THIS IS AN UPDATED VERSION OF A POST FROM LAST YEAR! (But still awesome.) And there are spoilers for the the show up through this last season.
One of the things I hear a lot is that fans of the show are hesitant to get into the comic for fear of spoilers. Which is fair enough, but let me say two things:
1) The show and comic follow the same general course, but events happen at different times (or not at all), characters have different arcs, some of the characters are different, etc.
2) There are at least 60 issues (10 volumes) you could safely read without getting ahead of the show. I say “at least” because due to differences between the show and the comic reading past volume 10 may or may not expose you to things that will happen later in the show.
The other thing I get asked a bunch is “Do I need to start at the beginning?” No, of course not. The show isn’t THAT different. I DO recommend it, because I think some of the stuff that didn’t make the show is really interesting. But if you definitely don’t want to read ALL of the comics, you could start at Volume 9, which starts after the prison has been destroyed and the Governor killed.
So what’s going on in the comic up through volume 10? In short, volume 1 covers Rick’s time in the hospital, his trip to Atlanta, and his meeting up with Shane, Lori, and Carl at the campsite. Volume 2 covers the trip to Hershel’s farm and the brief time there. Volume 3 and 4 are the first parts of the prison story, up to just before they see a helicopter crash in the distance. Volume 5 deals with the introduction of Woodbury and the Governor. Volumes 6, 7, and 8 contain the rising tension in the prison and the Governor’s final attack on, and the destruction of, the prison. Volume 9 finds Rick and Carl on their own, just like the beginning of the second half of Season 4, and also introduces Abraham, Rosita, and Eugene after the group reunites. Volume 10 has a lot of the Season 4 finale, as well as a lot of extra action and drama while the group is on the road to Washington, DC.
Now, Volume 11 has some stuff we’ve seen on the show (like the events with Lizzie, though it’s a different character in the book) but there is stuff in Volume 11 that I think may be (they aren’t telling me) the focus of Season 5. So I’m putting a caution on reading Volume 11 for those of you that want to remain fresh for Season 5.
Here are some reasons to check out the comic:
-It’s a great first comic for people that have never read a comic before.
-It’s a great comic even if you’ve read 1,000 other comics.
-Find out what happens when Tyreese meets Rick before Rick loses it.
-Andrea is much cooler, and very much alive.
-Tyreese is an F’ing badass.
-There is no Daryl, which may sound like a negative, but it affects the group dynamic greatly.
Incidentally, all of our volumes are available right in our online shop. Convenient!