The Walking Dead: 10 Differences Between The Comics And TV Show - Looper
Walking Dead: The Comic Book That Changed Zombie Culture
If you are a fan of zombies, you have probably heard of The Walking Dead, a popular TV show that follows a group of survivors in a post-apocalyptic world overrun by flesh-eating undead. But did you know that The Walking Dead was originally a comic book series that started in 2003 and ran for 193 issues until 2019? Created by writer Robert Kirkman and artist Tony Moore, The Walking Dead is an American post-apocalyptic comic book series that revolutionized the zombie genre and culture. In this article, we will explore the origins, plot, characters, themes, reception, influence, legacy, and future of The Walking Dead comic book series.
walking dead the comic book
The Origins of Walking Dead
Robert Kirkman was a fan of zombie movies such as Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead, and Zombi 2, as well as zombie video games such as Resident Evil. He wanted to create a zombie comic book that would focus on the long-term survival of the characters rather than on the initial outbreak. He teamed up with his friend Tony Moore, who was also an avid zombie fan and a talented artist. They pitched their idea to Image Comics, an independent publisher that gave them full creative control over their property.
However, their original pitch was rejected for being too "normal". Image Comics co-founder Jim Valentino suggested that they add a twist to their story, such as aliens being behind the zombie plague. Kirkman agreed to this suggestion but secretly planned to never reveal the true cause of the outbreak. He wanted to keep The Walking Dead realistic and grounded in human drama rather than sci-fi or fantasy elements.
The first issue of The Walking Dead was published in October 2003 with a cover by Tony Moore that paid homage to Night of the Living Dead. The comic book series was an instant hit, selling out its first print run and generating positive reviews from critics and fans. Kirkman and Moore continued to work on the series until issue #6, when Moore left due to creative differences and scheduling conflicts. He was replaced by Charlie Adlard, who became the main artist for the rest of the series.
The Plot and Characters of Walking Dead
The comic book series follows Rick Grimes, a Kentucky deputy who is shot in the line of duty and awakens from a coma in a zombie apocalypse. He finds his wife Lori and his son Carl, who have joined a group of survivors led by Shane, Rick's former partner and best friend. Rick assumes the role of leader of the group, which includes characters such as Glenn, Andrea, Dale, Carol, Sophia, Tyreese, Michonne, Abraham, Eugene, Rosita, Maggie, Hershel, and many others.
The comic book series chronicles the trials and tribulations of Rick and his group as they search for a safe place to live, scavenge for resources, fight against zombies and other hostile humans, and cope with the loss of their loved ones. Along the way, they encounter various locations and communities, such as the Atlanta camp, the Greene farm, the prison, Woodbury, the Alexandria Safe-Zone, the Hilltop Colony, the Kingdom, the Sanctuary, Oceanside, and the Commonwealth.
The comic book series also features several antagonists that pose a threat to Rick and his group, such as the Governor, a ruthless dictator who rules over Woodbury with an iron fist; Negan, a charismatic but sadistic leader of a group of survivors called the Saviors who extort other communities for resources; and the Whisperers, a cult-like group of survivors who wear zombie skins and live among the undead.
The Themes and Messages of Walking Dead
One of the main themes of The Walking Dead is survival. The comic book series explores how people survive in a world where death is everywhere and life is uncertain. It shows how people adapt to their new reality, how they form bonds with each other, how they deal with trauma and grief, how they make difficult decisions, and how they maintain their humanity in the face of horror.
Another theme of The Walking Dead is morality. The comic book series questions what is right and wrong in a world where conventional laws and ethics no longer apply. It challenges the characters to question their own values and actions, as well as those of others. It shows how people can become heroes or villains depending on their circumstances and choices. It also shows how people can change over time for better or worse.
A third theme of The Walking Dead is humanity. The comic book series examines what makes us human and what separates us from animals or monsters. It shows how people can retain or lose their humanity in a world where zombies are more numerous than humans. It also shows how people can find or lose their hope in a world where despair is more common than happiness.
The Reception and Influence of Walking Dead
The Walking Dead comic book series was a critical and commercial success. It won several awards, such as the Eisner Award for Best Continuing Series in 2007 and 2010. It also gained a loyal fan base that supported the series throughout its run. It became one of the best-selling comic books in the industry, selling over 50 million copies worldwide.
The Walking Dead comic book series also influenced the zombie genre and culture. It revitalized the interest in zombies and inspired other creators to produce their own zombie works. It also influenced other media forms, such as TV shows, video games, novels, webisodes, etc.
The Adaptations and Spin-offs of Walking Dead
The Walking Dead comic book series spawned several media adaptations and spin-offs that expanded its universe and reach. The most notable one is The Walking Dead TV show that premiered on AMC in 2010. The TV show loosely follows the storyline of the comic book series but also introduces new characters, locations, events, and twists. The TV show became one of the most watched and acclaimed shows on television, winning several awards and breaking records for ratings and viewership.
The TV show also spawned two companion series: Fear the Walking Dead, which premiered in 2015 and follows a different group of survivors in Los Angeles during the onset of the zombie apocalypse; and The Walking Dead: World Beyond, which premiered in 2020 and follows a group of teenagers who grew up in a safe community after the zombie apocalypse.
The Legacy and Future of Walking Dead
The Walking Dead comic book series ended in 2019 with issue #193, after almost 16 years of stories from the zombie apocalypse. The ending of the comic book series was a surprise for many fans and critics, who did not expect Kirkman to end the series so abruptly and without any prior announcement. The ending of the comic book series also left an impact on the zombie genre and culture, as well as on the future of The Walking Dead franchise.
