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Author Topic: The Walking Dead: The Comic Book  (Read 2211 times)

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Thad

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Re: The Walking Dead: The Comic Book
« Reply #20 on: April 21, 2012, 11:32:44 AM »



Man, Walking Dead, you know I love you, but #96 sure has a lot of people sitting around listening to some dude monologue exposition, even by your standards.
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Thad

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Re: The Walking Dead: The Comic Book
« Reply #21 on: July 11, 2012, 03:15:59 PM »

Walking Dead #100:

Okay, two things.

1. Jesus fuck.

2. So the new villain is...Robert Kirkman?
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Mongrel

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Re: The Walking Dead: The Comic Book
« Reply #22 on: July 11, 2012, 05:25:58 PM »

Spoilers?

EDIT: To clarify that request, I'm mostly interested in your elaborating on point #2.
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Thad

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Re: The Walking Dead: The Comic Book
« Reply #23 on: July 11, 2012, 06:18:46 PM »

[spoiler]The villain speckles the fourth wall pretty hard.  He looks from character to character, each in turn, and says "Well, I don't want to kill any of you.  Your story clearly isn't finished yet, if I kill YOU they'll call me a racist, there are so many things I want to do to YOU but killing is at the bottom of the list (but still on the list)..."  And he just decides who he's going to kill by way of eeny-meeny-miney-moe.[/spoiler]

It all gets a little Morrisony.
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Zaratustra

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Re: The Walking Dead: The Comic Book
« Reply #24 on: July 12, 2012, 02:11:35 AM »

do you think he actually rolled a dice

Thad

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Re: The Walking Dead: The Comic Book
« Reply #25 on: July 12, 2012, 06:54:53 AM »

No, I think [spoiler]he picked the most obvious character.  I thought for a minute that the "eeny-meeny-miney-moe" bit might have actually reflected him picking a character at random, but there's no way.  He wasn't going to kill Rick or Carl, he wasn't going to kill Maggie right after she announced she was pregnant, and he wasn't going to kill Sophia because they just got done killing her on the TV series.  And while I think he COULD still kill Michonne off even considering they're currently giving her TV incarnation a marketing blitz, I can't imagine her passively kneeling there and letting someone bash her head in; if it had been her, then the end result would have been similar but she'd have taken out at least three dudes along with her and the big new villain would have died within a few pages of first appearing.

So yeah, it had to be the guy who he's been joking about killing off for at least the past 50 issues.[/spoiler]

EDIT TO ADD: [spoiler]And it couldn't have been a different group of people in the van, either.  Rick and Michonne as leaders, Carl because of course he would insist at this point, Glenn, Maggie, and Sophia because they had decided to move, and not Andrea because with Rick and Michonne gone she's the natural person to leave in charge/on guard duty.  And was there somebody else?  I'm pretty sure there was, but if so it was one of those minor characters who didn't matter and therefore was also not a candidate for getting killed off in the big #100.[/spoiler]
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DestyNova

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Re: The Walking Dead: The Comic Book
« Reply #26 on: July 12, 2012, 07:35:15 PM »

So bets on how many issues it will take for this current threat to be disposed of? I say 2 (3 max). Probably involving a mass of walkers chewing on him while he is made helpless.
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Thad

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Re: The Walking Dead: The Comic Book
« Reply #27 on: July 12, 2012, 09:05:19 PM »

So bets on how many issues it will take for this current threat to be disposed of? I say 2 (3 max).

Well, it's definitely not going to be 3 because the series is written for 6-issue trades and you don't stick your climax in the first 1/6 of your book.

It could be as quick as two but I don't think so.  Kirkman makes a point of how this ISN'T like Fear the Hunters, which -- spoiler for a comic which is now several years old so I am not tagging it -- built up a threat and then had Rick and co completely fucking destroy them in under 20 pages.  I don't think he's going to do that again; I think he's pretty clearly setting Negan up as more like the Governor than those amateurs.

As such, I expect him to last at least 7 more issues -- killing him off in #107 gives the last 1/6 of the trade to mop up and cry and bury people and do what they do.

