The Walking Dead: Made to Suffer

Robert Kirkman

I’ve never been much of an aficionado of graphic novels, although I do follow the form. The trouble is, if the writing and the artwork don’t both grab me, I’m done. So it comes down to Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead as being the only title I’m compelled to follow issue to issue. Sure, it’s ostensibly just another zombie apocalypse riff, but what makes it stand out is the emphasis on the characters over the expected mayhem, with the title of the series pulling double duty as a description of the survivors as well as the ghouls. The narrative follows the ordeals of a small group of the living seeking refuge from an undead plague that has swept their world, eventually securing a prison as a barbed-wire bunker. Made to Suffer compiles the last six issues of a story arc that culminates in what essentially creates a tabula rasa for the next wave of the mythos. Deftly illustrated in fundamental black-and-white and tightly plotted, The Walking Dead is one of those titles that prove that a graphic novel can be more than just a compendium of comic books.