The Walking Dead: Compendium One by Robert Kirkman

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Title: The Walking Dead.
Compendium: 1.
Writer(s): Robert Kirkman.
Penciler(s): Tony Moore, Charlie Adlard.
Inker(S): TONY MOORE, CHARLIE ADLARD.
Gray Toner(S): TONY MOORE, CLIFF RATHBURN.
Letterer(s): Russ Wooton.
Publisher: Image Comics.
Format: Paperback – Compendium.
Release Date: May 19th, 2009.
Pages: 1088.
Genre(s): Comics, Horror.
ISBN13: 9781607060765.
My Overall Rating: ★★★★★.

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Have you ever wondered what the world would be like if it was overrun by zombies? What if there weren’t any more law enforcement to assure peace and order? What if you had to strive to survive on your own, looking for food and shelter, and to always be compelled to look over your shoulders? The world would be an ugly place. The people in it would be worse. Writer Robert Kirkman and artist Tony Moore thus had an idea and offered fans around the world the chance to discover a post-apocalyptic world where survival instincts are mandatory and a kind heart isn’t enough. Now a critically-acclaimed New York Times Best-Seller, The Walking Dead is the quintessential and definitive zombie horror tale. It has successfully delivered a highly successful live-action television series (although it progressively withered and is approaching its end) and paved the way to multiple other spin-offs.

What is The Walking Dead: Compendium One about? This behemoth of a book—I swear, you could use it as a weapon—collects the first eight volumes (issues #1-48) of the beloved post-apocalyptic comic book series and follows the story of Sheriff’s Deputy Rick Grimes who awakens from a coma after having been shot on patrol. Oblivious to what is going on, he quickly discovers that an apocalyptic epidemic has swept the world, awakening the dead and destroying society in the process. Looking for answers while trying to stay alive, he rushes out into the city to find other survivors and gradually becomes a leader who will help everyone find an iota of respite no matter the costs. While the dead lurk and roam around them, Rick Grimes and the community he builds move forward, discovering various locations, from farms to prisons, as well as individuals who are either ready to help or ready to introduce them to a nightmare like none other.

If you’ve been following the show, let me start off by saying that the comic books are whole other beasts. There are significant changes in how events take place, how people die, who dies, and especially how dark, disgusting, and gory it all gets. This compendium has a lot to offer (going all the way up to the Governor story-arc) as it delivers a thrilling, page-flipping, and continuously-mind-blowing adventure where you’ll crave for more with each chapter passing by. As you progress through the story alongside Rick Grimes, you meet a lot of new characters who often get an impressive amount of characterization with so little dialogue exchanged. While you might be inclined to get attached to some, many will die along the way, never giving the reader any assurance that the future is a safe place for anyone. Alongside the rapid and perfectly-paced story and character development, it is also impressive to see this story reveal the one fact that is scarier than death itself: humans are monsters. And sometimes, this series does a majestic job in proving it, almost making the roamers and lurkers seem like the good guys. This is not for the faint of hearts and guarantees some of the most disgusting and messed up things that humans are capable of.

The black-and-white artwork greatly helps in conveying this tragic story filled with death, misery, and deception. The subtle facial expression hints at various emotional states that are never a good sign for what’s to come. Although artist Tony Moore only does the first six issues, both he and artist Charlie Adlard do a fantastic job in terms of consistency and plot twist revelation throughout their artwork. The splash pages to highlight major character deaths are unpredictable and incontestably shocking, making sure to remind us that the sky is the limit when it comes to the horror that a post-apocalyptic world has to offer. I also can’t help but emphasize how the artwork brilliantly captures the character development, unveiling so much more than anything spelled out to the reader, and giving us a good grasp of the mindset of these characters as they grow accustomed to their lives and how the world now works without law and order. While survival is key to a good life, it is also the bonds you create, from blood ties to friendship, that can save you from a swift death or a bite on the ass. The creative team behind this franchise knew exactly what they were doing and explores countless themes, from religion to love, through excellent characterization and distinctive artwork, to deliver an unforgettable survival story.

