Thursday, 19 March 2015

That time I was ill so I read all of The Walking Dead in 5 days...

I mentioned briefly at the end of my last post that I've not been well recently. That kind of feels like an understatement. I had a virus, a pretty nasty one, that involved a fever with pretty high temperatures and a cough, headache, the usual 'not feeling so good' stuff. I thought I was on the mend but the fever and the cough got worse, eventually after a week of this I went to the doctor and discovered that the virus had left my immune system weak and as a result I'd got a chest infection too. I was prescribed antibiotics, the fever broke the next day and I started to get better.

During that first week I felt so ill that all I could do for any kind of entertainment while I was stuck in bed was watch TV. I watched a lot of Gilmore Girls. It was ideal because I didn't have to pay that much attention to it, as concentrating was pretty difficult for me during that week. Once the fever broke my head felt a lot clearer so I was pretty happy when I realised I could now also read things whilst bed bound.

I can't remember why, but I decided that now would be the perfect time to get stuck in to The Walking Dead. I guess I thought I might find it easier to read comics than a book, I don't recall. Plus I'd been meaning to read TWD for a long time, I'd just been put off by the fact that there were over 100 issues to get through, 138 so far to be exact. It's a little daunting.

One of my housemates had the first 18 issues in Volume form, or whatever you'd call it. I stole those off him and began reading. I got through those pretty quickly and I was already realising just how much darker and better the comics are than the TV show, so when James came home from work I practically jumped on him asking him where the rest of the comics were (James has been collecting TWD since almost the beginning, so he has all of it in comic form). James had leant them to a friend a while back but very kindly managed to get them back for me that night. Thus begun my epic journey.

Due to the fact I was still pretty wiped out from the chest infection and virus, although I felt fine when sat down, I got tired out really quickly if I tried to do anything more strenuous than showering. Even having a shower left me needing a little sit down after. This meant that I really couldn't do much else except read a lot, so that's exactly what I did. Let me tell you, TWD put me through a lot. James got a lot of texts from me asking "WHAT THE HELL?!" and declaring "They're not gonna die, right? No no no no no!"

One of the upsides to reading the individual comics is that you get to read the letter page at the end. I didn't bother to read all of them, but it was always pretty funny after a character died to flick through them. A lot of people would write in saying "I can't believe you killed off X, I'm never buying this comic again, you've gone too far this time!!!" and Kirkman would usually respond with something along the lines of "Yeah, yeah, see ya next month". I guess I should thank George R. R. Martin for killing off so many of my favourite characters that I'm now always mentally prepared for anyone to die at any moment.

Another upside to reading the comics over watching the TV series is that everyone is so much more badass. Seriously. I realise that with a TV show comes limitations in what they can broadcast, and what they can do in regards to make-up etc. but compared to the comics it almost seems tame. One thing I don't understand is why the TV show has ruined a lot of really great female characters. TWD is littered with them, Andrea for example is actually still alive in the comic, and she's amazing. I love her. Carl is also a total fucking badass. And - spoiler alert - Rick loses an arm, and he's still running the show like a total badass. It's great.

Anyway, I can't say much more without really spoiling it for anyone who is still wanting to read the comics. But I will say that if it's something you're thinking of doing, then seriously, read them. Like now. It's amazing, it's dark, it's brilliant. I read it all in five days and now I have to wait for it to come out monthly like a chump. It was possibly the best thing to come out of me being sick for two weeks.

Bryony :)

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