I never went though a stage where comics were interesting to me. The Sunday funnies, yes. I read them every week when my parents got the paper. But as far as comic books… I just never saw the appeal.
As I’ve gotten a bit older, I’ve become more open minded. I’ve read some of the Odd Thomas graphic novels (written by none other than the wonderful Dean Koontz) and the Twilight graphic novels.
The Walking Dead is a graphic novel written by Robert Kirkman, Charlie Adlard, Tony Moore, and Cliff Rathburn. I’m not sure where to start with my praise. First off, the artwork is great. The artists do a great job of conveying the story through the action and through the characters’ facial expressions, hand gestures, posture, etc. Second, it’s just well-written. Third, the characters feel like real people, three-dimensional with their own sets of motivations, secrets, and problems. There are 14 books, and I bought the first compendium, which includes the first 8… I’m up to book 3, but I’m so excited about it that I had to write about it.
Graphic novels tell a story in a minimalist way. They use action and subtlety to convey meaning. The action has to be fast but the story still has to draw in the reader. I think there’s a lot to be learned from graphic novels.
Even if you’re not sure that you like graphic novels, if you do like zombies and apocalypse stories, give the first book a try.
Incidentally, I can’t finish this without saying a few words about the TV series of the same name. I love the TV series, which stays true to the spirit (though not the plot) of the novels. Many of the characters are the same, and the characters they do share are pretty congruent.
I recommend watching the TV series and reading the books. Both get two thumbs way up.