The Walking Dead: Compendium One is a phenomenal and definitive post-apocalyptic horror adventure where a group of survivors attempts to find hope in a world filled with unhinged or deceased monsters.


EXHIBITA

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The Walking Dead live-action TV series adaptation is currently at its 10th season with a confirmed 11th season. I personally had to stop at the 9th season as I couldn’t enjoy anymore of the same declining quality material that they’ve been pushing. It has its ups and downs but I can now confirm that the comic book is a whole other beast. A superior beast. 😉

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45 comments

    • I’m with you there, dude. Some episodes throughout the later season are truly impressive but they’re mostly surrounded by over-stretched subplots that don’t always work, especially when they start rehashing it one season after the other.

      Looking forward to continuing the comics for sure now. Thanks for reading, David. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  • This was an amazing series and it went out at the right time. While I read the entire series, I’ve never watched the tv show beyond a few episodes of the first season. Maybe someday I’ll watch it. Enjoy reading the next three compendiums!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes! I’m glad that they decided to put an end to the comics and it sounds like they did a fairly good job with the finale too. Looking forward to discovering the intended ending now.

      Hope you enjoy your time with the show if you ever give it another chance. You’ll just have to lower your expectations regarding a lot of things, including the violence.

      Thanks, Nancy! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  • Isn’t it convenient that when the Zombie apocalypse does break out at some point, you already have this as a weapon? I mean….just saying 😂😂
    Seriously though, the Walking Dead is and always will be my favorite tv series.Yes, it’s not as good anymore as it used to be, no denying that, but in all honesty I thought that season 9 was a return back to form with the new showrunner Angela Kang doing a great job. I haven’t made much progress with the comics. I have the first three hardbacks, but never got passed them. Not because they aren’t good, but well…just one of those things I guess. I will eventually get to them again, at some point, but I’m glad you have enjoyed it so much. As always this was a terrific post to read!😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hahahah I could use it as a doorstop too, making it near impossible for anyone to get through to me! Or me to them… 😛

      I remember how much of a fan you are of the show after your review of one of the later seasons. It’s nice to hear from a loyal fan that the 9th season might actually be a return to form. You’ve definitely made me reconsider giving the final seasons a chance. For the time being, I’m more likely to know how the comic book story ends before I see what the showrunners decide to do with the series.

      Have you seen the spin-off series they’ve announced for it? With teenagers? World Beyond? Not sure I want to dive into that one though hahah

      Oh man, sorry to hear about the comics. I hope you get the chance to read them and continue on. I’m definitely compelled by it all and find it much more terrifying than what the show had to offer. 😮

      Thanks for reading, my friend! Always love hearing your thoughts on my posts. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • Haha…a doorstop might be the wiser show. At least the book won’t get too bloody in that way 😂😂
        Yeah the 9th season really was a return to form. The 8th season was definitely a miss, and probably the worst season of the series to date. But season 9 feels like a really fresh start, and so many cool new characters, not to mention some truly horrific and memorable events, made this really a worthy watch indeed 😊
        Definitely understand you wanting to finish the comics first now though😊
        I’ve seen the trailer for the spin off series, and it almost feels like we are in for a CW show lol😂😂 That said, being the huge fan of the Walking Dead universe that I am, I will watch it anyway😊
        As for the comics…I will return to them at some point…it’s all a matter of finding time for it…so wish there were more than 24 hours in a day 😊
        Never a problem, they are always a joy to read! 😊

        Liked by 1 person

  • What if there weren’t any more law enforcement to assure peace and order? What if you had to strive to survive on your own, looking for food and shelter, and to always be compelled to look over your shoulders?

    That sounds like 99% of the world for the last 5-6K years!

