01 April 2012

Walkers, Biters, Lurkers, Herds--You get my drift?

In light of the recent conclusion of season two of 'The Walking Dead,' I have taken it upon myself to re-read the half of the series that I read years ago, and continue on finishing the story that I started reading so long ago.  I'm hovering over issue 82 right now and all I can really say is...wow.

If you have any idea about the show or the comic, it's about a group of survivors that have somehow made it through the beginning of the zombie apocalypse and have banded together for protection, sanity, or any sort of semblance of the life they had before.   Yeah, there are zombies there.  Of course there are zombies.  Honestly, anything that is ever put on a screen ever again should have zombies.  But 'The Walking Dead' really isn't about that, and I've been able to grasp even more of what it's about from reading the series these past few days.

The writer of the series, Robert Kirkman, just has a way of making his readers feel uneasy.  And it doesn't start out this way.  In the beginning of the series (the book and the show, for that matter), the viewer has hope.  The viewer is on the edge of their seat, waiting for the show or book to drive in whichever direction Kirkman wants to take them.  I've found that in the later issues I'm getting into now, I feel like I'm part of it.

I'm not going to spoil anything for anyone who hasn't read or watched it, but some fucked up shit happens.  Shit that even in my darkest days of depravity I could never picture myself doing.  There are merely shreds of the humanity initially instilled in the character development early on.  They are, in as cliche as terms can get here, shells of themselves who fear nothing and everything at the same time.  They trust nobody, not even themselves.  

I find it absolutely amazing that a comic book--a simple, black and white comic book--can in turn make me feel those very same sentiments.  I'm turning the pages (well, clicking--they're on my computer. I digress) and every new person they encounter I trust less and less.  I see people at work and every day I trust them less and less.  I look at the world around me and I think--what would I do for the people I love?

Would I kill?  Would I abandon?  Which lives would I value over others?  How far would I really go?  In season one and two these situations haven't catapulted themselves to the levels that they are now where I'm at in the comic series.  Just wait.  If season three follows the same story arch that the end of season two is alluding to, you'll see.  If anything, it's almost like a nightmare being played out on your television set.  My skin is crawling just thinking about what they're going to do with the events that are so close to transpiring.

Really, what I'm getting at here--when (not if) the zombie apocalypse happens, if I'm alive to see it, I really wonder about the person I would become.  What would a situation like that force me to reveal to myself?  What would I discover about the people I love?

Thank you, Mr. Kirkman, for making me think about these things.  And damn you, Walking Dead, with your obnoxious cliffhangers.

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