The Reasons and Reactions to Walking Dead's Ending
Why did Robert Kirkman decide to end The Walking Dead comic book series? In his letter to the readers at the end of issue #193, Kirkman explained that he had planned to end the series for a long time, and that he had reached the natural conclusion of Rick Grimes' story. He said that he wanted to end the series on a high note, rather than dragging it out for too long and losing its quality and relevance. He also said that he wanted to surprise and shock the readers, as he had done throughout the series.
How did fans and critics react to The Walking Dead comic book ending? The reaction was mixed, with some praising Kirkman for his bold and creative decision, and others criticizing him for his abrupt and unsatisfying conclusion. Some fans felt that the ending was too optimistic and unrealistic, while others felt that it was a fitting and hopeful finale. Some critics felt that the ending was too rushed and lacked closure, while others felt that it was a powerful and emotional statement. Some readers felt that they were cheated and betrayed by Kirkman, while others felt that they were honored and rewarded by him.
The Lessons and Inspirations from Walking Dead
What can readers learn from The Walking Dead comic book series? The comic book series offers many lessons and inspirations for readers who are interested in zombies, survival, morality, humanity, and hope. Some of these lessons and inspirations are:
Zombies are not the real enemy. The real enemy is ourselves. The comic book series shows how humans can be more dangerous and evil than zombies, and how we can lose our humanity in a world where zombies are more numerous than humans.
Survival is not enough. We need to live. The comic book series shows how survival is not the only goal in a zombie apocalypse, but also how we need to find meaning, purpose, happiness, and love in our lives.
Morality is not black and white. It is gray. The comic book series shows how morality is not a simple matter of right and wrong in a zombie apocalypse, but also how it depends on our circumstances, choices, values, and actions.
Humanity is not lost. It is found. The comic book series shows how humanity is not something that we lose in a zombie apocalypse, but also something that we find in ourselves and others.
Hope is not dead. It is alive. The comic book series shows how hope is not something that we give up in a zombie apocalypse, but also something that we hold on to and fight for.
The Walking Dead comic book series also inspired many other zombie works and creators who followed its footsteps. Some of these works and creators are:
World War Z, a novel by Max Brooks that depicts a global zombie war through various interviews with survivors.
Zombieland, a movie by Ruben Fleischer that follows a group of survivors who travel across America in search of a safe haven.
The Last of Us, a video game by Naughty Dog that follows a smuggler and a girl who try to survive in a post-apocalyptic world infected by a fungal plague.
Z Nation, a TV show by Karl Schaefer and Craig Engler that follows a group of survivors who escort a man who is immune to the zombie virus across America.
I Am Legend, a movie by Francis Lawrence that follows a scientist who is the last human alive in New York City after a virus turns most of the population into vampire-like creatures.
The Walking Dead comic book series is one of the most influential and successful zombie works of all time. It changed the zombie genre and culture by creating a realistic and grounded story that focused on the long-term survival of the characters rather than on the initial outbreak. It also explored the themes of survival, morality, humanity, and hope in a world where zombies are more numerous than humans. It also spawned several media adaptations and spin-offs that expanded its universe and reach. It also ended in a surprising and controversial way that shocked and divided its fans and critics. It also left a legacy and a future for the zombie genre and culture, as well as for The Walking Dead franchise.
If you are a fan of zombies, you should definitely check out The Walking Dead comic book series if you haven't already. You will not regret it. You will be amazed, entertained, moved, and inspired by this epic saga of the zombie apocalypse. You will also be part of a huge and passionate community of fans who love and appreciate this masterpiece of storytelling. You will also be ready for whatever comes next in The Walking Dead franchise.
So what are you waiting for? Grab your copy of The Walking Dead comic book series today and join the adventure. You will not be disappointed.
Here are some frequently asked questions about The Walking Dead comic book series:
Who created The Walking Dead comic book series?
The Walking Dead comic book series was created by writer Robert Kirkman and artist Tony Moore, who later left the series and was replaced by Charlie Adlard.
How many issues are there in The Walking Dead comic book series?
The Walking Dead comic book series has 193 issues, published from 2003 to 2019.
How does The Walking Dead comic book series end?
The Walking Dead comic book series ends with a time jump of several years, where Rick Grimes is killed by Sebastian Milton and Carl Grimes is married to Sophia with a daughter named Andrea. The story ends with Carl reading a bedtime story to Andrea, recounting how the world became safe once again.
How different is The Walking Dead TV show from The Walking Dead comic book series?
The Walking Dead TV show is loosely based on The Walking Dead comic book series, but it also introduces new characters, locations, events, and twists. Some of the major differences are: Carl Grimes dies in season 8 of the TV show but survives in the comic book series; Rick Grimes leaves in season 9 of the TV show but dies in issue #192 of the comic book series; Negan is still alive in both the TV show and the comic book series, but he has different roles and relationships with other characters; The Whisperers are introduced in season 9 of the TV show but in issue #130 of the comic book series; The Commonwealth is introduced in season 10 of the TV show but in issue #175 of the comic book series.
Where can I read The Walking Dead comic book series?
You can read The Walking Dead comic book series online or offline. You can buy digital copies from various platforms such as Comixology, Amazon Kindle, Google Play Books, etc. You can also buy physical copies from various retailers such as Barnes & Noble, Image Comics, Skybound Shop, etc.