There is something thrilling about the primary colours, and all out action of 70’s Marvel. Plus, I love the little window in the top left that shows the roster of Heroes in the comic. The 70’s was a boom time for comics in the UK, but many titles quickly got cancelled and got ‘folded in’ to better selling titles. Which is why you get such glorious merged comics as ‘The Avengers AND The Savage Sword of Conan’, and my favourite, ‘Planet of the Apes AND Dracula Lives’ ( a perfect distillation of my comic reading as a child). I can almost smell that unique paper smell in the Newsagents, as I recall these comics and their covers loaded on groaning shelves alongside the likes of The Dandy, Beano, Whizzer & Chips, Shiver & Shake, TV Comic, Look-In, Hotspur, and Action. Anyone have a picture of a newsagents from around this time, with the racks full of these comics? If so, would love to see it commented on here.
Is this how Rick & co enter the ‘safe zone’? Does it all kick off with issue 68? Also, this covers suggests / confirms (as does #67) that Rick, Abe & Eugene survived the Hunters. Rick & Abe looks really grungey in comparison to the clean cut dude, in shadow compared to the light of the new character. Great cover – in fact, one of the best (amongst a pile of great cover art that Adlard has produced), and this issue signals interesting times ahead, and probably a change of pace, as the ‘safe zone’ promises to be a whole different world for Rick, Abe and the other survivors. Kirkman looks like he is driving this story forward again with vigour.
As an aside, it has been about a year now since Abraham Fords introduction, and it is further evidence of the strength of this series, that Kirkman can wait until over 5 years into the title until he brings on a character that rivals Rick for the starring role in this tale (and that is without taking into account the slow and inexorable rise of Carl as a major player in this drama).
Another aside – with this week seeing issue 66 of The Walking Dead released, Kirkman has kept true to his word so far on ‘in time on 09’. Bravo.
As you may know if you visit this blog on any sort of basis other than ‘random’, ‘fleeting’ or ‘never’, I have a thing about ‘The Walking Dead’. That is because it is the best comic book ever, and I am including the usual usual ‘canon’ of ‘Watchmen’, early ‘Spiderman’, the classic X-Men stories like ‘Dark Phoenix’, ‘Miracleman’ etc. I love this book, it is the most human, involving, moving and gripping testament to the human condition commited to a comic.
I love the art work as much as I love the writing, because what the Scottish artist, Charlie Adlard, does with the characters is pour the emotions and weariness and horror into them. You see the grief, madness, anger in their faces. Plus, he handles action scenes brillaintly. Further to that, he knows how to sell a comic by its cover. Here is the latest solicitation for ‘The Walking Dead’, from February 2009 – called ‘The Unthinkable’;
I could speculate on what this means, but if you read the book you probably have a good idea what it could mean (the death of another child in the book, potentially Carl Grimes, Rick’s son). You never know with Kirkman and Adlard and their ‘roll up, roll up; style covers. With the title now coming out on a more regular basis,with issue 56 to ship this week (we hope!!), then we could be finding out what the ‘unthinkable’ is in a couple of months.
Terrific cover, by the way.
Well, in a previous post I put up what I believed to be the cover for The Walking Dead #57, but it seems like that cover, with a backdrop of a deserted Washington DC, will be used for a later issue, because this is the cover for #57, according to the Robert Kirkman board at Image / Kirkmania (http://imagecomics.com/messageboard/viewtopic.php?t=42885)
this is NOT the cover for #57
because this IS the cover for #57
This new character (with the gun) is really being pushed to the front in all the covers from issue #53. Here he gets priority over Rick, and it looks as if Carl is looking to him for protection. Interesting times ahead.
As in previous posts here and here, I like to gather up a few of the Walking Dead solicitations and have a look at their spoiler-ific covers. Here is the next batch – numbers 53, 54 and 55, which purportedly take us up to September, but as anyone who gets TWD on a monthly basis knows, this is a very loose time frame and a September solicitation could well be a January 2009 release.
The Walking Dead #53
‘To the rescue’
A bold statement of intent, a new beginning? Rick Grimes has now been absent from every cover since his appearance on #49, when he was being led by a determined looking Carl. Is this the start of a whole new perspective on a Zombie ravaged world? Does this cover herald the new order? Are we looking at the new major characters?
So many questions, like – are they meeting up with Rick? Carl? Michonne? Are they the Military? Are we about to see the beginning of the fightback against the undead???? The cover art suggests that there are well organised, fully resourced communities out there beyond the limited territory that has been well covered for the last 49 issues. The central character in particular looks a very capable individual, posed like a big game hunter, a decapitated Zombie head under his heel (another graphical signature that states the Zombies are going to be crushed??).
The Walking Dead #54
‘All out action!’
If cover #53 could be likened to an appetiser, then this is the main course – as the solicitation states ‘all out action!’. What else is there to say? Some fantastic kinetic artwork from Charlie Adlard, with the big guy from #53 in full John Woo mode. The revenants are just being shredded in the wake of his fury. The zombie at the forefront looks suitably distressed, even though we have to assume they lack ’emotion’. Even though the big guy is surrounded, you have to assume there is little peril he faces. This is one capable individual.
The Walking Dead #55
‘On the road’
A more reflective cover (in more ways than one – check out the side mirror on that Jeep!), but with danger lurking. The big guy is still around! The fact they seem to be in open country, with a collection of tents and someone on watch suggests that we are not focusing on any sort of walled community or military compound. Maybe we are going to be focusing on another bunch of ordinary folk in extraordinary circumstances, constantly on the move, looking for food and shelter.
The zombies that the reader can see in the side mirror of the Jeep is a nice touch, especially as the background colouring is red, as in RED for DANGER!!!
Oh, and still no sign of Rick Grimes. Is this a tease? What gives?
With issue 50 finally due to ship next week (July 2nd), and calculating releases on a one per calender month basis, we can expect to see #55 in December at the earliest, and maybe not until 2009 is any other releases slip. This is one of the most tantalising and frustrating things about hunting for future covers, you have a glimpse of a story, but no real idea what is going on. In the meantime, let the speculation run free!
By the way, there is a preview of issue #50 here;
Anyone who used to read Marvel UK in the early 1980s would probably remember this advert, and it is just an excuse really to print it to show the Soundtrack album covers.
This is taken from 1983, from the back cover of a copy of the Uncanny X-Men reprints. Some great fantasy, action, horror and sci-fi soundtracks listed there – Mad Max 2, The Beastmaster, Xtro….