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Robert Kirkman is a New York Times bestselling author known for being the cultural zeitgeist of the comic book industry. He maintains one prerogative in every undertaking: quality. It is Kirkman's belief that good people who produce good writing and good ideas make comics people love. Kirkman was recently made partner at Image Comics, and continues to revive the industry with refreshing new characters. AMC is adapting his bestselling series, The Walking Dead, into a TV series (set to debut in October 2010), and his books are among the most popular on the iPhone and iPad's "Comics" app.
On the web: skyboundent.com kirkmania.com twitter.com/RobertKirkman
"The Walking Dead" is one of the best comic stories I've read, and I've been into the medium since the early 70s. This is the third collection of the ongoing series; the first two are "Days Gone Bye" and "Miles Behind Us." The plot is this: America has been overrun with cannibalistic zombies, and the few remaining human survivors struggle to hang on. The main protagonist is Rick Grimes, a cop who awakens out of a coma (a la "28 Days Later") to this new and horrifying state of affairs. After some close calls, he reunites with his wife and young son. He soon becomes the leader of a group trying to find sanctuary in a world gone mad.
In "Safety Behind Bars," we pick up with Rick and company as they attempt to put down roots in a maximum-security prison. Rick is certain that it will be an easily defensible home, but he hadn't reckoned on finding four living occupants - and they aren't guards. The two factions settle into an uneasy truce, but events conspire to bring about yet another cliffhanger confrontation (that's why I hate waiting for the next installment).
I enjoy this series for a number of reasons. First, it accomplishes what the creator intended: to show what happens after the typical zombie movie ends. Robert Kirkman's desire is to follow Rick for years and watch him grow and change as a person who's trapped in an extreme situation. Second, the story centers on what we really want to see in a good zombie yarn: how the humans react to and deal with a post-apocalyptic world. Finally, Rick, his family, and the others are three-dimensional characters, with strengths and weaknesses that come to light under duress and create the series' bread-and-butter conflicts.Read more ›
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Safety Beind Bars is the third collected volume of Robert Kirikman's excellent The Walking Dead comic book series from Image Comics. This volume collects issues 13 through 18 and it continues that journey and travails of surviving in a world overrun by the undead. As the tagline of the books proclaim, in a world ruled by the dead we are forced to finally start living. This is so true in Safety Behind Bars as Kirkman and returning artist Charlie Adlard tell the story of Rick Grimes and his band of survivors as they come across what they think will be their salvation from the threat of the hungry dead: an abandoned prison complex.
The last we saw Rick, Tyrese, Lori and their ragtag band of survivors they had just been forced off the the presumably safety of the Herschel farm after the tragic events which transpired within its fences. But Safety Behind Bars starts off with the group discovering an abandoned prison complex that may just solve their shelter, safety and food problems. Once again, Kirkman's writing is tight and to the point. The characters of Rick and the rest of the survivors continue to evolve as the days and months pass by in the journey to survive. What they find in the abandoned prison is both safety and danger, but not in the way of most people thought it would come in. Sure there are still zombies both inside and outside of the prison's security fences, but as the enormity of the crisis finally crashes on everyone --- that there won't be a rescue --- the survivors reach the threshold of their breaking points to the detriment of everyone involved. It's especially tragic for Tyrese as a tragedy pushes him to acting on his base instincts in an act of vengeance that is both understandable and horrifying.Read more ›
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Picking up after a slow volume 2, Safety Behind Bars begins with Rick and company finding what could be their new home: a gigantic prison. With three fences, gates, and guard towers protecting them, Rick immediately thinks it's the ideal place, and nobody wants to go back to sleeping in Dale's cramped R.V. There is a catch though--zombies swarm the yard, and there's probably more inside. Rick leads a team of the best shots to "clean up" the place, and they make their way inside. Going deeper into the prison they find that they could each have their own cell to sleep in, food to eat, and even a gym to exercise in. Yet they get a surprise--upon locating the cafeteria, it seems that four people still live inside the prison, and they're not guards. Is the price of protection behind bars worth living with murderers? Rick has to watch out for Carl, (his son) and Lori (who's pregnant) doesn't trust the inmates. Tensions rise, and it's just another volume in The Walking Dead...
Or is it? No, this volume marks the beginning of a long stay inside the prison, and it's a place where many, many people will perish. Do they choose to stay? Can they trust them? Who's more dangerous--the zombies walking outside, or the people breathing inside? What makes The Walking Dead so great are the questions it asks the reader and the answers it supplies, no matter how many lives are lost to answer them. Robert Kirkman--the writer--definitely has a hit here, and I for one am going to keep with it--no matter how many trees die in the process...;)
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