consumption (natch!) after all.

As a comics fan, though, I'd worry that seeing the TV series first might dilute the rather intense comic-reading experience.


Figserello said:
First of all. I haven't seen the tv show yet. The guy playing Rick was in an excellent UK 20-something drama called This LIfe - one of my favourite ever series. He played a much-loved character called Egg. I wonder how his accent is holding up?



There is a piece on Walking Dead on Mindless Ones just now. I noticed it in the comics, but the commentators there reckon the TV show is even more mysogynistic than the comics. In the comics, all the women seem to be weak acquiescent/subservient sorts or hysterical basket cases. Most of them ar there to provide sexual comfort, sewing services and babies.

I know survivalist stories tend to be somewhat reactionary, but Zombie stories do have excellent progressive precedents in the Day of the Dead films, and sci-fi apocalypse stories had two groundbreaking characters in the 80s in Lt Ripley and Sarah Conners.

It's the only black mark I'd make against the comics as they are otherwise excellently written and plotted. I read vols 4-7 over the weekend back-to-back. They are perhaps the most compelling comics I've ever read, so it's a pity Kirkman is back-sliding on the progress that's been made in these kinds of stories over the last few decades.

It's hard to argue with this. I was certainly struck by the crassness of the cop's conversation that opened the episode, but it's so common in this kind of material that I didn't even remark on it. I think Kirkman's women are stronger in the comics than in the TV show so far, although they are somewhat secondary to the men. The big exception is Michonne, who may not have shown up yet in the volumes you've read. I'm giving the TV treatment the benefit of the doubt for now.

And Rick's accent was good all through the first episode. Guess we can watch for slips through the rest!
Michonne appears in book 5 I think. She's a great hard-ass woman, but a little crazy, so far - y'know the way women can be? :-)

RIck is obviously becoming demented from the horrors but we're still supposed to respect him, whereas we have to be suspicious of demented Michonne from the start.

Communities facing existiential threat in real life tend to rely on strong women more than strong men to get them through, but it's Kirkman's macho fantasy to tell...
I've only read the first hardcover, and I was REALLY glad I had. The show was great, but the comic was positively stunned at the quality and butter-flies-in-the-stomach panic-feeling it induces.

I always got the feeling that the zombies had very limited sensory abilities, primarily smelled-out their living prey and only used their other senses as needed. Or maybe they just ended up with just one primary sense depending on the amount of decay/damage they had succumbed to by that point.
-------------
SPOILER WARNING:
****** Didn't Rick and the runner-kid fool them by smearing themselves with rotted flesh, thereby masking their smell and appearing to be dead? I guess this is what I'm referring to ***********
END SPOILER
--------------
Maybe spotting prey activates a little extra energy in them? Gives them a boost to get moving more like regular-folk speed. I'm sure it also has a lot to do with how much muscle remains on the body, and even how recently they fed.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to the future of this story. I've now got Volume 2 HC, and I'm just trying to clear some other items off the ole Gotta-Read Pile before I dive in. I figure they won't hit that until next season.
And man, am I looking forward to the episode(s) that cover the "peaceful, all-is-well suburban development."
SPOILER WARNING:
****** Didn't Rick and the runner-kid fool them by smearing themselves with rotted flesh, thereby masking their smell and appearing to be dead? I guess this is what I'm referring to ***********
END SPOILER


I think I'd rather be eaten by the zombies...

Good deduction on the primacy of smell to them.
The first issue can be read online for free here. It's what hooked me. If you like that, check your library system for the tpbs or hardcovers. We've read up through volume ten of the tpbs from the library and will actually buy the stories once we can afford it. That's how much my wife and I both loved this story.

Jenn & I watched the first episode tonight and were just blown away. It's a very good show!
We watched it tonight, and loved it. Kathy was stunned by how good it was. Can't wait for more!
I watched it last night. I liked it and am looking forward to the rest. I read the first tpb a few months ok and while I liked it, I didn't love it. I may eventually read the rest but I'm in no hurry. Actually, I may have preferred the show over the comic.
Yikes...with Halloween events last week and the Colts game last night...I now have four episodes of Dead Set, the Walking Dead opener, AND the second episode on Sherlock on the DVR...and it's Glee night...too much good TV!

Oh...and the zombie episode of Community was awesome!

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