Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Walking Dead

Not many people know this, not even my wife - who I think despises my macabre interests just a little - I am a big zombie fan.

So it surprised even me that I held out on The Walking Dead for as long as I did.

I read the first two trades a long time ago, and felt that they were good, if a little over-written.

I watched the first season of the show, and loved it, up until the CDC ending.

Yet I still held out.

Last week, with the first two seasons of the show appearing on Netflix, I caught up.

Season 2, I remember, got some mixed feelings across the social networks. I, however, think that it is one of the best television series I have seen in a long time.

I'm pretty picky when it comes to television shows - time really is of the essence, and I don't want to dedicate tens of hours on something I'm not that into.

The Walking Dead season 2 is fantastic character story telling. I urge writers to watch it, and think about the arcs of all the characters in the show.

Most importantly, the dynamic of those character relationships shifts seismically with a simple thing - the meeting of any new person.

I signed up for season 3, caught up with that, and have dug out my old trades (I had 1-8, order 9-10 and  borrowed 11-16 from a friend).

Book one and two are still over-written, but it's a great idea for a comic, and a fantastic television series.

Also, all indie comic book creators should be eternally grateful to the success of The Walking Dead - it opened up doors to new readers that mainstream comics have been slamming shut for years.

3 comments:

Unknown said...

Ah, really glad I'm not the only one who really rated season two. I was confused by the backlash since it actually centred on what I always felt was the most interesting part of the show – namely how people (some of 'em with very complicated pre-existing relationships and ties) deal with extreme situations. To me, The Walking Dead is not really about zombies: it's actually about challenging questions about how (and whether) you carry on in what looks like a totally desperate situation; how groups work together; how you maintain children's innocence in an un-innocent world. I bought the first season DVD as a Christmas present for a friend and she was appalled because she's a zombie-phobe but quickly got hooked because of these much wider questions.

Season 3 is stacking up nicely on my Sky+ and I'm looking forward to getting stuck in. It's probably worth noting that the series also encouraged me to pick up the comic books, and I suspect will have made many others who had only a vague connection with comic books to really properly pick some up and read 'em.

Unknown said...

Er, not sure why I'm listed as unknown there despite signing in with my Google account... 'Tis Claire of Spark fame :) Hope all's good with you, your son, your wife, and baby bump!

Jamie Gambell said...

You are, and always will be Unknown to us all!

I concur with your points. My wife (who is not a fan of gore or violence in movies at any level - Jane Austin is about as rough as she gets) thinks it is funny when I tell her that the show is about characters and some damned fine writing. Her response is usually to laugh and make zombie noises at me, snorting out a "yeah "writing!"" in there too.

The stores I know have had a huge boost in sales of the books whenever something happens on the show.

For me, the show is better written - the early books especially suffer from the lack of character voices, and it feels a little flat or over-written at times. I like the ideas (a lot of which are in the show) but the over all execution of them isn't as well done - partly because the pacing has to be so different (22 pages vs 50 minutes).