The Walking Dead (comics)
|The Walking Dead (comics)|
The Walking Dead #1
|Publication date||October 2003 – present|
|Number of issues||93|
|Artist(s)||Tony Moore (#1–6)
Charlie Adlard (#7–)
First issued in 2003 by publisher Image Comics, the comic was created by writer Robert Kirkman and artist Tony Moore (who was later replaced by Charlie Adlardfrom issue #7 onward, though Moore continued to do the covers through issue #24.)
The series received the 2010 Eisner Award for Best Continuing Series at San Diego Comic-Con International. A television series bearing the same name premiered Halloween 2010 on AMC. The series has inspired a Kirkman-approved full length novel prologuing the comic book’s timeline.
Shot in the line of duty, Kentucky police officer Rick Grimes wakes from a coma in the hospital to find his town overrun with walking corpses. He travels toAtlanta, Georgia in search of his wife and son, and finds them in a small survivor camp outside the ruined city.
After a fatal zombie attack on the camp, Rick criticizes its leader, his former police partner Shane. Shane pulls a gun on Rick, but is shot dead by Rick’s 7-year-old son Carl. Now de facto leader, Rick decides the survivors need to find a safer home. 
Rick’s early settlement attempts are disastrous. A mother is killed after the survivors move into a gated neighborhood infested with zombies. A farmer, Hershel, invites the group to stay on his land — until zombies break free from his barn and kill several members of his family. The group’s fortunes improve when they discover an abandoned prison with a zombie-proof fence.
Joined by four surviving inmates, Hershel and his remaining family, and a few others met along the road, Rick’s group fortifies the prison against zombies. But danger comes from within: a psychotic inmate murders Hershel’s two youngest daughters, and Rick kills another inmate during an attempted coup against his group. Increasingly erratic and brutal as he struggles to keep order, Rick steps down as the group’s leader, replaced by a committee.
Rick and two friends, Glenn and Michonne, leave the prison to investigate a nearby helicopter crash and stumble upon Woodbury: a survivor town ruled by an insane tyrant called the Governor. When his visitors won’t tell him where they came from, he imprisons them, cutting off Rick’s right hand and sadistically raping Michonne. The Governor eventually allows the three to escape, hoping to tail them back home. But on her way out of town, Michonne captures, tortures and mutilates the Governor.
The prison dwellers prepare for a reprisal attack, but slip into complacency and distraction after weeks with no sign of Woodbury forces. Rick’s wife gives birth. Glenn marries his girlfriend Maggie and “adopts” an orphaned girl. Rick and Hershel are admiring the courtyard vegetable garden when the Governor and a small army rolls up to the prison fence. 
Despite their better weapons and larger numbers, the Woodbury forces take heavy casualties and retreat. Convinced they will return, Glenn, Maggie and their adopted daughter flee in an RV with another family. Michonne and her lover Tyreese are captured while attempting a preemptive commando strike on Woodbury. Michonne escapes into the wasteland but the Governor executes Tyreese outside the prison gate before launching his second assault.
The Governor’s forces use a tank to break down the fence and massacre the prison dwellers, killing Hershel, Rick’s wife and baby, and many others. Rick and Carl flee to a nearby town. Zombies pour in through the broken fence and surround the Woodbury forces. One of the Governor’s soldiers shoots him in the head before his army runs out of ammo and presumably perishes.
Rick and Carl reunite with Michonne and those who fled in the RV. These few survivors of the prison massacre wander until they join up with a trio headed to Washington, D.C. One of them, Eugene, claims to be a government scientist in radio contact with survivors in the capital.
Maggie attempts suicide over the death of her family. Rick and Abraham — a U.S. Army sergeant traveling with Eugene — bond during a supply run as they confess the killings they’ve each committed to survive.
The group’s oldest member, Dale, is bitten by a zombie and sneaks into the forest to die alone, but is kidnapped by a group of cannibals, who eat his leg before he dies..  Rick and the other adults find, kill and mutilate the cannibals. A reverend is the only person among them appalled by their brutality.
On the outskirts of Washington, Eugene admits he is actually a high school teacher and has no contact with the government. Washington is overrun like other cities. But the group is approached the same day by a recruiter for a peaceful walled-off town of about 40, the Alexandria Safe Zone.
Worried the Alexandrians have forgotten the dangers of the wasteland, Rick gradually asserts authority over them. As town constable, he secretly carries a gun and disobeys Alexandria’s leader, Douglas, to intervene in a domestic dispute. After the newcomers help defeat a bandit attack on Alexandria, Douglas admits Rick is a better leader and steps down.