There's also the possibility that they'll do like the first encounter with the Governor and have him temporarily defeated but out there somewhere waiting for a rematch.  But that would get just a little TOO repetitive; Kirkman's already copied himself pretty heavily as it is.  (More likely he'll get taken out and his men scattered but they'll still be around trying to regroup.  They could potentially be an ongoing threat, indefinitely; "Watch out for roamers and those crazy fucks who still want to kill us.")

The bigger questions are, what role will Jesus and Hilltop play in bringing him down (I don't expect them to keep up this pacifist thing much longer), and will Rick and Co stay in the community and rebuild after the inevitable shitstorm, or is it going to be like #50 all over again and do the big ol' Status Quo Reset and Now They're On the Run Again?
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BŁge

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Re: The Walking Dead: The Comic Book
« Reply #28 on: July 12, 2012, 09:24:52 PM »

You would think they'd eventually run out of zombies that could threaten them. I mean, yeah, 250 million people in the US alone, but I'm pretty sure that number's gone down a significant amount since day 1. To say nothing of zombies that exist in isolated areas. Was there ever any explanation about how long the corpses can keep moving before they rot away? Or are these the magical kind that ignore entropy?
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Mongrel

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Re: The Walking Dead: The Comic Book
« Reply #29 on: July 12, 2012, 10:00:58 PM »

That's really the thing that gets me about Walking Dead. The couple times I got interested in actually reading it I checked out a spoiler summary (I do this a lot). Few things turn me off a story like a soap-operatic neverending aimlessness and I really got that vibe in a big way from this series.
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Thad

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Re: The Walking Dead: The Comic Book
« Reply #30 on: July 13, 2012, 07:37:04 AM »

You would think they'd eventually run out of zombies that could threaten them.

Well, it's been a pretty long time since the zombies were a major threat.  Even in that arc a year or two back where they managed to push down the fence around the Community, they wound up being dispatched pretty quickly.

They've kinda reached "Watch out fer snakes!" levels at this point; they're dangerous but if you take the proper precautions you stand a pretty good chance of making it out.  (The current arc has had the first deaths of any major character since [spoiler]  Dale  [/spoiler], which was, Jesus, a third of the series ago now, and THAT was the first major character death since #50.  ...I guess there was [spoiler]  Morgan  [/spoiler] back in #82, but I don't think he quite counts as a major character.)

Pretty much since they got to the prison, the series has emphasized other humans, not zombies, as the biggest threat and enemy.  The book's not really ABOUT zombies; it's about the collapse of civilization, and a zombie outbreak just happens to be the trope Kirkman chose as the catalyst for that collapse.

It's been observed before, and none-too-subtly, but it probably bears repeating that the Walking Dead referred to in the title are not the zombies.

I mean, yeah, 250 million people in the US alone, but I'm pretty sure that number's gone down a significant amount since day 1. To say nothing of zombies that exist in isolated areas.

The book's largely focused on population centers, which makes a certain amount of sense given that the cast still needs to scavenge supplies.  (They've talked about learning to make their own bullets but it hasn't happened yet; medicine and gasoline are another matter altogether and there's a pretty constant need for that stuff.  The story hasn't gotten to the point where the characters have to start seriously contending with those things no longer working because too much time has passed.)

That said, yeah, it gets a little too convenient when a zombie herd just rolls through somewhere remote like Hershel's Farm for the express purpose of shaking shit up and forcing them to go back on the road again.

Was there ever any explanation about how long the corpses can keep moving before they rot away? Or are these the magical kind that ignore entropy?

Nothing much along those lines yet; IIRC they spotted a zombie that seemed like it was "sick" or otherwise less able than the others a year or two back but they haven't had much time to follow up.  There have been a couple attempts to capture some for study but, as you might expect, they haven't ended well.

