Walking Dead ‘Honest Trailer’ and Robert Kirkman Plays ‘Zombify This’

Walking Dead Honest Trailer by Screen Junkies

Honest Trailers by Screen Junkies

Apparently Screen Junkies has a series called Honest Trailers where they lampoon television shows and movies by creating fake trailers for them. Recently I found out that they did one for The Walking Dead, so naturally I decided to watch it. The verdict? It’s actually pretty funny.

There are some obnoxiously humorous lines like “From the network that brought you Breaking Bad, a show you couldn’t stop watching, comes a show so inconsistent you have to keep talking yourself into watching.” And annoyingly honest comments such as “A leader who stands by his decision…until he doesn’t.”

In fairness, I can understand their beef about the show’s vacillating pace, especially in Season 2. Hence why I laughed when they emphasized how boring things were on the farm, “…f*** that farm.” Also they raise a decent point about Rick’s flip flopping. I think that has more to do with circumstances constantly changing though, than Rick’s weak will.

The folks at Screen Junkies make some hilariously astute observations about the weird faces Dale makes, Shane’s nervous tick of rubbing his head, and the number of times people call themselves “the group.” However for my money, it doesn’t get any funnier than when they do a montage of character deaths. What’s your favorite part of the trailer?

Robert Kirkman on Speakeasy with Paul F. Tompkins

Robert Kirkman on Speakeasy with Paul F. Tompkins

I also learned that comedian Paul F. Tompkins (Open Mic Host from Tenacious D) has a web show called Speakeasy for Mademan.com where he interviews celebs over their favorite cocktail. In one of his recent episodes, he plays a fun game called “Zombify This” with Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman.

Although Tompkins is slightly awkward as an interviewer, this amusing segment is worth watching. First Tompkins gives Kirkman a piece of entertainment, then Kirkman has to say how he would integrate zombies into that property. Kirkland choices? Sesame Street, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, and Mad Men.

Kirkman actually does a great job coming up with ideas on how zombies could be part of those properties. His take on Temple of Doom is probably the best, because he can’t remember the villain’s name, so Tompkins has to keep correcting him. Which zombified piece do you prefer?

The Walking Dead Comic, Chapter One: Days Gone By

Walking Dead Comic Days Gone By

“The Walking Dead,” created by Robert Kirkman and illustrated by Tony Moore

Warning: This Walking Dead comic post contains spoilers. Please wait until after reading Chapter One, before exploring further. 

Summary: After he’s shot in the line of duty, police officer Rick Grimes, wakes up to find the world overrun by flesh-eating zombies (aka walkers). A kind stranger named Morgan and his son Duane fill Rick in on what’s happening and help him get back on his feet. Then Rick sets out to find his wife and son in Atlanta, where he believes they’ve found safe haven. He nearly gets overwhelmed by zombies in the city, but Rick is saved by another Good Samaritan Glenn, who brings the weary traveler back to his camp of survivors. One he arrives, Rick finds that his best friend Shane is there and that he has taken care of Rick’s wife Lori and son Carl. The grateful Rick reunites with Lori and Carl, although he doesn’t realize that Shane isn’t willing to give up his new family so easily.

The first issue of The Walking Dead comic, Chapter One: Days Gone By, starts out briskly with only a single page of back story before it throws you into the fray. You see Rick get shot in the line of duty and then the next thing you know he’s jolted awake, alone in the hospital. Because you don’t learn much about Rick beforehand, there’s more fear and urgency to Rick’s situation. It’s very much like the opening to the Danny Boyle film “28 Days Later,” except Rick discovers the flesh eaters quicker.

Unlike a film, the comic doesn’t have sound or music to amplify the anxiety of Rick’s frightening discoveries. It also lacks color, something that would normally add to the disgusting characterization of the zombies you see. What’s amazing about the comic is that even without these embellishments, it’s remarkably successful at telling a grim, unsettling tale. That’s because the incredibly detailed dialogue, spelled out sounds (like “BLAM!”), and facial expressions of the characters compensate for the absence of more in-your-face methods. Lighting and shading are also used to bolster the atmosphere in this tale by establishing time of day and providing another layer of emotional depth to each individual scene.

Stylistically, the layout is a nice mixture of different types of art. There are pages comprised entirely of framed sketches, half-page scenes which have framed drawings woven around them, and in some instances, full-page art. I love artist Tony Moore doesn’t draw the frames straight and crisp. Instead they have a rougher, uneven look that fits in with the comic’s post apocalyptic setting. The most compelling work is obviously the full-page stuff, which can be incredibly gruesome, frightening, or beautiful in a disquieting way.

From a story perspective there are some really entertaining things going on, like when Rick and Glenn coat themselves in walker blood and body parts as a disguise. This wacky plan keeps the zombies from smelling them in Atlanta, and allows the pair to retrieve a cache of guns. It’s one of the better things that The Walking Dead television show lifts from the comic. The traumatizing zombie attacks and deaths of group members are tough to read, but they serve to mentally prepare you for future books in the series, which aren’t shy about killing characters off. The conflict between Rick and Shane is also really intense. When Lori tells Shane it’s over between them in the pouring rain you feel his pain and when Shane’s yelling at Rick you can sense his raw anger.

Probably the best moment in the first chapter of The Walking Dead comic, is the climactic showdown between Rick and Shane at the end. After Carl shoots Shane to protect his father, the issue closes on a disturbing piece of full-page art. Rick and his son share a scared embrace over Shane’s dead body.

What did you think of the first Walking Dead comic? If you watch the show, were you happy with the elements they brought over from this first issue into Season 1?