Tag Archives: FearTheWalkingDead

Fear the Walking Dead

It’s not always easy accepting newcomers with open arms. There’s an uncertainty, a fear of the unknown.

As an avid fan of The Walking Dead – the comics, the TV show, the TellTale Games – I approached Fear the Walking Dead with a great sense of unease. Perfectly content with my monthly comic purchase and the stress of a new season every October completely satisfies my Kirkman-centred zombie craving. This new show – the spin off, with no roots in the original material – is something I did not want, but felt a duty to the fandom to watch it.

Fear-the-Walking-Dead-poster

The Walking Dead is set in a universe where pop-culture zombies did not exist. The Romero films hadn’t been made; Shaun didn’t go round mums, get Liz back, and sort his life out; and no-one was Left 4 Dead. In the comics, “zombies” is uttered only by accident, as pointed out in the occasional letters page where it’s accidentally slipped from the lips of a character. There were no zombies before the first zombie: the one that started it all. And that’s what makes Fear the Walking Dead so very creepy.

In a world where the dead stay dead, in fiction and reality, it’s hard to understand what exactly is going on when you witness people tearing and clawing one another apart, or defying mortal injury. Surely, if you were to witness these things, you must be crazy – an inventive, and dark imagination, delightfully overactive, particularly if, say, you were a heroin addict.

The premier episode of Fear the Walking Dead focuses on precisely that. Nick, a young adult sleeping rough and battling drug addiction, wakes up to find his friend Gloria snacking on another of their camp-mates. Running, afraid, he’s taken to hospital and questioned by the police. Sure, something bad clearly happened in the church they were hiding in, but people don’t just eat other people. The drugs have rotted his brain, right?

The remainder of the episode works to unsettle this notion of normality. It can’t be anything as crazy as Nick proclaims, but something’s clearly not right. We follow Nick’s family in California: his mother, Madison, his sister, Alicia, and his mother’s new partner, Travis. It’s nice to see a zombie outbreak which focuses on a family unit, rather than randy teenagers or helpless victims. There’s a strong unit at play here, and it will be interesting to see how it develops. These people aren’t looking to save themselves, but each other – on levels much deeper than fleeing flesh-eaters.

Barely any walkers make an appearance in this first episode, which plays to the overall strength of the Walking Dead franchise. It’s about the destruction of an old world and the creation of new community; fight or flight; survival of the fittest – and usually the scariest monsters are the ones who are still breathing.

The cinematography is gorgeous, with some truly stunning shots. The grotesque paradox of the blood-stained drug den within a collapsed church was disturbingly wonderful. Like the Walking Dead, everything is deliberate, with the smallest of details serving significance.

Fear the Walking Dead has kicked off on a high note. The pathway leading to the explosive new season of the Walking Dead, it has big shoes to fill, and a vocal audience to appease, but it looks as if Fear the Walking Dead can measure up. Developed and flawed characters we can care about; seeds of Government deception sown, and a morbid foreshadowing as the audience is only too aware of the future that awaits any characters capable enough to survive, this new installment holds plenty of promise. So, maybe it’s okay to accept these newcomers – to follow new stories down the dark rabbit hole of the apocalypse.

Leave a comment

Filed under Popcorn Tuesdays

My Week in Comics: Not Many Comics Were Read…

Admittedly, I’m a little behind on reading this week. Luckily, comics now cross all levels of media, and boy was there a ton of film & TV based news this week!

Jem and the Holograms #1

This week saw the return of 1980’s animated TV show pop-princess, Jerrica Benton, and her friends – better known as Jem and the Holograms. That’s right – ahead of the 2015 live-action movie release, IDW have unleashed the female four-piece on the comics world. As a youngster, Jem and the Holograms missed my radar completely – mainly because the final episode aired three years before I was born. And as far as I’m aware, it was the Hannah Montana of the 80s. But still, cartoons like Transformers and GI Joe have had huge commercial success in their silver-screen reboots, so it’s interesting to see where Jem will go. Plus, 80s teen-movie legend Molly Ringwald has recently joined the live-action cast. You have my attention.

jem

As for the comic, I kinda liked it. Knowing very little about the original story, I entered in relatively blind. What immediately struck me was the wild colour spectrum. But once you looked beyond the overload of cyan and magenta, the art is really something. This is a comic written and drawn by women, about women, primarily for women (although comics are always for everybody). Consequently, the girls actually look like real girls – they’re not super stick thin, but have body shape; they have good fashion; they have a good sense of self. But they also have insecurities – particularly Jerrica. And that’s exactly what this first issue is about. We see the band worry that they might be falling apart because of Jerrica’s stage fright – she knows she’s good in a room by herself, but put her in front of one or two strangers, and she’s helpless – never mind a packed concert hall!