I think the entire storyline up to this point has taken about two years in-universe.  There are hints that they're starting to bump up against entropy (bullets and canned food harder to come by) but they're still on the cusp.  (And Kirkman may take some creative license with things like just how long it takes for gasoline to go bad; this is a guy who had a recurring theme about people not knowing the exact date up until someone in the lettercol pointed out that in a group this size SOMEBODY should have a fucking digital watch with a battery that's still good.)

That's really the thing that gets me about Walking Dead. The couple times I got interested in actually reading it I checked out a spoiler summary (I do this a lot). Few things turn me off a story like a soap-operatic neverending aimlessness and I really got that vibe in a big way from this series.

Even Love and Rockets?

Yeah, I'd certainly say that's the biggest weakness of Walking Dead; up to this point it's followed a pretty predictable pattern of "Wander around, meet new characters, lose a few along the way, find a place that seems safe, stay there until it starts to get boring, get chased out by zombies or rednecks (who also thin out the ballooning cast a bit), go back to step 1."  The current arc, as I've said, is a pretty clear mirror of the Prison/Governor arc (coming to TV this fall!) and I'm hoping Kirkman finds something to do differently this time.  (I'm thinking Rick and co manage to take out Negan with guerilla tactics and manage to stay in the Community, instead of being chased out yet again.)

There have been a couple of times I've come near to dropping it (there were two straight issues of graphic rape in the Governor arc) but so far Kirkman's managed to pull back from the brink and do something interesting each time.

He's also managed to keep a story going that actually AFFECTS me in a way few comics do; #100 was another issue that really got my adrenaline pumping.  I don't honestly know how much of that is because of the tense pacing and the graphic violence and how much is because of the character-building -- I suspect that the same sequence would have had less of an impact if it had been one of the newer characters.  (Abraham's group is really the most recent addition to the cast that I actually have any emotional attachment to, and that was nearly half the series ago.  [spoiler]And even then, when Abraham got an arrow through the eye two months ago, I shrugged more than I gasped.[/spoiler])

The series is rapidly running out of characters I have a connection to.  It's possible that, if Kirkman takes some time to build up some of the new cast, I could become as attached to them as I have to some of the veterans -- but it's also possible that the series has reached a point where I just see every new character as lunchmeat and I'll never be as attached to, say, Holly or Dr. Cloyd as I am to Andrea or even Eugene.

That's an interesting thing to explore in and of itself, though -- the reader adapting to the situation and becoming callous.  Because that is, after all, what the book is all about.

Dunno.  The book IS certainly formulaic, but I still feel like it's got interesting things it hasn't said yet and interesting avenues it hasn't explored yet.  I like to think there's some very interesting stuff still coming and Kirkman and Adlard aren't just running on fumes and shock value.
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Thad

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Re: The Walking Dead: The Comic Book
« Reply #31 on: July 13, 2012, 08:05:24 AM »

Welp, finally did what I've been threatening for the last three-and-a-half years and split Walking Dead off into its own thread.  I find it hard to believe this is every post, but hell, it's good enough.

Interesting looking back at my old predictions -- you win some, you lose some.  And it's a pretty good indication of what I was saying just now: yeah, the book's formulaic as hell, but Kirkman actually has a pretty good success rate at defying my expectations.
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Mongrel

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Re: The Walking Dead: The Comic Book
« Reply #32 on: July 13, 2012, 08:17:03 AM »

It's not that I think they're running on fumes per se... I mean this would only be the series second real BIG BAD DUDE story arc and there's lots of things they could do to shake things up. It's that the story doesn't seem to progress in a bigger way. If anything the opposite is the problem: They have a tank that's still mostly full, but they're sitting in the parking lot and idling.

Maybe Kirkman doesn't actually know how he's going to end it, maybe he just doesn't want to box himself in, but movement towards seeing the bigger picture has been excruciatingly slow or just a tease that goes nowhere [spoiler]say, the not-scientist or the news crew helicopter[/spoiler]. There's no movement towards seeing what happened overall, how society is going to change over the long term, if there are any large areas of survivors or bigger safe areas (maybe elsewhere on the planet). Having not read too many actual issues, I want to ask if any characters ever even display much curiosity about these things. I mean, I'd guess they they do now and again, but it wouldn't actually surprise me if they didn't.

