Zombies are now welcomed with the same, if not greater, fervor that used to be reserved only for vampires and werewolves. From teenaged girls to adult men and women, zombies have now hit mainstream media in waves and hordes. It’s inspired books, movies and events—from the wildly entertaining Pride, Prejudice and Zombies to the mildly disturbing teenybopper zombie chick flick Warm Bodies to zombie inspired marathons—which point to the conclusion that the zombie invasion is here to stay.
Perhaps the most popular nod to the flesh-eating corpses is none other than The Walking Dead (both the comic and the television show), which has, ironically, breathed life to the world’s incessant zombie obsession. It began with The Walking Dead comic book, a black-and-white monthly installment of pure zombie goodness published by Image Comics that chronicles the life and times of Rick Grimes and his strange band of survivors as they fight to survive in the aftermath of a zombie apocalypse.
Robert Kirkman and Tony Moore created the Walking Dead comic book. It has been received well by both readers and critics alike, garnering a prestigious Eisner Award in 2010 for Best Continuing Series. The story starts off with Rick Grimes as he comes out of his coma and wakes to find his town crawling with the undead. He sets out on a quest to look for his missing wife and son and the Walking Dead comic book narrates his eventual reunion with them and a group of survivors with whom they weather the apocalypse.
Creator slash artist Tony Moore and artist Charlie Adlard illustrated the Walking Dead comic books. The story was eventually picked up by AMC in 2009. It premiered in October 2010 and earned stellar Nielsen ratings, which prompted the network to renew it for a second season after only the second episode. The Walking Dead series now has two completed seasons with a third one underway. The Walking Dead series has been the recipient of many nominations; the more prominent ones include a Writers Guild of America Award nomination and one for Best Television Series Drama at the Golden Globes.
Aside from the comic and the series, the Walking Dead franchise has spurned a number of other spin-offs. In April 2012, Telltale Games released an action video game based on the story for Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Mac OS X and iOS that incorporate RPG elements. Following the debut of the second season, the after-show special Talking Dead was also launched. The episodes have a live talk show format with featured guests, such as the stars of the show, the crew, and even fans.
Truly a treat for the zombie-hungry public, the action-packed and emotionally rousing Walking Dead comic book and series keeps readers and viewers at the edge of their seats. It’s surprisingly nuanced for a post-apocalyptic drama whose main selling point is the presence of numerous undead corpses out for flesh and blood. It’s definitely worth reading and watching and will surely satisfy the craving for all things zombie-inspired!