Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Review: THE WALKING DEAD: The Official Magazine #1


WRITERS: Robert Kirkman, Tob Weidmann, Dan Auty, Stuart Barr, Tara Bennett, Jay Bonansinga, Dan Bura, and Bryan Caims
ART: Charlie Adlard
98pp, Color, $9.99 U.S./Canada

The Walking Dead is a black and white comic book series published by Image Comics. It first appeared in late 2003, the creation of writer Robert Kirkman and artist Tony Moore. Artist Charlie Adlard replaced Moore as of the seventh issue and continues to draw the series, which, as of this writing, recently reached issue #103. The series follows Rick Grimes, his family and friends, and other survivors as the try to stay alive during a zombie apocalypse.

In 2010, a television series, “The Walking Dead,” based on the comic book, debuted on cable television channel, AMC. The Golden Globe Award-nominated series recently began its third season. The Walking Dead has also spawned merchandise such as video games, novels, apparel, (including Halloween costumes), action figures, toy lines, etc.

Like other genre media franchises (Star Wars, Star Trek), The Walking Dead has its own magazine. The Walking Dead: The Official Magazine #1 (November/December 2012) is now walking to newsstands and into mailboxes.

I must admit that I’ve never read a single issue of The Walking Dead comic book, although I’ve been meaning to since it first debuted. I watched the TV series’ debut episode, but I’ve only sporadically watched it since then. But The Walking Dead: The Official Magazine has my back. It is designed and produced not only to inform fans, but also to guide fresh newbie meat into the world of The Walking Dead.

The Walking Dead: The Official Magazine covers everything about The Walking Dead – comics, prose fiction, merchandise, and, of course, the TV series. That includes an interview with Glen Mazzara, the showrunner of AMC’s The Walking Dead. Mazzara even explains what a showrunner does (basically the day to day administration of the production). There is also an interview with the host of “Talking Dead,” Chris Hardwick.

“Choice Cuts,” one of what will be several regular features in the magazine, looks at Michonne, a hugely-popular character since her debut in the comic book. There is also an interview with Danai Gurira, the actress who portrays Michonne on the TV series. We learn, for instance, that Gurira is an award-winning playwright.

Do I have to tell you that there is a Robert Kirkman interview? There is a synopsis of the comic book from issue #1 to #100 and a preview of the TV series’ Season Three. Read the exclusive Walking Dead short story, “Just Another Day at the Office.” Learn about series artist Charlie Adlard and see the variant covers of The Walking Dead #100, including art from Bryan Hitch, Todd McFarlane, Ryan Ottley, Sean Phillips, Frank Quitely, Matthew Roberts, and Marc Silvestri.

There is so much more. And it’s good. Why be objective? The Walking Dead: The Official Magazine is awesome.


Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux

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