The gunfire during the bandit attack attracts a herd of of zombies, who surround and break through Alexandria’s wall, killing several. The surviving residents retreat to their houses while zombies flood the town.
When Rick and Carl get surrounded by zombies, Douglas tries to help them, but accidentally shoots Carl in the eye before he is killed himself. Rick carries Carl to Alexandria’s surgeon, then returns outside and — with Michonne and other residents — destroys the entire herd. The victory convinces Rick that zombies are a manageable threat, and he resolves to rebuild civilization at Alexandria.
Carl wakes from a coma with amnesia.
Rick quashes a small rebellion but forgives the transgressors.
Andrea confesses she loves Rick, but he mostly spurns her advances.
Paul, who claims to represent a nearby community of about 200 survivors, offers to trade supplies with Alexandria, claiming he already does so with several other survivor groups in the area. Fearing a trap, Rick imprisons Paul and prepares Alexandria to defend against an attack. But he soon has a change of heart and decides to trade with Paul’s group.
List of characters
The series has not explored the cause of the zombie outbreak. The character Eugene claimed it was a government-engineered virus, but he turned out to be lying.
As is typical in zombie fiction, the Walking Dead’s zombies relentlessly hunt and eat humans. Even a small zombie bite causes a fatal fever that kills in hours or days, depending on the victim. Amputating a bitten limb can sometimes prevent the fever. A zombie bite itself does not cause zombiism; since the outbreak, every corpse becomes a zombie regardless of how it died, with the only known “cure” being to destroy the brain.
Simple exposure to zombie body fluids is not fatal. The Governor kept his undead daughter in his house and fed her parts of other humans. A group of cannibals cooked and ate Dale’s zombie-infected leg without becoming ill.
Zombies in the series move slowly and are not especially dangerous except in large numbers or with the element of surprise. Rick’s group has observed zombies too weak to move.
Rick’s group classifies zombies as either roamers or lurkers, the former category being more likely to venture toward a loud noise in search of human prey.
Zombies follow and mimic each other, which can result in enormous herds traveling together, “walking nonstop, following a sound they’ve all forgotten,” as Abraham put it.
- Tony Moore: #1–6 (2004) (interior), #1–24 (covers) (2005), collected trade paperback volumes 1–4 (covers).
- Charlie Adlard: #7–present (interior), #25–present (covers), collected trade paperback volumes 5–present (covers).
The Walking Dead Weekly
Due to the popularity of the TV show, in October 2010 Image Comics announced The Walking Dead Weekly. Starting on January 5, 2011, the series is being reprinted in order with one issue a week being released.
The series has so far been collected into the following collections:
The trade paperbacks collect six issues each, but contain only the story and no cover art. Each paperback follows the custom of having a three-word title.
|Title||ISBN||Release Date||Collected Material|
|The Walking Dead Vol. 1: Days Gone Bye||1-58240-358-9||May 12, 2004||The Walking Dead #1–6|
|The Walking Dead Vol. 2: Miles Behind Us||1-58240-413-5||November 24, 2004||The Walking Dead #7–12|
|The Walking Dead Vol. 3: Safety Behind Bars||1-58240-487-9||May 18, 2005||The Walking Dead #13–18|
|The Walking Dead Vol. 4: The Heart’s Desire||1-58240-530-1||November 30, 2005||The Walking Dead #19–24|
|The Walking Dead Vol. 5: The Best Defense||1-58240-612-X||September 27, 2006||The Walking Dead #25–30|
|The Walking Dead Vol. 6: This Sorrowful Life||1-58240-684-7||April 11, 2007||The Walking Dead #31–36|
|The Walking Dead Vol. 7: The Calm Before||1-58240-828-9||September 26, 2007||The Walking Dead #37–42|
|The Walking Dead Vol. 8: Made To Suffer||1-58240-883-1||June 25, 2008||The Walking Dead #43–48|
|The Walking Dead Vol. 9: Here We Remain||1-60706-022-1||January 21, 2009||The Walking Dead #49–54|
|The Walking Dead Vol. 10: What We Become||1-60706-075-2||August 12, 2009||The Walking Dead #55–60|
|The Walking Dead Vol. 11: Fear the Hunters||1-60706-122-8||January 6, 2010||The Walking Dead #61–66|
|The Walking Dead Vol. 12: Life Among Them||1-60706-254-2||August 3, 2010||The Walking Dead #67–72|
|The Walking Dead Vol. 13: Too Far Gone||1-60706-329-8||November 23, 2010||The Walking Dead #73–78|
|The Walking Dead Vol. 14: No Way Out||1-60706-392-1||June 22, 2011||The Walking Dead #79–84|
|The Walking Dead Survivors Guide||1-60706-458-8||November 1, 2011||The Walking Dead Survivors Guide #1–4|
|The Walking Dead Vol. 15: We Find Ourselves||1-60706-440-5||December 27, 2011||The Walking Dead #85-90|
All hardcovers contain the contents of the comics, including the covers, and in some cases bonus material. The books’ trim size is larger than the paperbacks. Each hardcover contains two story arcs from the series. Signed versions of the books are available, each limited to 310 pieces.
