The Walking Dead comics

The Return of Negan!!!!

I’m going to deviate from our typical theme of movies to talk about something else I’m into. I am an avid fan of the comic book The Walking Dead. To the point that I spy out the covers of upcoming issues hoping for a glimmer of what might be to come. As of yesterday I saw something so awesome I can’t contain myself and I have literally nobody to talk to about it that would even begin to know what I was talking about. “I like The Walking Dead too, you are talking about the coolest character? You mean Daryl right?” AHHHH!!! These fans of the TV show (the show is different and I do like it) drive me nuts, much like the hardcore fans of HBO’s version of Game of Thrones who know nothing about what they are missing out on. Blah blah and so forth but the reason for all of this is the issue coming out in two months. The cover of the May issue displays an image of Negan standing before an open jail cell.

225px-Issue_141_CoverFor those of you who don’t know. This is Negan, the greatest bad guy ever. The TV show will ruin him because he is way too cool for the limitations of network TV. Any fan of the show should start reading now so they can see how awesome the baddest bad guy really is. Nevertheless he has been locked away for years following the war in the comic book. This cover implies that Negan is finally getting out.

When the war was ongoing I actually found myself hoping Negan would kill Rick, claim Carl as a begrudging protegé, and we would follow him through this world of the apocalypse. Sadly that wasn’t how it panned out but I was content with the fact that Negan at least lived and still had the potential to wreak havoc again.

After seeing this cover I am going to be antsy for two freaking months while I wait to see what happens. I miss this guy; I need this witty badass whose capable of anything. I need the profanity, I need the violence, I need Lucille, I need the pure unadulterated understanding of the world he lives in, I need the control he has over everything, and I need more of his story. Life is a bitch but something about this guy helps make it easier once, sometimes twice and month on “Walking Dead Wednesday.”

I love this story and as agonizing as it is to wait month by month for the story to progress it never fails to let me down. Now that I know Negan is getting out of jail sooner rather than later I am excited. It’s like a motivating force somewhere in the back of my mind constantly reminding me I have something really cool to look forward to, in a couple of months.

I cannot wait to see what Kirkman has in store for Negan as he gets back out into the world but one thing is for sure. I have absolutely no doubt that he is going to do something awesome. Is there anybody out there with me on this? Where are the other fans who can appreciate conversation about how awesome Negan is? I literally have a Negan action figure on my desk at work and I am constantly making references from this awesome bad guy that nobody gets. Who else is as excited as I am at his possible return to action in the comic? I need some dialogue.

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Night of the Living Dead

Year: 1968
Directed By: George A. Romero
Written By: John A. Russo and George A. Romero

RYAN’S REVIEW

Here is the last of our Halloween movies that we had planned to do last month during October. We chose 6 movies to review and watched all of them but never found the time to write down our thoughts on this one. We had planned to publish this review on the day of Halloween because it is so legendary but opted with Nightmare on Elm Street instead. After watching Freddy’s debut film we changed our mind because it just seemed to fit so well with the day. I think this movie is great for Halloween but in today’s society zombies are bigger than Halloween and seemingly welcome year round.

We live in a zombie society these days in a pulp tense but almost in a literal sense as well. America is an apathetic and sedated society. When you take a step back it almost seems like we are all the walking dead just going about our routines blindly without noticing the world around us. It’s probably why they have become so popular. Take away the gore and half of the fans might as well be looking in a mirror when they sit down to watch The Walking Dead or go to the theater to see the newest zombie film.

Regardless any reason there is no denying the simple fact that zombies are popular. They make for great media and Amber and I have been sucked in for a while. (We do have a zombie apocalypse bag packed in our closet and a plan of action should the dead start rising today). We are big fans of The Walking Dead comics by Robert Kirkman, as well as the show, and we also read the Empire of the Dead comic by George A. Romero that ties into this film. None of what we see today would have been possible without this film. This film is legendary for a number of reasons but most importantly it created the zombies that have become so popular today.

With this film George A. Romero created something new. Though in the movie the dead are only referred to as ghouls; they quickly took the title of zombie afterwards. Prior to this film zombies had been in films before but weren’t the flesh eating dead we know today. Romero created a new type of monster with his ghouls and did it without using masks or costumes. These zombies weren’t the living zombie under the spell of a voodoo witch doctor but recently deceased people who rose from their graves to eat human flesh and can only be killed by destroying their brains. The rest is history. Romero himself has made six films in this series but zombies have become so popular there is no end to the media they have invaded. Later this year we will even see a classic story invaded by zombies when Pride and Prejudice and Zombies hits theaters.

