The Walking Dead Book One

By Robert Kirkman – creator, writer, letter, Tony Moore – penciler, inker, gray tones, Charlie Adlard – penciler, inker, Cliff Rathburn – gray tones

Place: Publisher & Year: Berkeley, CA: Image Comics, Inc., 2010

Genre: Horror

Format: Graphic novel

Series: The Walking Dead

ISBN: 9781582406190

Audience: Adult

Number of pages: Unpaginated

Setting: Kentucky, Atlanta, GA and surrounding rural areas

Time period: Contemporary

Plot summary: Small town police officer, Rick Grimes, awakens from a coma to find his world turned upside down.  Before he can even leave the hospital, he encounters his first walking dead person.  As he seeks both safety and his family, he encounters many of the walking dead as well as a few live people.

Illustrations: Black and white drawings include the gruesome details involved with killing zombies as well as both tender and tense moments between the living characters.

Appeal factors:

Pacing: Extremely fast paced; zombie danger lurks everywhere.

Characterization: The story is told primarily from Rick’s perspective, but does include other perspectives.  All of the characters become increasingly important both to the story and to each other due to the nature of their situation.

Frame: The first panel of this story shows two police officers working as a team in a violent situation; this panel establishes the frames for this story – violence and team work.

Tone: Dark, violent

Story line: A realistic survival story set in an unrealistic situation.

Subject headings:

From Pima County Public Library:

Survivalism — Comic books, strips, etc.

Interpersonal relations — Comic books, strips, etc.

Families — Comic books, strips, etc.

Comic books, strips, etc. — United States.

Zombies — Comic books, strips, etc.

Graphic novels.

Comic books, strips, etc.

Horror comic books, strips, etc.

Similar works:


World War Z: an Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks

Patient Zero by Jonathan Maberry

Zombies vs. Unicorns edited by Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier

Zomblog by TW Brown


Rotten by Mark Rahner and Robert Horton (authors); Dan Doughtery (illustrator)

Personal notes: I really enjoyed this book.  I haven’t watched any of the television show, so I don’t know how they compare.

Other (diversity, themes, websites): Diversity – zombies, nomads, African Americans, Asian American

Originally published in single magazine form as The Walking Dead #1-12.

Includes an extra story and artwork at the back of the book.

Robert Kirkman’s website

Tony Moore’s website

Charlie Adlard’s website

I could not find a website for Cliff Rathburn


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