Maybe Kirkman wants to keep a really narrow and local focus and the story will never end with any broader knowledge of what's happened or what's going on in the nation as a whole. And that's okay too! But that kind of story usually centres on character development, which is something you'd expect to have progressed much further after a full 100 issues and most of a decade or real time (and two years of story time). I guess Carl's had a lot of changes and Rick certainly hasn't been unaffected, but there have been a LOT more characters than that. And he's killed the better part of those.

____________

Oh one other note: Un-treated gasoline starts to degrade in as little as three to six months, due to a wide range of factors (evaporation of the more volatile elements, oxidation causing chemical breakdown and "shellac-ing", water condensation). Storage in totally sealed tanks with all air removed would partially address these factors, as does treatment with gasoline stabilizer, but in ZOMBIEPOCALYSE WORLDS, you can't reasonably expect most gas storage to have been proactively stored that way. Not that I'm complaining from a nitpick view. I don't care about that sort of creative license (unless it was like a decade after the apocalypse or some other stupidly long time). I'm just sharing that in case anyone was curious. 

EDIT: While you were posting, all the posts disappeared!
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BŁge

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Re: The Walking Dead: The Comic Book
« Reply #33 on: July 13, 2012, 08:23:07 AM »

I think the entire storyline up to this point has taken about two years in-universe.  There are hints that they're starting to bump up against entropy (bullets and canned food harder to come by) but they're still on the cusp.  (And Kirkman may take some creative license with things like just how long it takes for gasoline to go bad; this is a guy who had a recurring theme about people not knowing the exact date up until someone in the lettercol pointed out that in a group this size SOMEBODY should have a fucking digital watch with a battery that's still good.)

That's another thing that bothers me: just what are the survivors surviving on? Canned food is great and all in the short term, but a human body can only stand so much of the same before it starts to break down. Anemia, kidney stones, and scurvy are just some of the problems the people would face without a decent dietary intake, to say nothing about potable water issues.
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Thad

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Re: The Walking Dead: The Comic Book
« Reply #34 on: July 13, 2012, 09:38:46 AM »

It's not that I think they're running on fumes per se... I mean this would only be the series second real BIG BAD DUDE story arc and there's lots of things they could do to shake things up. It's that the story doesn't seem to progress in a bigger way. If anything the opposite is the problem: They have a tank that's still mostly full, but they're sitting in the parking lot and idling.

Yeah, I'll buy that.

Maybe Kirkman doesn't actually know how he's going to end it

I think he does, he's just taking his sweet time getting there.  He said in the latest lettercol that he may not even be halfway done, and I think he means it.

movement towards seeing the bigger picture has been excruciatingly slow or just a tease that goes nowhere [spoiler]say, the not-scientist or the news crew helicopter[/spoiler]. There's no movement towards seeing what happened overall, how society is going to change over the long term, if there are any large areas of survivors or bigger safe areas (maybe elsewhere on the planet). Having not read too many actual issues, I want to ask if any characters ever even display much curiosity about these things. I mean, I'd guess they they do now and again, but it wouldn't actually surprise me if they didn't.

Actually I'd say the series is, most decidedly, moving toward a big-picture view of what other communities are out there, how they can survive, and what if anything they can do to rebuild -- that's been the major focus for at least the past year.  We've been introduced to Jesus and the Hilltop, the existence of a nearby community, the possibility of trade, and the unsettling possibility that it's some kind of cult.  With the introduction of Negan, we've got the most complex social structure the series has yet explored: not only do we have two different communities forging a trade relationship, we have them controlled by a de facto "central government" that just happens to be a violent, large-scale protection racket.

While I'm still willing to bet that Negan will be out of the picture around #107, there's a real possibility of playing that social dynamic for a lot longer, showing the Community struggling under his control, an embittered, oppressed populace struggling to survive long enough to take him down.

As for scientific interest, that's pretty crucial to Eugene's character even though his scientific credentials turned out to be fraudulent.  He wants to figure shit out, he just hasn't had much of a chance yet.