I love this film because it is so groundbreaking. Not only in its creation of modern day zombies but because it was so aggressive. This movie was graphic in a way people were unaccustomed to in 1968 in more ways than one. It was violent, bloody, and it starred a black man for crying out loud. Yes this movie, if I’m not mistaken, was the first to star an African American in the lead. Granted he doesn’t survive in an end that must have blown people’s minds in 1968, but he is the star of the film. He opened the doors for many actors to walk through and that can’t be taken for granted. This movie also opened the doors for the industry in general by raising the bar of what was deemed acceptable.

Let me take this opportunity: Thank you George A. Romero! As a fan of more graphic content, when it is necessary, in media I appreciate this movie all the more for what it did for films. It was so bold and inventive. Even today when I watch this movie I am shocked by its graphic nature, but that is what impresses me. Here I am, nearly 50 years later and it still has the potential to surprise me. That’s amazing and that’s exactly what makes this movie so significant. One of my favorite movies of all time is Romero’s sequel to this one, Dawn of the DeadHowever, it would have never been possible without this, and this was pretty damn good in its own right.

This movie is the only reason that we have read Empire of the Dead by Romero. A couple of years ago Amber got me half of the available volumes of The Walking Dead comics for Christmas. I think I was dancing around the door when the Barnes & Nobles finally opened following the holiday. I had already burned through something like 8 volumes immediately, unable to stop or put them down. Once I bought every other volume up until 17 I was going mad at the possibility of waiting six months for the continuation of the story. Suddenly one day I realized if I went to an actual comic book store I could probable get a couple issues of what had come out before the next volume was available. A volume is six issues of the comic. Typically an issue comes out once a month, so you can consider each volume usually six months of compiled material. I love the series and even though it is maddening to wait for the next issue now on a monthly basis it never fails to surprise me with where it goes.

Once we started visiting the comic book store once a month we naturally got interested in more that was available. We now read several comics on a regular basis as issues are released and George A. Romero’s Empire of the Dead is one of them. I was not initially interested in reading another comic about zombies as I was already so aggressively invested in The Walking Dead. Yet when Amber brought home the debut issue one day I found myself reading it that evening. Despite my lack of enthusiasm it was the fact that it was rooted in this movie that got me to keep reading it as it came out. In the story of Empire of the Dead people have been living with the dead for a long time and have rebuilt a different sort of society set in New York City. They catch and train qualified zombies for pit games, the zombies have a low level of thought and organization, the Government is actually run by vampires so on and so forth. One of the main characters in the comic is the daughter of Barbara from this film. She believes zombies are capable of higher thought because her mother was not actually killed by the zombie brother that pulled her through the window in the film but saved by it. It’s neither here nor there but this story has kept me invested specifically because it is rooted in this film.

This movie really doesn’t need any input from me, it speaks for itself. It is an incredible movie that will never be forgotten and it is simply the beginning of an ongoing story that that is still going strong 46 years later. If you have seen this movie then it is never a bad idea to check it out again when Halloween rolls around. If you haven’t seen it then what are you waiting for? You have missed out on something that is awesome.

 

The Walking Dead-Bad Lip Reading

I imagine many other fans are feeling the same loss I am on Sunday nights with the absence of The Walking Dead. Yeah we have Game of Thrones and Mad Men to fill the void, and while they both may be great shows, neither really satisfies the need we all have for violence and insanity. So as we wait for October to come and season 4 to begin I thought I would share something really funny I have found with you. Check out this video and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Just in case the video is pulled from my blog because I don’t really have any right to post it you can follow this link to see it on YouTube.

This probably isn’t enough to get you through the next several months so let me encourage you to simply read the comics.  There is literally ten years worth of this story out there available to all of us and not only is it awesome but it is far better than anything we have seen in the show.  I have come to love the show, but like many adaptations is simply doesn’t and can’t possible live up to the source.  If you are interested in reading the comic then follow this link and start there.

