Kirkman’s Zomberific Legacy

In the introduction of “The Walking Dead: Days Gone By,” creator and author Robert Kirkman tells readers that the best zombie tales have little to do with zombies.

Easy to say, but difficult to prove.

By the end of the trade however, Kirkman makes you a believer.

Continuing the legacy of George A. Romero, Kirkman crafts a deeply intelligent and dramatic tale that is easily in the same category anything Romero has ever produced.

As a result, this trade is one of the best series ever produced by Image comics.

Many times introductions to graphic novels are all for naught. Either a writer is tells us the obvious, that all this work and effort went into the book or a person of prominence, usually another writer or artist, affected by the work, says how special it is.

In this trade however, Kirkman lays out his vision and makes the read even more fulfilling.

Rick Grimes, a cop who ends up in a coma after being shot in the chest, to only awaken to a world covered in zombies is the main character of this tale. In spite of an absence of super human powers, he’s a definite hero and person of intrigue. Desperately looking for his family and later some kind of consistency in an all too consistent world, however, it’s easy to label Rick as an every man.

Nevertheless, his courage, love for his family, ability to solve problems and make the most of the bucket of lemons at his disposal make him something special.

Feeling like Stephen King’s “The Stand” at times, Kirkman and artist Tony Moore do a great job of showing the deplorable and desolate place the world has become. Between Kirkman’s ability at dialogue, the beauty through simple language notion and the range of emotions and action Moore is able to convey, “The Walking Dead” is anything but your typical zombie adventure.

The relationships between the characters feel as real as any work of literature and are the fuel for the tale. Often times they’ll remind you of the people in your life, or the stereotypical characters [who always end up the exact opposite] in Romero’s films.

However, then something special happens.

People die.

The drama caused by death is a serious one and every time you think the clan may end up okay, Kirkman induces some kind of situation that leads to bloodshed and even death.

This kind of formula works so well that you’ll often forget about the zombies and focus solely on the survival of the characters themselves. This forces the supernatural freaks that grace the cover of the book into a secondary role as catalysts and consequences.

Nevertheless, there is plenty of gore to be found within the pages of this trade and everything from insinuation of sex between young women and elderly men to children shooting firearms. It’s all for a purpose however and go that extra step in depicting a world that has gone mad and will never be the same.

In the end, it’s anything but a cheesy piece of writing that like many horror films is forgettable and cliché. Instead, it’s a piece of art that can stand firmly on its own two feet and is singularly capable of changing the way people think about comic books.

About Patrick Hickey Jr. 9742 Articles
Patrick Hickey Jr. is the Founder, Editor-in-Chief, Master Jedi and Grand Pooh-bah of and is the author of the book, "The Minds Behind the Games: Interviews with Cult and Classic Video Game Developers," from leading academic and non-fiction publisher McFarland and Company. He is currently the Assistant Director of the Journalism Program at Kingsborough Community College and is a former News Editor at NBC Local Integrated Media and a National Video Games Writer at the late He has also had articles and photos published in The New York Times, The New York Daily News, Complex and The Syracuse Post-Standard. Love him. Read him.

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