The Walking Dead, Vol. 1: Days Gone Bye
Series: The Walking Dead #1
Published by Image Comics on February 19th 2013
Genres: Graphic Novel, Horror
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Also by this author: The Walking Dead, Vol. 02: Miles Behind Us, The Walking Dead, Vol. 03: Safety Behind Bars, The Walking Dead, Vol. 04: The Heart's Desire
Illustrator: Tony Moore
How many hours are in a day when you don't spend half of them watching television?
When is the last time any of us REALLY worked to get something we wanted?
How long has it been since any of us really NEEDED something that we WANTED?
The world we knew is gone.
The world of commerce and frivolous necessity has been replaced by a world of survival and responsibility.
An epidemic of apocalyptic proportions has swept the globe causing the dead to rise and feed on the living.
In a matter of months society has crumbled.no government, no grocery stores, no mail delivery, no cable TV.
In a world ruled by the dead, we are forced to finally start living.
Sherriff Rick Grimes wakes up in a hospital after being in a coma for a month, only to discover that the world has changed forever – dramatically.
Shortly after awakening, Rick runs into exactly what has caused the virtual end of the world – an infestation of zombies of unknown origin. Rick slowly makes his way home, only to find that his neighborhood – and his hometown – have been abandoned.
Rick meets a pair of strangers, a father and son, who ultimately opt to stay behind as Rick heads off for Atlanta in search of his wife and son. After a long journey, involving both a car ride and hitching a horse, Rick finally runs into Glenn in the heart of Atlanta. Glenn shows Rick the ropes, including the importance of restraining from using gunfire when hordes of zombies are lurking.
Glenn leads Rick to his family – his wife Lori and son Carl – who are shocked to see him alive, living in a camp with other apocalypse survivors – Allen, Jim, Dale, Carol, Andrea, Sophia, Amy, Donna, Billy, and Ben. Rick meets and greets the additional survivors and slowly begins to trust them – they are one.
While Rick and the others attempt to block out memories of the past, Rick becomes suspicious of his old friend and partner, Shane, who seems unusually close with and protective of Lori.
Soon after Rick’s arrival, the group debates leaving the camp; however, Shane vehemently stands against doing so. Meanwhile, Rick teaches Carl to shoot, much to Lori’s dismay. Ultimately, Carl’s newly developed gun skills pay off, as he saves Rick’s life in an unlikely way.
The thing I enjoyed most about this first volume is the fact that it is similar to, yet vastly different from, the AMC TV series of the same name. For instance, Daryl is not introduced in this installment and the whole scene which involves Daryl being handcuffed to a pipe and then chops off his own hand to free himself never occurs.
I was grateful to discover that the show does not follow the graphic novels exactly – I actually quit watching the AMC series when it became so convoluted and goofy that I didn’t know what the plot was anymore. Volume one is a great introduction to the plight of the survivors of the zombie outbreak.
Like most of the graphic novels I’ve read, Days Gone Bye is fast-paced and features amazing illustrations. With 28 total volumes to date, I look forward to following the adventures – and misadventures – of Rick and company.