    At 1088 pages, that is 2 Akira volumes. I don’t see how the binding can even hold. Turn those pages REALLY carefully 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hahahahah I had a feeling someone would make a comment on that. 😀 I guess the only difference is being overrun by zombies. If COVID had succeeded in doing that, we would be in a whole other world right now. Although some might argue that some people are actually acting like zombies today though… Oh well.

      Yep, this thing is not easy to take care of. I think the rare hardcover editions of these compendia might be better for collectors. You should see my edition of The Sandman, which I’ll review later this month. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh man, hardcover comics are awesome. It’s why I shelled out for the Akira editions once I found out they existed!

        Looking forward to pictures of your Sandman book…

        Liked by 1 person

  • Awesome review! This sounds amazing. I like your series recommendations. I will watch this next. *whispering* I’m not telling my husband about this. He is already pissed I’m watching Lucifer a lot and he doesn’t get to watch anything.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Yesha! Hahaha I’m glad to point you towards some fun TV series to check out. 😀

      How come he doesn’t get to watch anything? Working 24h/day? 😮 I hope he’s not mean about it though! You deserve some you time where you get to watch everything and anything, especially when you’re kid is asleep or something hahaha 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • oh no worries! he gets to watch series or movies in weekends but not during weekdays that’s what makes him not so pleasant with me watching this long series. he doesn’t work 24/7, his job is till evening 7 or 7:30 depending on how early he log in. In that time, I blog take care my daughter and other chores. From 7:30 daughter is his duty. he does watch news and all that along with father duty until she sleeps so I can read in that time. I actually watch series after my daughter sleeps that is after midnight, same time when my husband gets real free time to watch anything except news and I claim Netflix to myself. I tried watching series when he works but Netflix eats lots of data, no other social media loads when I’m watching series. he needs internet for his job so I can’t watch it while he works. And trust me when I say my daughter won’t let us do anything while she is awake. Right now it’s 1:00 a.m. and she is hovering over my laptop to press keys. my cue to log off and make sure she sleeps so I can watch 1 or 2 episode.

        Liked by 1 person

  • I never watched the show (I find zombies too scary!), but you’ve got me wanting to read this. I especially loved about what you said about all the non-verbal cues going on – that seems like some pretty masterful artwork to tell you so much.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Wow, that is a monster of a comic, and only volume 1. How many volumes are there? I’ve never watched the show or read the comic, but I’m glad to see you really enjoyed this one. I do like that black and white artwork.

    Liked by 1 person

    • There are four compendia to collect the entire series that saw its end in 2019. They plan on re-releasing it with colour starting in October 2020 now.

      If you’re a fan of zombies/post-apocalyptic stories, this would be high on my recommendation list. Of course, I’d make sure that you’re ready to watch zombies and humans do some really, really disturbing stuff. 😀

      Like

  • I really like the illustrations in this. I’ve been debating whether or not to read the comics. I love zombie stories and have yet to try them in comics.
    Loved the Walking Dead TV show. I’m still on the early seasons though.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The earlier seasons of the show are pretty decent. It’s as you progress up to season 9 that you’ll see the quality start varying greatly, usually going downwards too.

      I can only highly recommend this for fans of zombies/post-apocalyptic stories, like you. 😉 You’ll have to be ready to watch insane things happen though. It can get quite disgusting. 😉 Otherwise, they also plan on re-releasing this in full-colour starting October 2020. If you want to see the series a bit more… vividly. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh my gosh! Now I gotta wait for the full-color one. I’ll check it out and decide on purchasing that one. I prefer color to black n white when it comes to comics.

