Spoilers. Spoilers from the show. Spoilers from the comic.
I’m not even going to try to make this anything but a huge pile of spoilers.
I hate horror.
I hate horror movies. I can’t stand the trailers for new ones. Horror music? Knock it the fuck off.
I hate scary TV shows. Don’t want anything to do with them.
I can’t stand haunted houses and the few times I let myself be talked into going into one, I’d either bail after a few steps in and walk back out the front door or I’d grab the shirt of the person in front of me, close my eyes, press my face into their back and let them lead me. Fuck haunted houses.
Zombies? No. One of the worst horror creations because they eat you alive and it could be someone you know. The smell… I can’t even. It might be a brand new zombie or one that’s been wandering around for who knows how long. Fuck everything about that.
I love The Walking Dead.
My husband had read the comics and when he heard AMC was creating the show, he was wicked excited. Me? Nope. More than nope. More like “Why? Why would anyone DO that?”
He’d be watching in the other room while I was on the computer trying really hard not to listen to any sounds.
But then it got interesting. The characters seemed cool and every single scene wasn’t a zombie biting off someone’s face. I started wandering into the room, standing in the doorway, watching for a few minutes. By episode four, I was very curious, but still not convinced. Then season two started, Sophia disappeared, and I was in.
I didn’t want to read the comic because I liked being surprised and getting to know the characters through the show. I knew the show had gone in a very different direction with the characters and the story, but I didn’t care. I liked these people and didn’t want to know what could happen next. My husband would point out from time to time if the book had a plot line that was more violent than what they did on the show and also that they changed the characters a lot and he liked what they did.
I got so into the show that I would watch in real time, complete with commercials because I didn’t want to wait for the DVR. When season two ended, I was tempted to read the comic, but still didn’t want to. Then season three ended and I waited a few months and here we are.
People might hate me for this, but I do not care: I like the show more than the comic.
Maybe if I had read the comic first, I might not feel this way, but I doubt it. They have become are two completely different things and the creators of the show have done something amazing from the source material. Robert Kirkman has been on The Talking Dead (congrats, Chris Hardwick!) several times and seems incredibly happy with what has happened, even admitting that the show has done things that he’s pissed he didn’t think of first. The writers are that good.
The simple reason I like the show more is the pacing. Comic book writing is incredibly different from television writing and this makes sense. Things need to move quickly in a comic. Because of space limitations, the story needs to be tight and characters need to develop in the least amount of pages. Ink cannot be wasted. On the show though… amazing. Shane’s arc alone is worth it. In the comic he’s gone at the end of chapter one. On the show they are able to really linger. You see his jealously and madness building and building and his death scene? Amazing.
I also think they’ve made good casting decisions for Carl and Sophie. In the comic, Carl is a little kid. On the show, not so much. Yeah, if you look at season one Carl next to season four Carl of course Chandler Riggs has grown up, but we’re looking at this:
compared to this:
I am both excited and terrified to see what will happen to Carl in the show. My husband said things happen to him in the comic and this makes me want to stop reading it because I want to see what the show does first. By the end of season three, it’s clear that he is on the path to Seriously Fucked Up. At the end of Compendium One, he’s still a little kid, but one that has seen and done things that his little brain cannot really comprehend. It’s been amazing to see how he has changed on the show and Chandler Riggs is one hell of an actor.
They’ve made other excellent choices when it comes to changing characters and adding new ones. Of course Merle and Daryl Dixon are the prime examples. Guys aren’t even in the book and Daryl has become a fan favorite and women want to have his babies.
I am thrilled with how they changed Carol. She’s a damned mess in the book but is amazing on the show. Watching her character change has been a highlight of the entire series.
The Governor is another great choice. In the comic he’s 100% creepy and violent and evil from the first moment we meet him. On the show, he’s just as creepy, but it takes a little bit longer to develop. Not much longer, but a little bit longer. This makes sense though because he’s a character that so many people already knew about that it wasn’t worth dragging it out. With Shane they could take their time to show him losing it.
I’m not going to talk about Lori and Andrea because ugh.
With other characters, they’ve stayed close to Robert Kirkman’s creation. Michonne feels the same in both versions, with one big difference that is just starting to reveal itself in compendium one. I love her character and before I read the comic, I was worried that they were fucking her up because of how much fans of the comic were freaking out.
The comic is amazing. The show is amazing.
I still hate horror.