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The Walking Dead is a Pop Culture Epidemic

/ Sep 20th, 2012 1 Comment

The Walking Dead

The Walking Dead

The Walking Dead

The Walking Dead phenomenon started from humble beginnings (this is only considering what The Walking Dead stands for now) as a creator-owned comic published by Image Comics. The Walking Dead comic written by Robert Kirkman and illustrated by Tony Moore (originally) and Charlie Adlard (later) started back in October 2003. The Walking Dead comic reached 100 issues a few months ago, a major milestone and feat for a creator-owned comic (and comic books in general) and currently it is seeing the publication of its 102 episode this month. That was how the Walking Dead franchise began, but now it has become its own zeitgeist. The Walking Dead has gone from a comic to spawn a television show, a novel (The Walking Dead: Rise of the Governor), and several video games from social to first-person shooter game. It is easy to say that the Walking Dead has achieved plenty of pop culture cache.

[adsense250itp]The Walking Dead television show is about to start up its third season on October 14th. While the show has never quite reached the level of emotionally harrowing drama that the comic has consistently produced or tension and claustrophobia the panels convey, it has been entertaining. At moments, the show has achieved brilliance in its first and second seasons except for the seven episodes it spent looking for Sophia. However, the show has never quite managed to replicate the high level and quality of the pilot directed by Frank Darabont (the former showrunner). With the third season of the Walking Dead, one can only imagine the amount of time they can spend looking for another member of the group (hopefully this season, they will all look for T-Dog). Joking aside, the Walking Dead season three will see Rick and the gang heading to prison, as the show tackles the “prison arc” from the source material. More importantly, this season will bring two electrifying characters from the comic into the show, Michonne and the Governor (played by Danai Gurira and David Morrissey respectively), but also the great Michael Rooker will be back reprising his role as racist Merle Dixon. Unless viewers think that all the surprises have been revealed already for the third season of the Walking Dead, in an interview with Collider, Robert Kirkman said, “I think there is an escalation that began at the end of the second season and there’s not any kind of drop off. We kind of start off at that point and it gets a little bit bigger and a little bit crazier moving into the introduction of the Governor and all the new elements that are coming in this season”. This is good news because it means that hopefully there will not be any major filler like another search for Sophia and the pace of this season should be brisk and quick. Since the show is starting the “prison arc”, there are some hard moments and scenes that happen during that period in the comics and it will be interesting if the show will maintain extreme fidelity to the source material or will it change them to make it more palatable to the Walking Dead’s television audience. In another interview with Collider, showrunner Glen Mazzara said of sticking to the source material, “but there are certainly deaths coming out throughout the season and this is definitely a show where we take that stuff seriously.  I think we showed that in our last few episodes.  [Those] sort of hard-hitting emotional deaths are still going to be a part of the show for as long as it’ll be around.” That is encouraging for fans of the Walking Dead comics, but the question remains if US audiences are willing to accept some of these hard moments.

Finally, on the video game side of the Walking Dead franchise, there are some good news and developments in that department. First, The Walking Dead game by Telltale Games released its third episode August 28, 2012 after a long wait. The fourth episode currently has no release date announced, but a tweet on September 15th by the writer of episode four, Gary Whitta confirms that he has finished writing the script for the episode. Which makes it one step closer to release, but that still leaves the development to be done by Telltale Games. However, looking at the current pattern of releases between episodes, the fourth episode is likely going to be out end of November. By some miracle though, the Walking Dead fourth episode might be able to launch around the premiere of the third season of the Walking Dead television show. Yet that seems unlikely given how long development takes for an episode. Lastly, another the Walking Dead video game was announced back in July by Activision. The Walking Dead video game, not to be confused with the other The Walking Dead video game (another code name for it is AMC The Walking Dead), will be developed by Terminal Reality (Def Jam Rapstar and Kinect Star Wars) and published by Activision. It will be a first-person shooter with survival and stealth elements for the PS3, Xbox360 and PC. The game will tell the story of Merle and Daryl Dixon as they make their way to the supposedly safe Atlanta. Obviously, the story will connect with where television viewers meet Merle and Daryl in the show. This is a good opportunity to learn more about these extremely interesting characters and hopefully do something new in the first-person zombie genre. This game will be released in 2013 giving fans something to look forward to next year for the Walking Dead franchise.

Want more information about The Walking Dead? Check out our The Walking Dead: Episode 3 screenshot article as well as our review of The Walking Dead Episode 2.

Kalvin Martinez

Kalvin Martinez

Senior Editor at Gaming Illustrated
Kalvin Martinez studied Creative Writing at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He writes reviews, prose and filthy limericks. While he is Orange County born, he now resides in Portland, OR. He is still wondering what it would be like to work at a real police department. Follow Kalvin on Twitter @freepartysubs

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One response to “The Walking Dead is a Pop Culture Epidemic”

  1. […] with you to help finish particularly challenging missions. The missions follow along with the basic storyline of seasons one and two, and as you progress through the levels more of the story is […]

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