Jun 3, 2020 in Analysis

Walking Dead

The comics becomes a new way of literal art and transforms funny, fantastic stories into separate genre. It is hard to connect the notion of art with all the comics as their variety contains different negative and controversial issues. However, it is necessary to admit that this form of literature wins people’s love and admiration in entire the world. Moreover, this genre initiated new thematic, which predominates in all the areas of art - the idea of zombie. For instance, the comics series Walking Dead show the transformation of human body and mind into something repulsive, dangerous and threatening; it reflects multiple problems of the contemporary society. Thus, comics seems to be a simple story written in the magazine or newspaper just for fun but it envelopes quite deep, problematic, philosophic and psychological context in the aspect of contemporaneity. Although, the zombie comics contradicts traditional characteristics of literal art and associates with absurd or nonsense writing, it is a metaphor for essential problems of the modern society.

Walking Dead is a series of comics made in America by Robert Kirkman. It achieves fame in the country and in entire the world. Thus, the beloved series were applied in the cinematography and transformed into the film. