Graphic Novel: The Walking Dead, Volume 3: Safety Behind Bars by Robert Kirkman (creator, writer, letterer), Charlie Adlard (Penciler, Inker), Cliff Rathburn (Gray Tones), Tony Moore (cover). Published by Image Comics June 18, 2005
Summary (From GoodReads): An epidemic of apocalyptic proportions has swept the globe, causing the dead to rise and feed on the living. In a matter of months, society has crumbled: there is no government, no grocery stores, no mail delivery, no cable TV. In a world ruled by the dead, we are forced to finally begin living. This volume follows our band of survivors as they set up a permanent camp inside a prison. Relationships change, characters die, and our team of survivors learn there's something far more deadly than zombies out there: each other.
Characters: I really like the main character, Rick, who is a former cop and leader of the group of uninfected who are just trying to find a place in the world after it has been over run by zombies. Sometimes, he barely holds it together, but I like him even more for it. There are a ton of characters and relationships in this series and even though I couldn't always remember who someone was, the storytelling made it very easy to tell what was going on. I was always clued in to important bits about the past and any recaps are done in a completely unintrusive way.
Plot/Pacing: Like the previous volumes, this reads very fast, but also forces the reader to think about the world. There is a ton of action as well as plenty of interpersonal drama. Things do not go so well for Rick and his group of survivors, which makes for very excellent reading. This volume is especially interesting, because it reminds us that zombies aren't the only threat on the character's lives. They have found a prison that they think will be the answer to keeping them safe... a place where they can build a new home. But there is some honest-to-goodness murder in this book and it forces all of the characters, especially Rick, to figure out how they want their semblance of society to work.
Moments I Loved: When Rick realizes that people are coming back even if they weren't killed by Zombies, he risks his life to travel to the camp they stayed at in the first volume. There, he digs up his former best friend, the man who tried to kill him, and shoots him so that he's dead for good. He does it out of friendship, even though he knows that Steve wouldn't do the same for him. It reinforces what a good guy Rick is and I liked it, even though I think it was as stupid thing to do.
WTF Moments: This series has never shied away from violence involving children, which is realistic, but still horrifying. There is a scene where two little girls have their throats slit. It's horrifying and emotions are high, so there is plenty more violence that comes from it as Rick and his group try to find and deal with the murderer. But... this whole story is pretty wtf.
Artwork: I love the covers for this series. They capture the tone perfectly. Inside the pages are black and white and, once again, I think that color would cross the line because of the amount of bloodshed. All of the characters and settings are distinct, making it easy to get lost in the story.
Overall: Entertaining and violent, it is surprisingly deep, making it a great addition to one of my favorite graphic novel series.
Reading Challenges: This book counts toward the following challenges: Support Your Local Library. Track all my progress on my 2012 Challenges page.