Monthly Archives: April 2017

Recommend Read May

This month’s recommended read is something that many people may not have either heard of or come across in the graphic novel format. I only started reading this thanks to a recommendation from my good friend Ben Eidam from the NerdsChatting Podcast. NerdsChatting Link

This month, I’m recommending it to you … The Walking Dead Vol 1 Days Gone By.

Unless you have been living under a rock for the past seven years you will be aware of the massive hit TV show The Walking Dead, which is getting ready to return in the autumn with season eight. You may, however, be unaware that the hit TV show is based on a successful comic series by Robert Kirkman. The story in a nutshell: A man wakes up from a coma to find the world has been overrun by zombies. It starts with volume one “Days Gone By”. This is a collection of issues #1-6 of the comic series, which is essentially the beginning of season one and tells the story of a man waking up alone in an apocalyptic wasteland.  This book really conveys the feeling of being alone, the loss of your family, and what happens when society breaks down.

We join Officer Rick Grimes on his journey, during which he will meet some very interesting characters as he struggles to make sense of this strange new world. Kirkland does a wonderful job of establishing the basis of the story in this first volume. What strikes me is that the story is more about Rick and his finding other survivors along the way with, of course, zombies in the background. That’s the main difference with this story – it’s not about the zombies. They are almost a dull background noise. Ok, so they will kill characters when you least expect it, or give you a fright when you see the undead hordes coming for you, but that’s just an aside.  
So, if this book isn’t about the zombie hordes that have taken over the world hungry for brains flesh and limbs, what is it about? The people. It’s about the small groups of strangers that have overcome social and economic boundaries to band together as survivors and look out for each other almost like a family.

 This story tries to depict the importance of a family unit, trying to help each other to solve the inevitable problems of food and shelter. Also, to a lesser degree it covers the subtle things that go unmentioned, like who’s the leader, the strongest, and while this becomes a story in later issues, the scene is set here.
The first thing that will become apparent when you read this book is that it’s all black and white. Where is the colour? In my humble opinion, this book would not work half as well as it does if it were in colour. The way that Tony Moore has brought the Robert Kirklands story to life without needing to rely on colour says a lot about his talents; he has managed to really capture the individuals and emotions perfectly with just black ink and shading.
I highly recommend this series of graphics novels to you, whether you’ve seen the TV series or not. 


The Walking Dead

Most shows have, by the time they reach season seven, started to lose either some steam, or its identity. Yet The Walking Dead is still as exciting, dramatic and tense as it was at the beginning. It’s still pushing the envelope and showing us the most gross and disturbing things possible. This season didn’t disappoint one iota, and as it approaches it’s dramatic finale, what can we expect from the next season?

Showrunner Scot Gimple was doing the rounds press-wise on Monday to discuss the finale of Season 7 and to tease us with a few choice glimpses of what Season 8 has to offer

He said: “I say it’s going to be bigger, it’s going to be more intense. I say these things and I’ve meant them every year and I think we’ve actually accomplished that,”

Gimple went on to say on AMC’s show, Talking Dead: “This year same thing, more intense. The first four episodes will melt people’s minds and break their televisions.”

So after the incredible events of the last season, it looks like season eight will begin with an all-out war between Rick, his new allies and Negan’s saviours. Will Rick keep his promise to take Negan out ? I guess we will have to wait and see.

Season 8 of AMC’s The Walking Dead will premiere in late 2017 and kicks off with the 100th episode of this series.

Recommend Read April

This month’s recommended read is a very interesting story concept. Imagine that James Bond has a tearaway streetwise nephew that he takes under his wing brings him into the spy business and teaches him everything he needs to know. Well, that’s the idea behind my suggestion for this month: Kingsman – The Secret Service. Written by Mark Millar (Civil War) with art from Dave Gibbons (The Watchmen), this is a collaboration between two legends of their respective crafts.

‘Eggsy’ is living with his mother, and since his father died he is constantly in trouble with the Police and almost certainly one step away from going to prison. When his uncle Jack resurfaces into his life, he offers him a lifeline, a chance to be in the training program for a secret government agency similar to M16, the book shows his training and how Eggsy is an outsider, having neither the education nor the upbringing to fit in with his peers. This is basically a story about James Bond Jnr, his training and his first mission. It’s obvious from Miller’s writing style that it was written with a movie tie-in in mind.

Compared to some of Miller’s other fine stories, this one has less violence and much more social commentary and humour; Dave Gibbons is on fine form, as always, with the artwork in this story. As with most of my graphic novel reviews where the story has gone on to become a popular box office movie, I would suggest reading the graphic novel before watching the film.