Lori’s Baby-The Walking Dead

One of the most frequently searched questions that bring people to this blog is “who is the father of Lori’s baby?” I have answered that question in some of our prior posts but can now offer more elaboration to that answer.  My awesome wife bought me several volumes of The Walking Dead comic for Christmas and I have barely been able to put them down. Incredible books that blow away the show.  I think the show and the books are both awesome in different ways but the show is limited when it comes to graphic content whereas the comics are not.  The comic is very graphic too and much more violent and insane.

As to the father of Lori’s baby; I had read and reiterated on former posts that it is strongly implied in the comic that the father of Lori’s baby is Shane.  Now that I have read the comics I can tell you more about how that is implied.  First of all, they all think that the baby has to be Shane’s.  Dale being the number one suspect by confronting both Rick and then Lori with that possibility.  Rick admits that it is likely but he doesn’t want to think about it, mentioning that he and his wife had only been together once since his return.  Right before the baby is born, one of the volumes begins with a flashback to Lori and Shane’s heat of the moment hook up and she tries to talk to Rick about it.  Rick does not want to hear it and more or less tells her he knows but doesn’t care.  I think her thinking about that night and trying to talk to her husband about it does imply that she herself believes the baby to be Shane’s.

Shane does not make it nearly as long in the comic, being killed in the first volume before the group ever leaves their first initial camp.  Shane goes a little crazy with the pressure of being in charge and the difference of opinion he shares with Rick, who is clearly in competition with him for leadership.  Shane also becomes infatuated with Lori and incredibly jealous of Rick.  He and Rick go hunting near the end of the comic and Shane points his gun at Rick with the intent to kill him but Carl had followed them and shoots him first.  Carl later talks about the shooting mentioning that he didn’t like Shane because of how he acted around his mother.  Shane is buried at the camp having not turned into a zombie. Once Rick finds out that people turn into zombies when they die whether they were bitten or not he travels back to the camp and digs Shane up.  Shane rises from the grave as a zombie and Rick monologues for a moment before killing him for sure.

I will say that I am very grateful for getting the comics for Christmas and cannot wait to finish the series.  It is an easy read and it is nonstop intensity throughout.  It is so much more savage than the show because it isn’t limited by a TV rating system.  There are several differences all throughout the comics as well.  People who have died in the show are still living in the comic and people who died in the comic are still living on the show.  Some of the characters are drastically different as well.  Most notably the Andrea character.  I really really hate Laurie Holden in the show and I am always wishing her to be eaten by a zombie.  In the show she is such a drama queen and such a bitch. Whether she is giving a suicidal teenager an opportunity to kill herself or just demanding a gun after shooting one of the coolest group members in the head (Daryl) she is just the worst.  On the show she is non-stop drama and always causing problems. In the comic she is an utter badass, the best shot in the group and the most loyal to her mate, Dale. I was actually surprised by how much I liked Andrea in the comic and wish she wasn’t such a bitch in the show.

These comics are really awesome and if you are a fan of the show I strongly recommend you checking them out. In a matter of days I breezed right through the first ten volumes and now have to impatiently wait for the next few to be delivered through Amazon.  They are really easy to read and manage to say so much without any pointless conversation.  My wife has also picked up the books and is also having trouble putting them down.  So if you are on the fence about these at all let me go ahead and push on over to the right side, these stories are worth your time and I think anybody will like them.  Keep in mind they are very graphic though, if you don’t have the nerve for it then stay away.

UPDATE 5/6/5: Looking back on this makes me laugh. Not about the question of who the father is but of how innocence I was in reading this comic. I never knew it would become such an addiction. I wait patiently every month for “Walking Dead Wednesday” and that gets me about 5 minutes of relief. Depending on what happens after that I can hope for nothing more than a matter of days before I get that itch again and start to Jones for the next issue. The Walking Dead is far and away the best comic I have ever read but the show has to slow down now and again to stay behind the source material. This is why we have boring episodes in which nothing really happens so frequently. The author of the series has suggested that he has plans for 300 issues, and the most recent issue was 140. Still way ahead of where the show is at but it moves at a much slower pace.

I actually think the spin-off show Fear The Walking Dead has the potential to be much better because it has freedom outside of this limitation of a source material. Should The Walking Dead run into the same problem as HBO’s Game of Thrones and begin to overlap I don’t think Kirkman will allow his story to be spoiled in such a way. I hope not anyway.