|Title||ISBN||Release Date||Collected Material||Cover Character|
|The Walking Dead: Book One||1-58240-619-7||July 19, 2006||The Walking Dead #1–12||Rick|
|The Walking Dead: Book Two||1-58240-698-7||March 7, 2007||The Walking Dead #13–24||Michonne|
|The Walking Dead: Book Three||1-58240-825-4||December 19, 2007||The Walking Dead #25–36||The Governor|
|The Walking Dead: Book Four||1-60706-000-0||October 29, 2008||The Walking Dead #37–48||Lori and Judith|
|The Walking Dead: Book Five||1-60706-171-6||May 5, 2010||The Walking Dead #49–60||Abraham|
|The Walking Dead Covers||1-60706-002-7||October 19, 2010||The Walking Dead #1–50 (covers)||N/A|
|The Walking Dead: Book Six||1-60706-327-1||October 26, 2010||The Walking Dead #61–72||Carl|
|The Walking Dead: Book Seven||1-60706-439-1||October 18, 2011||The Walking Dead #73–84||Rick|
Limited omnibus editions collect 24 issues in a slipcase with several extras. The first volume is autographed by Kirkman and Adlard, with 300 pieces available. Subsequent volumes were released with 3000 pieces each. There is also a deluxe limited edition (signed by Kirkman/Adlard) with 300 pieces available.
|Title||ISBN||Release Date||Collected Material|
|The Walking Dead: Volume 1 Deluxe HC||1-58240-511-5||December 14, 2005||Collects #1–24|
|The Walking Dead: Volume 2 Deluxe HC||1-60706-029-9||February 17, 2009||Collects #25–48|
|The Walking Dead: Volume 3 Deluxe HC||1-60706-330-1||February 2, 2011||Collects #49–72|
The Limited Edition Retailer Giveaway is a limited hardcover of the softcover Volume 1, with black faux-leather cover and red foil highlights.
These are 48-issue softcover editions.
|Title||ISBN||Release Date||Collected Material|
|The Walking Dead: Compendium One||1-60706-076-0||May 6, 2009||Collects #1–48|
|Title||ISBN||Release Date||Collected Material|
|The Walking Dead: Rise of the Governor||9780312547738||October 11, 2011||by Kirkman and Jay Bonansinga|
The series received critical acclaim, winning the Eisner Award for Best Continuing Series in 2010 and prompting Eric Sunde of IGN comics to call it “one of the best monthly comics available”. Max Brooks told Kirkman that he read The Walking Dead and liked it.
IGN ranked main protagonist Rick Grimes as the 26th Greatest Comic Book Hero of All Time in 2011, stating that Kirkman “has an endless supply of ringers to run Rick through.” IGN ranked Michonne, another protagonist, as the 86th Greatest Comic Book Hero of All Time the same year. It ranked the Governor as the 86th Greatest Comic Book Villain of All Time in 2009, describing him as “a sadistic evil that ‘The Road Warrior‘ forgot.” Wizard magazine ranked The Governor as the 131st greatest comic book character of all time.
AMC picked up the rights to produce a show based on the comic in 2009. It ordered a pilot episode on January 21, 2010 and began filming on May 15, 2010.The series premiered on October 31, 2010 with high ratings. On November 8, 2010, after broadcasting two episodes, AMC renewed The Walking Dead for a second season of 13 episodes, which began on October 16, 2011.
On February 18, 2011, Telltale Games announced plans to create an episodic video game based on the series, scheduled to debut in fall 2011. Kirkman has said that, unlike typical zombie games such asLeft 4 Dead, it will focus more on characterization and emotion than action.
Taverncraft has produced TWD pint glasses and steins, and has a license to release lighters for the series as well.
Action figures resembling the characters in the comic book were manufactured by McFarlane Toys for September 2011 release. In addition, action figures resembling characters from the TV series, including Rick Grimes, Daryl Dixon and a dismemberable Walker and Biter, were set for release in November 2011.
In 1989, a four-issue limited series named The Walking Dead was published by Aircel Comics, followed by a one issue special in 1990. Other than the shared zombie theme, it had no relationship to the Image title.