Kirkman's been fairly clear that the virus will never be explained in the comic (which was the biggest indicator Eugene was a fraud in the first place), but I expect there's still a lot to learn about the zombies and how they function.

Maybe Kirkman wants to keep a really narrow and local focus and the story will never end with any broader knowledge of what's happened or what's going on in the nation as a whole. And that's okay too! But that kind of story usually centres on character development, which is something you'd expect to have progressed much further after a full 100 issues and most of a decade or real time (and two years of story time). I guess Carl's had a lot of changes and Rick certainly hasn't been unaffected, but there have been a LOT more characters than that. And he's killed the better part of those.

I wouldn't say the series has been light on character development at ALL.  It's had a bevy of memorable, relatable characters.  Rick and Carl are the biggies, of course, and I think in the end this comic will be Carl's story as he's the one growing up in this world and being influenced by it most strongly.  Rick's also changed quite a lot from the beginning, and his growing paranoia and callousness have become a major theme in the comic (and shown up a bit on the show).

Michonne hasn't changed much from her first appearance, but we've seen how she responds to being dragged through hell.  (Haven't read the prequel in Playboy yet; it might shed more light on how she got to be who she is now -- she was a lawyer before, yes?)

Andrea's really grown up as a character too; Glenn and Maggie have changed pretty dynamically.  Abraham turned out to be a more complex and nuanced character than I initially expected, too; we've had some recent insight into what Rosita's been through, and I think Eugene's got some interesting stuff yet to do too.

Other characters of note throughout the series have included Dale, Tyrese, Lori, Carol, Morgan, and Hershel -- though I have to admit, I can't think of any others off the top of my head, and again, the last really interesting characters to show up were nearly half the series ago.  Heath and crew have potential, but honestly I probably couldn't name them out of a lineup; the priest is an interesting character but I can't even remember his name.

And the Governor was a legitimately great villain.  Haven't read the prequel novel but it's piqued my interest.

That's another thing that bothers me: just what are the survivors surviving on? Canned food is great and all in the short term, but a human body can only stand so much of the same before it starts to break down. Anemia, kidney stones, and scurvy are just some of the problems the people would face without a decent dietary intake, to say nothing about potable water issues.

They had Hershel with them for nearly half the series; between his farm and the garden he started in the prison they'd have had at least some fresh produce during that time.  I think they've managed to get a little bit of hunting in here and there but not much.  They've talked about trying to become self-sustaining at the Community but winter is coming and they haven't been able to get a garden growing or find any game to speak of.

So yeah, mostly canned food.  I could see that creating some health problems for characters down the line, but that requires them living long enough.  Most of the medical problems the cast has sustained up to this point have been of the hand-cut-off/shot-in-the-face variety.

They haven't made much of an issue of potable water, since again, they've largely been bouncing from one location that already had it to another.  Hershel's farm, the prison, the Community; and most of the time they've been traveling in-between they've had cars, so they could have had big jugs with them.  (They had to leave the prison in a hurry but part of the setup was that they'd already had vehicles ready to go in case such an emergency ever happened; they were stocked with gas and I expect they'd be stocked with water too.)
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Mongrel

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Re: The Walking Dead: The Comic Book
« Reply #35 on: July 13, 2012, 12:08:38 PM »

I wouldn't say the series has been light on character development at ALL.  It's had a bevy of memorable, relatable characters.  Rick and Carl are the biggies, of course, and I think in the end this comic will be Carl's story as he's the one growing up in this world and being influenced by it most strongly.  Rick's also changed quite a lot from the beginning, and his growing paranoia and callousness have become a major theme in the comic (and shown up a bit on the show).

Michonne hasn't changed much from her first appearance, but we've seen how she responds to being dragged through hell.  (Haven't read the prequel in Playboy yet; it might shed more light on how she got to be who she is now -- she was a lawyer before, yes?)

Andrea's really grown up as a character too; Glenn and Maggie have changed pretty dynamically.  Abraham turned out to be a more complex and nuanced character than I initially expected, too; we've had some recent insight into what Rosita's been through, and I think Eugene's got some interesting stuff yet to do too.

