I just finished my second reading of all 10 graphic novels of the comic book series the Walking Dead by Robert Kirkman. I can hardly describe how brutal, gruesome and beautiful this story is, especially reading it around Halloween when all things spooky are allowed to be celebrated. Zombies are immensely popular these days and, you can’t think of zombies without thinking of zombie apocalypse and that is what this story is all about.
Walking Dead was meant to be an ongoing story of human survival. It is all that and more. It is a masterpiece of human tragedy and triumph. It has tears and fears and thrills and chills and zombie children and even a few laughs, like when two American men talk about the NFL 6 months after the fall of society. This book is so brutally honest about the spirit of mankind and the horrors that we can survive that I want my 10-year-old son to read it when I think he is ready.
The most remarkable thing about this story and the thing most relevant to Halloween is the ongoing theme of the line in which a man becomes a monster. On Halloween, people put on masks and run around often portraying their true natures. In daily life, we put on masks to hide the scary and unpleasant thoughts from the world around us. In a time when the dead walk and mankind has fallen, people quickly become the monster inside.
When the veneer of society and civilization fall away what will you behave like? A man? Or a monster? When it comes down to protecting you and yours, how far would you go? Would you bite off a person’s nose? I would. Would you rip out their throat with your teeth? Would you become a monster to protect what you love?
The Walking Dead might just be the best thing I have read since Y the Last Man on Earth. I think I want the world to read it so much that I am going to run around biting people until everyone has read it and asked themselves the questions it begs you to ask yourself like; am I really living now? Or would I go that far? Would I survive?
Halloween is among us once again. The Great Pumpkin is walking the night with Sam Haine and a chill is creeping through the air. The spooky things have come to play and we love it. It is time to celebrate. It is a great time to treat yourself to a good read. If you like zombies and human drama and sad endings and real people and lots and lots of horrific violence, I would suggest the Walking Dead by Robert Kirkman. Read it with horror and wonder.
Happy Halloween, folks and better yet, trick or treat!