Graphic Novel: The Walking Dead: Volume 2 Miles Behind Us by Robert Kirkman (Creator, Writer, Letterer), Charlie Adlard (Penciler, Inker), Cliff Rathburn (Gray Tones), and Tony Moore (cover)
Summary: After the zombie apocalypse, a group of survivors, led by Rick, band together to forge a place in this terrifying new world. Meeting new people along the way, they hope to create a more permanent place in this totally changed world.
Characters: These are absolutely character driven stories and while there may not be enough food, there is more than enough drama to go around. Rick's wife is pregnant and on top of the fact that there are no doctors or hospitals, there is a chance that the baby is Rick's best friends. Yes, that's right, the best friend who went crazy when Rick woke up from his coma and tried to kill him before being killed by Rick's eight year old son. Most interesting of all, though, is the veterinarian/farmer who offers the group their hospitality. Even though he's set up really well, we see him slowly go crazy, because the zombie apocalypse is about mental survival just as much as it is about not being bitten. That's kind of what the series is about in the first place and it is definitely what keeps me intrigued.
Plot/Pacing: The characters don't have very distinct goals besides trying to find a way to live beyond just surviving. However, this does not detract from the story at all. While sometimes it's like a train wreck you can't look away from, there is something about this story and these characters that kept me reading. I wanted to know how they would deal with things, how they could deal with their grief in a world that would not allow them to slow down if they wanted to survive. Definitely a fast, intense read.
Moments I Loved: When they had the showdown with Hershel, who was keeping zombies in the barn in the hopes that they could cure them or they would return to normal. I don't think it's a spoiler to say that this does not end well. Now that I think about it, though, this could totally be a WTF moment as well.
WTF Moments: Glenn, the guy who risked his life to find food in the cities in volume one, and one of the new girls, Maggie, decide to have sex, because there aren't many people left and why not? The conversation was about as far from romantic as you can get. Honestly, I would have been insulted by it, because it boiled down to "beggars can't be choosers". That's fine, because it's the end of the world and the characters are just starting to realize that the world will never be going back to the way it was. However... when Maggie's dad walks in on them, all the sudden they are in love. Um, no, you're just having sex and are afraid of being alone when there are only a handful of people left.
Artwork: The artist did a really good job of keeping all of the characters looking distinct. This really helped me follow along and keep up with the MANY characters in this book. If all of the characters were drawn the same, there is no way I would have been able to follow along, because I read it a lot more quickly than the pictures deserved ( I couldn't help it--so good!). The layouts were all easy to follow and once again, I loved the black and white. I don't think I could have handled this story in color and it adds to the bleak atmosphere.
Overall: A great continuation of the story started in the first, there is more zombie action, but just as much interpersonal drama. It's a story that makes you think and that can be enjoyed even by those who aren't the biggest zombie fans.
Reading Challenges: This book counts toward the following challenges: Support Your Local Library. Track all my progress on my 2012 Challenges page.
Walking Dead, Vol. 2: Miles Behind Us gets a Fake Steph rating of...