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The Walking Dead (Comic vs Show)


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I haven't read all of the comics, but enough to see the differences between the two. I don't mind the changes and think they are for the best. Some of what happens in the comic wouldn't work well on TV and it is also a chance for the creator to tell the story again with tweaks. One change I like was that the show takes place in the spring and summer and skips the winter. Which is ok in my opinion because in the comic the cold slows down or stops the zombies.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well, before recent episodes of the show I'd have said I expected the most gruesome scenes to be toned down by the show, but it doesn't seem like they're flinching at all so far. If we're talking about the comic it should be obvious, but just so it's not misunderstood




Here's my pros for the comic as opposed to the show, in no particular order:


1. The comic, when handled optimally, has less restraints on the plot. Things come to a head when the story gets there, not when mandated by season finales or episode climaxes. However, this hasn't really been taken advantage for quite a while IMO.


2. Characters exclusive to the comic tend to be much stronger than characters exclusive to the show, i. e. compare Tyrese to T-Dog. In fact, most show-exclusive characters thus far have bordered on non-entities. If Daryl finally evolves this season after the reintroduction of his brother, then this point may be subject to amendment.


3. As I stated in the other thread, IMO the season one finale at the CDC crosses too closely into the kind of sci-fi stuff that TWD was initially supposed to avoid. According the creator, Kirkman, the reason/origin for the zombie apocalypse is never to be explained, this being in the interest of keeping the story focused on the characters. Initially it actually resembled hard science fiction in that there was really only one thing changed (zombies) and everything else was to be as realistic as possible. Aside from his decision to make everyone that died turn zombie (which I assume he did just to make sure there would always be zombies around), the comic mostly avoids this. The show has come much closer to violating it on a few occasions, and to the extent that they do I feel it detracts from what makes TWD unique among the otherwise endless ocean of zombie stuff out there. It focuses on the least realistic element of the story, jarring you out of the connection created by having such vivid characters


.Pros for the show as opposed to the comic in no particular order -


1. This isn't exactly fair yet since the show has only gone a little over two season now, but it seems to be only picking up steam while the comic is running exactly in the opposite direction. The show has had the benefit of being able to cannibalize the comic's best storylines while abandoning the worst. They got way more and better use out of Shane than the comic did. The comic has been coming out much faster than it used to since the show started, so the show clearly lit a fire under Kirkman's ass to some extent.


2. The characters that the comic and the show both share have tended to be stronger so far on screen, at least for me. Maybe it's just the extra presence of character brought by real actor's who have all been very good at their roles so far. Rick is good in the comic and the show, but I have a feeling he's going to hold up better on the show over the long run. This is pretty weird to say, because I think the screen just about never does one better on the book.


3. Again, this is an early verdict, but the comic began to get pretty formulaic pretty quickly. It wasn't that obvious at first, but after the Governor arc a clear pattern seemed to have emerged, which was a) Rick and co. hit the road b) they find a new place to live where things seem safe and hopeful c) they get attacked, some characters are killed gruesomely d) Rick and co. hit the road. One of the early strengths of the series was that Rick was pretty much a normal guy, with a cop's level of street smarts, who woke up to the horrible situation of TWD. We got to see his floored reaction and wonder what he'd do next. Anything could happen at any time, and you never knew how Rick would react. We all knew that a comic called The Walking Dead was gonna be brutal at times, but Rick has quickly evolved into exactly the Mad Max tough guy protagonist typical of any number of post-apocalyptic thrillers. Long gone is the sense that anything could happen, replaced by the tacit assurance that no matter what Rick's going to end up acting like a badass and there will be blood! I think that part of this problem has come from Kirkman wanting to push the envelope with a brand that's become very successful but perhaps doesn't have enough mileage in it to make it interesting over the long haul. He swears he has ideas to keep TWD going for years, but that's really pretty silly if you think about it. The book has already arrived at the place it was always headed - average horror genre stuff for cult fans to keep their blood lust sated. The thing it had going for it was a different take on the journey there.


4. Kirkman's main trick so far has pretty much been played out at this point. By issue #100, everyone was just debating which main character was going to get killed - no one had any doubt that this would be the plot device for the 100th issue. Kirkman has always built characters up with heavy emotional scenes, only to kill them violently and unexpectedly. This was actually a pretty good trick early in the series, especially since permanent death in comics is so rare. The problem now, though, is two-fold. First of all, the readership is wise to the trick and it's lost it's punch. Secondly, he's pulled this trick so many times now that there are hardly any tier one, long haul character's left to kill. Since we now know not to get invested in peripheral characters, and even when we do they get killed too frequently to worry about we're left with a core group growing increasingly untouchable if the story is to continue to be interesting. Also, he's now amping up the gore factor in an attempt to out-gore himself earlier in the series, which doesn't really appeal to me for it's own sake, especially when the writing has been as sub par as it has been lately. I have no interest in Saw the comic book. If you don't have a story then it's over.


So those are pretty much my thoughts on it at this point. Another thing is that since I've read the book, any changes the show makes are probably going to make it more interesting to me. I'm liking the new take on the Governor.

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I started on the comics after I watched the first two seasons of TWD to see what the fuss was all about. The television program is much better and I just couldn't get into the comics at all. The comics just seemed childish and random for me. Then again, I wasn't much of a comic reader even as a child.


The series is significantly different than the comic in many aspects but in a good way.

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Well, I know what you're saying. Some people just don't like the format of a comic or just prefer a show. The show definitely moved faster.


And yeah, the last episode was pretty gut wrenching. The comic has had moments that worked that well too, but probably none that did it better. I'm digging this season a lot so far.

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Well I have been reading the comics off and on for years now, some of the arc's have been spectacular, others have been very mediocre. I really enjoy the show, it has some flaws, but for the most part I think its great. My only real problem with the show is the character assassination of Andrea, she was my favorite in the comics, not so much in the show.


But I just recently sat down and played the first 4 episodes of Telltale's The Walking Dead game. I think that the game outstrips both the comics and the show, in storytelling and character building. Its an entirely different set of characters with a few cameo's by some characters from the comics. I have found very few games that actually make me feel anything for the characters, but this game has been dragging me through the mud emotionally. The story is quite good and the voice acting is superior. Even if games are not your thing, this game is worth it.

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