Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Walking Dead and Y: The Last Man

I am a comic book nerd. And just because I haven't bought a comic book in over a decade doesn't diminish my love for comic books and for the graphic novel. But it does mean I'm less familiar with what's out there and sometimes have to catch up.

Two series that I've been meaning to catch up on for awhile now are The Walking Dead and Y: The Last Man. Both had an intriguing premise (a zombie novel that doesn't focus all its attention on zombies and a story about the last man on earth) and both had been talked up by numerous co-workers. The Walking Dead was what I went with first, mostly because it was the one a co-worker lent me first.

I was disappointed. I like the premise and even the plot, but found the characters and dialogue to be clunky, at best. While I appreciate a zombie apocalypse that focuses more time and attention on how to, as a human survivor, do the day to day of said apolcalypse, the one dimensional characters and sometimes silly prose makes it read like how I imagine Pride and Prejudice and Zombies reads. I like the general idea, but I wanted more done with it. That said, I saw the first AMC episode of the show based on the graphic novel and dug it very much. Turns out all it needed was the Frank Darabont treatment. That discovered; I will be done with the graphic novels and fixing my attention on the television show.

Y: The Last Man has turned out to be much better and it, frankly, had a better chance of going awry. The last man on earth among a planet of women? This could have been a one note joke about some dudebro getting laid. It isn't. The way this story addresses politics; personal, sexual, and international; is nothing short of brilliant. The story is sharp and the characters and their relationships are spot on. It paces like a great movie and needs no help from Darabont to do so. I've flown through 3/4 of the series in just two days and am as excited to see where it's going as I will be sad to see it end. If you have the chance, I highly recommend picking this up.

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