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June 26, 2010

2010 Eisner Award Nominees: The Walking Dead

Here we’re taking a look at yet another 2010 Eisner Award nominee in Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead. The title is nominated again for Best Ongoing Series, and if you are a fan of The Walking Dead, then you already know why it’s deserving of the nomination of what’s been called the “Oscars” of comics: the Eisner Award!

The Walking Dead was introduced to the comic industry in 2003 by Image Comics, and what some would regard as “just another zombie book” has become one of the most consistently well written and developed books this industry has produced. Series creator and writer Robert Kirkman and artist Tony Moore introduced us to a world where the zombie apocalypse has happened, and Police Officer Rick Grimes has awoken from a coma to find his wife and son gone and his city abandoned and in ruins. So his journey of survival begins as Rick is driven to find his family along with answers as to what has happened since his accident, while at the same time trying not to fall victim to the zombies that now roam the earth. On this journey he will meet the characters who will help and hurt his chances of survival, but be warned, don’t get too attached to anyone, because Kirkman has promised that at any time any character in the story can die. No one is “safe” in this series…no one.

Walking Dead #1

To me, the best zombie movies aren’t the splatter fests of gore and violence with goofy characters and tongue in cheek antics. Good zombie movies show us how messed up we are, they make us question our station in society…and our society’s station in the world. They show us gore and violence and all that cool stuff too…but there’s always an undercurrent of social commentary and thoughtfulness. – Robert Kirkman – Walking Dead Vol 1: Days Gone By

Having heard of The Walking Dead back in 2003, I was one of those people who passed on it figuring it was “just another zombie book.” Even though I had been impressed with Kirkman’s previous work on Marvel Zombies, there was a thought that this was yet another bandwagon title riding the zombie gravy train. Issue #31 of  The Walking Dead would change all of that, as I was introduced to something that I regretted not starting from the beginning, and in three weeks, volumes one through nine of The Walking Dead trades had been purchased, and the series has remained a mainstay on my shelf ever since.

This is very much a character driven tale, and though Kirkman provides plenty of zombie related horror, it’s the people trying to survive that make this title accessible in this extreme situation of life and death. Characters are introduced and we are allowed to see their growth and change, and witness the extent some will go to survive. In others we see more of a psychological shift and how living in a world that’s gone to hell has changed them, and how he or she has had to adapt. The main character Rick Grimes is a prime example of this, as he definitely is not the man we met in the first issue, nor will he ever be able to be that man again.

Kirkman has created a very desperate world, and in this world people will do very desperate things; he has brought to surface some of the most horrible parts of human nature. The majority of the most heinous acts aren’t even committed by the zombies in the story, but by other men. Some have thrown morality out of the picture and are just surviving, while others are attempting to maintain the small bit of humanity they have left, which makes you wonder if  “The Walking Dead” are what the living have become as they attempt to survive this new world. However, don’t judge these characters too quickly, because if your child was bitten by a zombie, what would your solution be? Do you take the lives of others who aren’t willing to share their own limited supplies, and steal from them when you have nothing? Would you be willing to throw away your prejudices of race, ethnicity, or religion in order to help a stranger, or leave him or her to die at the withered and decaying hands of the undead?

For seven years and currently 73 issues, Robert Kirkman has been giving comic fans what they are always begging for, and that is a constantly well written series that actually raises the bar. Along with him, artist Tony Moore who penciled the first six issues, and then Charlie Adlard who has been doing the interior art since issue seven, have helped The Walking Dead reach comic and non comic book fans alike. When you’re able to reach people outside of the intended target audience and connect with them, then you just have to be doing something right. And it seems like The Walking Dead will be reaching out to even more, because the comic will soon be adapted as a live action television series premiering on AMC in October of 2010!

Everything in this book is an attempt at showing the natural progression of events that I think would occur in these situations. This is a very character driven endeavor. How these characters get there is much more important than them getting there. I hope to show you reflections of your friends, your neighbors, your families, and yourselves and what their reactions are to the extreme situations in this book. – Robert Kirkman – Walking Dead Vol 1: Days Gone By

The Walking Dead is by far one of the best series to ever be written, and the Eisner nomination for Best Continuing Series is a well deserved one. From Kirkman’s first issue to now, the journey has been one that has fans craving for more, as it is much more than “just another zombie book.” They begin to fall to the background a bit as the human condition is explored in brutal and unforgiving fashion. There are no punches pulled, and at no time does it feel as if your intelligence is being insulted while reading the series. If you have never read an issue of  The Walking Dead, then I would suggest taking a look to see what all of the praise is about, and see for yourself why Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard’s tale has been nominated again for this prestigious award!

Infinite Speech
infinitespeech@comicattack.net

 

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14 Comments


  1. Aron

    I absolutely LOVE this series! I read it in trade form, though. I gotta have large doses and couldn’t stand waiting a month at a time for only a little bit. “Ya follow me?”



  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Aron White and Aron White, Kristin Bomba. Kristin Bomba said: New #Eisner Nominee Spotlight is up for Walking Dead, from @infinitespeech @comicattack http://tinyurl.com/2djrcfk #comics […]


  3. Jeff Jackson

    This is just a fantastic comic. In 73 issues there hasn’t been one clunker.



  4. I read them in trade as well Aron and I’m still kicking myself for dismissing the title back when it came out. I was so busy complaining about books in the industry that I was missing out on one of the best titles out there.


  5. Aron

    well, all is forgiven! I hate the wait, though. When I discovered it, I read like 6 trades in a row. That was exciting stuff! Earlier on in the series, it could effect my mood, too. it filled me with a nagging feeling of uneasiness, or jumpiness with each turn of the page. that’s awesome! a good comic should thrill you just the same as a good novel or movie.



  6. […] a long, in-depth look at The Walking Dead comic, which has apparently been nominated for an Eisner Award (like the Oscars, for comics). (Comic […]



  7. […] Basically this was a great excuse for Comic Attack to put together one of the better writeups of The Walking Dead that I’ve seen so far. Why though? Because the comic’s an Eisner Award Nominee! HELL YEA! You can read the full story at Comic Attack! […]



  8. […] The Walking Dead nominated for an Eisner Award […]



  9. Speaking of the wait I think Vol 12 should be out very soon!



  10. WINNER!!!



  11. I just saw the list! I bet Kirkman is on cloud nine right now! lol



  12. […] Continuing Series The Walking Dead by Robert Kirkman and Charles Adlard […]



  13. […] through the early 1990s, then career demands made me step back.  I picked up a few over the years (The Walking Dead, Preacher, Hellboy, a few others), and then jumped back into Marvel whole-hog in 2008.  Good thing […]



  14. […] arrived, the premiere of The Walking Dead! The television show is based on the award winning comic series of the same name, created by Robert Kirkman and Tony Moore. The show follows Rick Grimes, a […]



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