I have been waiting patiently for this day; The Walking Dead Volume 21 is out in stores! You can find me at Barnes and Noble at 9 a.m. in line for this book. Anyone who knows of me knows I am a huge fan of The Walking Dead. Last summer, I got into The Walking Dead, watching Seasons 1, 2 and 3 on Netflix within a week. Let’s just say I sacrificed some sleep that week due to the intensity of that show.
I thoroughly enjoy the story in The Walking Dead. Robert Kirkman, who writes the graphic novel, does a phenomenal job with the storytelling in The Walking Dead. He got enough attention for his work that a television show was created on AMC. Due to the popularity of the show, Telltale games teamed up with Kirkman to create The Walking Dead game for video game consoles and mobile devices. (If you have an iOS device, I strongly suggest it. Worth it!)
I am familiar with the television series, graphic novel and video game. Although some of the characters and storylines differ from one another, all three versions of The Walking Dead are entertaining and unique in their own way.
For those who are not familiar with The Walking Dead, I’ll give you a brief introduction of the graphic novel and television show. (The video game consists of completely different characters.)
Rick, a small-town sheriff in Georgia, is shot after a high-speed chase. He is sent to a nearby hospital and is in a coma for two-and-a-half weeks. When he wakes up, he discovers that he is the only person in the hospital. The zombies he sees inside the hospital frighten him. The zombies chase any humans and will use their sharp teeth to bite the living. Those people then turn to zombies. He runs home to find his wife and son. Although they are nowhere to be found inside their home, Rick believes they are alive and safe when he realizes they took clothes, food and even photo albums from their house. Rick comes across a man in his neighborhood, Morgan, and tells him he just woke up from a coma, unaware of what happened. Morgan eventually informs Rick of the epidemic as the two, along with Morgan’s son, look for weapons that could help them survive. Rick leaves Morgan and his son when learns of a rumor that the CDC has set up a quarantined safe-zone in Atlanta. Rick’s only reason for going to Atlanta is the hope that his wife and son are at the safe-zone. He doesn’t find his family in downtown Atlanta, but he meets a group working to survive and escape the zombie herd in the area.
Beyond that, the story picks up and I want to avoid spoilers for those who haven’t seen the show.
The show is not necessarily about zombies, but more so how Rick and other characters act while they try to survive with limited food and water. The main point of The Walking Dead: survival. More than half of the population is gone. Many humans have turned into dangerous zombies and the very few people who are alive work tirelessly to avoid death.
This summer, my brother and I spent time reading the graphic novel. We caught up on all 20 volumes and are excited for the 21st volume. Some of the characters and storylines in the graphic novel and television show are similar. Some of the major events and deaths happen in a different order. Some people who are killed on the show are still alive in the comic book, and vice versa.
Those who closely follow the graphic novel usually know what to expect on the show. But the show still adds its own twists, creating unpredictability. For example, the location where Rick is right now on the show at the end of Season 4 and Season 5 (without giving away spoilers) does not exist in the graphic novel.
The television series has taken ideas from the graphic novel and the video game has also been inspired by events from both the show and book.
When I watch the show, I always ask myself the question that all of you The Walking Dead fans have pondered: how in the world will this story end? Does everyone die? Is there a special, magical cure to restore the world? Do they just endlessly fight to survive?
I believe that every show, book, video game and any other facet of storytelling has a beginning and an ending planned out before the writing process of the story begins. The writers might come up with ideas along the way, but they should know how their own story ends before they begin writing.
The Last Of Us, which came out last summer, is a one of the most popular video games that relates to the zombie apocalypse. World War Z is a book about the zombie war written by Max Brooks in 2006, which turned into a hit film in 2013 starring Brad Pitt. Both The Last Of Us and World War Z (the movie) are great, but I was expecting an explosive ending in both of those, which we never got.
In addition to how much I enjoy it, part of the reason I read the graphic novel is because I want to see how the story ends since the graphic novel is way ahead of the show. The events in the book probably won’t appear on television for a couple of years. Of course, some of the events we see in the book will be different on the show, but the main concept will likely remain the same.
My mom and I have debated how we think the show will end. She believes Rick will wake up from a dream, and perhaps still be in a coma after being shot. To me, this would be a disappointing ending, as it would appear that the show would copy Lost. I only watched the first two seasons of Lost, but I am aware of how the show ended.
While I enjoy reading the new released volume of The Walking Dead today, I will always continue to explore the question of how the story will conclude. For now, all we can do is appreciate the well-told story and trust Kirkman that he will build an unforgettable ending.