I felt that writer, Kelly Thompson, established the characters very well for a first issue. Although Kimber was probably overly-pushy at the beginning, she recognised her fault and felt guilty. And the inner-conflict Jerrica was experiencing felt genuine. Some aspects of the plot felt a little forced, getting as much background information out there as quickly as possible before Synergy shows up and the main action can get started, but it didn’t detract from the overall story. Jem and the Holograms #1 was fun, and I enjoyed it.

My favourite aspect, however, was Kelly Thompson’s letter to the readers at the end – what she hoped to achieve with this new Jem series – and admittedly, this is what has held my interest and persuaded pick up #2 when it’s released. Thompson writes that she wanted the four protagonists to represent “the epitome of the modern woman. Smart, capable, ambitious, and fascinating fashion-forward career women.” And that’s exactly what these characters thus far appear to be. Thompson stresses that although Jem’s origins are in the 80s, it’s essential that she fits into the modern era: “Nostalgia is wonderful, but can hold us back.” I believe this statement to be very true; particularly in regards to women in comics – as I’m sure you’ve picked up from my previous posts by now! The industry is straddling a fine line between being out-of-date, and old, and boring, and uninclusive (I mean, just look at last week’s Larsengate nonsense.); and pushing forward to being one of the most progressive, diverse and interesting mediums available. Comics can do anything – the pages may be restricted by panels, but that’s it. Anything is possible in comics, so why stick to the same old routine? Let’s hope Thompson can use Jem to help pave the way forward.

The Walking Dead 139

Sun, sea, sand, and pirate Michonne…?

The Walking Dead

Speaking of The Walking Dead, the companion series to the hit TV show was announced this week. Are you ready for this stunningly creative title? FEAR THE WALKING DEAD.

Ummm, slightly anti-climactic. But still, it will be interesting to see what direction the show takes. It’s already been signed for two seasons, the first of which will air this summer before season six of the main series returns. Following different characters in the same universe, I am intrigued, particularly as there are no boundaries placed by existing comic arcs. However, I also feel it’s unnecessary. I love the Walking Dead. I think it’s the greatest show on air right now, so why do we need another? We don’t, and to be honest, I don’t really want it. It’s bad enough stressing about all the characters I love in one show – never mind two! While the tone works so well for TWD, it’s what sets it apart from a lot of other things on TV. I worry it will be a replica of what we already have.

the-walking-dead

It’s also the Finale of Season Five of The Walking Dead tonight – and my blood pressure could not be higher! We know blood will be spilled, and not all of it walker blood (thanks to Gale Anne Hurd’s cryptic clues on The Talking Dead last week). Norman Reedus (aka. Daryl Dixon) has repeatedly said that tissues will be needed for this episode. And little hints and sneak peeks have only revealed the worst. My main concern is the arrival of Negan. The Walking Dead loves some foreshadowing, and Glenn has been around A LOT of baseball bats this season. Those of you who have read the comics will know why that is unsettling, and compared with this photo Reedus shared on Instagram earlier today [], my nerves are close to breaking point! I only know one character in TWD universe who has dark hair and a wears a leather jacket…

Issue 100 still haunts me. I still get so upset whenever I think about it. It’s perhaps the most shocking and devastating moment I’ve ever read in comics. I recall the moment I first turned the page, onto that scene. I had to just sit, staring blankly, for at least half an hour before I could continue reading. Let’s hope these hints have just been used to tease the comic readers and increase season finale anticipation. But it’s okay to take a sick day from work if your favourite character dies, right..?

One Month Countdown

We’re officially one month away from the beginning of the series of Marvel Netflix shows! And things kick off with Daredevil. Yes, that’s right, we can finally wash the Ben Affleck travesty from our minds and sit down with a whole new take on the character. Having only seen the trailer (to try and avoid any potential spoilers as far as possible), I have to say, it looks promising – with a gritty, noir feel. For those of you who haven’t seen the trailer yet, here it is:

The Merc with a Mouth

Ryan Reynolds has shared his first photo as Deadpool. And the internet nearly exploded.

“With great power comes great irresponsibility”, read Reynolds tweet. I honestly can’t think of a better Deadpool. Poor Reynolds has had a few swings-and-misses in his acting past (looking at you, Green Lantern) – but I really like him as an actor. I think Deadpool could be the perfect project for him, and I’m so excited to see what comes next!

11081339_10202662869331650_8859972133904368083_n

Leave a comment

Filed under My Week in Comics