        Liked by 1 person

  • I was a big fan of the show for awhile, but have given up on it. I have always been interested in the source material, though. Hearing you like this so much just might be the nudge I need to finally try it out. Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m glad to hear that you were a fan of the show too! I assure you that the original story in the comics has A LOT of pretty big differences compared to the show and it’s fun to find out what those differences are. 😉 It’s also much, much, much violent and disturbing than the show could ever be. Get ready for that if you ever give this a try! Thanks for reading, Stephanie! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  • I haven’t read any Zombie book yet but…umm..I watched all parts of Resident Evil! AND I LOVED THEM ALLLLL!! Oh and Zombieland! MAN THAT WAS SUCH A FUN MOVIE!! 🤣🤣🤣😍😍

    Okay yeah THAT IS ONE BIG BOOK!! 🤣🤣 Can definitely bang someone’s head with it!! 🤣

    I have been meaning to start watching the show but to be honest I had NO idea there were books of the same as well! And now I’ll have to read these first! 🤷🏻‍♀️ BUT YOU HAVE ACTUALLY GOT ME EXCITED FOR THIS ONE, Lashaan! LOVED THIS REVIEW SO MUCHHH!! 😍😍😍😍😍

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hahahah nice to hear that you’ve seen parts of RE and that you love Zombieland, although there’s a lot less of that kind of humour in this comic book series (or even the TV series). 😛

      I’m glad to hear your interest in The Walking Dead! You could start with either one of them. Just know that the comic book is much… more violent/disturbing than anything that really happens in the show. 😀 Thanks for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

  • Wooow it sounds really good! 😱 I’m definitely not a fan of zombie things and I didn’t like the TV series of the Walking Dead, but apparently there are ways to make it interesting 😂 I’m glad you enjoyed this one and I really like the black and white look to it! Great review, Lashaan 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ohhh, I didn’t know you tried the show out. 😮 If zombies aren’t your thing, I’d never recommend this one though hahaha The comics get quite wild, even if I feel like you learn a lot more on how insane humans can be in it! 😀 Thanks for reading! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  • Maybe the comic is so heavy and big as to be the one thing you’d need during a real zombie apocalypse? You could just knock all those zombies down with this brick! 🤣🤣
    That aside, though I’m not fan of zombies, your review still tempts me to read it! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m with you there. I don’t even need to look anywhere. It’ll be insanely handy for so many things during an apocalypse. 😀 Glad to hear that it piqued your curiosity though. I have no idea how you’ll fair with it though. I haven’t seen you pick up and love horror too often in the past years hahaha I’d still be curious, as always, to hear your thoughts on it. 😉 Thanks for reading, Ola!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yeah, horror is not my favorite genre, and zombies even less 😉 But you’re heaping praise on it, so in my mind it means there must be some redeeming quality to The Walking Dead 😜

        And as for zombie apocalypse, don’t use up too many pages of the comic for kindling and toilet necessities, or else it will lose its offensive capabilities! 🤣🤣🤣

        Liked by 1 person

  • Great review! 🙂 My fiance has all the compendiums and was just telling me the other day that I should give them a go.
    I, too, gave up on the show a while back. I absolutely loved the show when it came out but eventually I was just completely over it. I definitely need to check out the comics some time though from the sounds of it. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! Oh man, if you have them within arm’s reach, I recommend trying them out, especially if you were once a fan of the show too. You’ll be amazed by what kinds of changes they brought to the show hahah 😀 I do hear that the later (season 9+) get A LOT better. I’m almost compelled to try them out when the series finally comes to an end hahah Thanks for reading! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  • What do you mean “approaching its end?” It’s still going on? I enjoyed the first season and stopped after the second or third. That was yeaaaaars ago. I was told it got better somewhere down the line but I felt like it wasn’t worth it for me anymore. Kudos to you for sticking with it for so long.

    “Humans are monsters” yup, so true.

    A black and white version? So weird, but you’re the expert here and if you say it works, I guess it works.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nop, still an ongoing series, it’s at its 10th season, it has confirmed the production of an 11th and there will apparently still be at least another season after that hahaha I gave up at the 9th season but apparently, things picked up and got much better at that point, so I guess I gave up at the wrong moment? To be determined… If I ever decide to still give it another chance. 😀

      Ahahah I’m no expert as you claim I am but black and white is not that weird. I find it funny that you find it weird though. 😮 Japanese manga are essentially black and white, for example. And comic books printed in journals were black and white back in the day too. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

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