Other characters of note throughout the series have included Dale, Tyrese, Lori, Carol, Morgan, and Hershel -- though I have to admit, I can't think of any others off the top of my head, and again, the last really interesting characters to show up were nearly half the series ago.  Heath and crew have potential, but honestly I probably couldn't name them out of a lineup; the priest is an interesting character but I can't even remember his name.

And the Governor was a legitimately great villain.  Haven't read the prequel novel but it's piqued my interest.

Fair enough. I guess what I'm getting at is that from a distance the initial impression is of a book centred around Rick and Carl, with the main tent poles being the story of Rick's leadership of small local groups and Carl's, well... Carl's Bildungsroman I guess. There's a supporting cast and they've had some changes, but after 100 issues we have the same two tentpoles and they are about as important as they have always been.

Over time, I would expect the former to grow smaller and the latter to begin to dominate, but I'm not sure if that's really being paced as it should. Of course in retrospect like this, that's an easy armchair criticism. But the track record for extremely long-running creator-owned comics is very spotty - doing stuff like this is nothing like writing and editing a novel for 8 years and then releasing it, or even writing GRRM-style. This is an intense task that dominates a person's whole life while it's being produced and not many creators (or their creations) survive that. I guess that's likely the source of my misgivings.

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Niku

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Re: The Walking Dead: The Comic Book
« Reply #36 on: July 15, 2012, 04:37:45 PM »

This could go in a couple of threads but I'll toss it in here just because:  The Walking Dead game from Telltale is pretty good.  I just played episode 1, and it serves as a semi-prequel to the comic in some small ways while setting up to forge its own tale.  It's a game more or less about several different choices, big obvious ones (PICK WHO YOU SAVE FROM ZOMBIES) and much smaller, subtler ones in how you talk to the people around you, and the devs are taking note of an insane number of variables to possibly determine what does and doesn't affect the game once the final episode rolls around.  Unlike Mass Effect or, well, a lot of other games, there's a ticking clock on your decisions here that ratchets up the tension quite a bit.

I played it with story notifications off (something that tells you when characters will remember decisions you made or give you hints about the game) but with clickable hot spots turned on, since otherwise it can be a little pixel-hunty in a few places.  Also, the achievement pop-up notifications can kind of be hilariously inappropriate, so you might want to turn those off too if you want immersive gameplay or something.  Two episodes are available out of five so far, and it's $15 on Steam today.
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Thad

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Re: The Walking Dead: The Comic Book
« Reply #37 on: July 16, 2012, 06:46:43 AM »

...I KNEW we had more Walking Dead posts in that thread.

Man, what is UP with the SMF search function?
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Niku

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Re: The Walking Dead: The Comic Book
« Reply #38 on: August 01, 2012, 05:50:01 PM »

I played episode two of the game a little while back, and goddamn.  Just, goddamn.  It goes to some well worn post-apocalyptic / zombie tropes, but the conversation system is more fierce than the first episode by far when it comes to the tension, and the little things that it remembers from episode one go a long way toward making things feel organic.

For instance, tiny dialogue related spoiler, [spoiler]I kinda loved how in the first game when Clementine was trying to find a word for how bad a barn smelled and I chose "it smells like shit" because ha ha cursing, when she then says "it smells like shit!" upon finding a barn in the second game and all the parents glare at you I felt like the worst dad ever.[/spoiler]

I am more excited for episode 3 than I am for anything else Walking Dead related right now.
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BŁge

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Re: The Walking Dead: The Comic Book
« Reply #39 on: August 25, 2012, 12:22:08 PM »

http://blogs.indiewire.com/pressplay/the-walking-dead-issue-100

This review gets a little too melodramatic at times, but many of the author's points are valid. At some point, Kirkman hit the same wall that a lot of continuity-heavy comics do: readers will eventually get numb to shock. There's only so much gas you can get out of the "someone will die!" gag before it just becomes another plot point at best, gratuitous at worst.
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