The Walking Dead Vol. 1: Days Gone Bye Review

For the past 6 months or so, I’ve become a huge fan of The Walking Dead franchise. I played the video game and it became one of my favorite games of all time. It got me interested enough to watch the TV Series, which I loved even more than the game. I wanted to start writing reviews on this site, and when I bought this trade, I figured I might as well write a review for it. The series has gotten so much acclaim, plus I really wanted to try and read some more comics other than the big two. So, I bought it. I flipped through it, but finally got around to reading it today. Is it any good? Let’s find out.

The Plot

The plot of the book is pretty much the same as the TV show. Rick Grimes wakes up in a hospital to find it abandoned and learns that the zombie apocalypse is here (I don’t remember them using the word zombies, but what else do I call everything that happened?), so he heads to Atlanta. I could go into more detail, but I don’t feel like writing it, plus I don’t want to spoil it. The plot is alright, but pretty much what’s expected.

The Art

I’ve held it in long enough, I have to get this out of the way: This art is some of the worst I have EVER seen in a comic. I won’t say the worst because I’ve seen a ton of bad artwork (just about anything Marvel put out in the late 80s to mid 90s looked like crap), but this was just atrocious. I’m not complaining that the art is back & white, I think that’s kind of cool. I’m complaining that the art is just awful, color or not. The art REALLY hurt this comic, but I have more criticism than that.

The Writing

The writing of this comic wasn’t too bad, I’ve read much worse (Scott Lobdell’s work comes to mind), but was just rushed. I know I can’t keep comparing this to the TV Series, but I complained Season 1 of the TV Series had too much filler, and they only had six one hour (44 minutes with commercials) episodes and had to resort to filler. The comic has about all the time in the world to tell a story and it was just rushed and felt lazy. I have an example of this, but it’s a spoiler. Kust skip over the next paragraph to avoid any spoilers:

Just like in the TV Series, Shane is killed. In the show he was killed by Rick then shot by Carl (after coming back pretty quickly). In the comic, he’s shot in the throat by Carl and lays on the ground until dying. The TV series had two seasons to build up to this moment, while the trade consisted of what I believe is the first six issues. Why would they rush it like this? Why not do the smart thing and build up to this moment with tons of character development along the way?

Characters

Speaking of character development, there was barely any in this, which makes it hard to care about these characters. I thought Glenn was okay, but that’s mainly because he’s one of my favorite characters in the show. He didn’t do much in this comic. I could list characters I hate, such as Lori. She was an annoying… (I don’t want to curse, so just come up with some bad name and pretend I called her that) who didn’t do anything but complain. At least I know the TV series got her accurate. But most characters I just didn’t care about, mainly because the writing was so rushed they didn’t do anything. I knew most of the characters from the TV show, which I think is the only reason I read as long as I did. If I was buying this book back when it was new in the store and read this, I wouldn’t have bought more than 2 or 3 issues.

My Final Verdict

…They made an amazing TV show about this? The Walking Dead is currently the best thing on television, and THIS is what it was based off of? This was just rushed, had terrible artwork, and I have no clue why so many people talk about how great it is. In the comments, can someone please tell me if it gets better as it goes along or if this was a taste of what’s in store? I want to like this, but I don’t want to spend money on this only to find out it doesn’t get any better. Overall, I really can’t recommend this. If you like it, that’s fine. You clearly got something out of it that I didn’t. But I just didn’t find any enjoyment out of this and it felt like a chore to read.

My Overall Rating: 2 out of 5 Stars.

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