Now, if you aren’t reading the comics, just started, or haven’t read nearly as far as I have, let me just say that there are going to be some spoilers from here on out. And not just spoilers, but some very disturbing descriptions of certain events within the comments. Just warning you.
I started watching AMC’s The Walking Dead not long after Season 1 aired back in 2010. It took me a bit to get used to the gore and violence, but once I was accustomed to it, I became a huge fan.
(And yes, I’m impatiently waiting for Season 4 to start!)
After the second season had finished I decided that it would be a good idea to start reading the comics they’re based on from Image. Again, I found myself sucked into this post-apocalyptic world where zombies roam the earth and people struggled to survive. Robert Kirkman’s storytelling was great, the characters were real, and I kept burning through issues to find out what happened.
When Rick and Company got to the prison I was still buried in each issue. Then came some of the most violent, sickening, and horrible things I had seen in the books. Zombies getting sliced in half are nothing, really. That’s not what I’m talking about. I can totally cope with that. It was when two little girls were murdered that a dark cloud started forming. Let’s be honest, if this was a movie I would have shut of the TV and probably cried. Children are innocent and (in my own opinion) should never ever be portrayed like that in any medium.
The sad thing is, though, I kept reading and pushed the images away.
As I’m writing this, I can’t quite explain what I saw in the following issues. There was rape, some very brutal torture scenes, and a baby getting shot and killed. In later issues one of the characters has his head smashed in with a barbed-wire-wrapped club. And the artist didn’t shy away from making it as gruesome as possible. I remember my stomach twisting.
Still, I kept reading. This time, though, it felt as though it was out of obligation to “the comic community”. I wanted to be able to talk about it, but I knew it wasn’t sitting well with me. Finally, after reading only a couple more issues I realized that it was actually starting to upset me spiritually.
I’ve said it before on the podcast, but I want to say it again: I am a Christian and I won’t be shy about it. This is one of those times. These books were really bothering me. And for obvious reasons. I was starting to become more depressed. (And I only say “more depressed” because I work midnights and that takes a toll on your mental well-being!)
Since then I’ve decided not to read The Walking Dead books. I’m not boycotting Robert Kirkman or Image. I don’t want you to think that. I still love the show and I feel that it’s my choice to read the comics or not. It’s not like Kirkman is tying me to a chair and forcing me to read them. So I’m putting them down and walking away from them.
As I sign off I want you to understand that I will not condemn anyone for reading them. In fact, David is reading them! To each his own, I guess.
What are your thoughts on The Walking Dead comic series (or the show)? What is your opinion of me leaving the books in the dust?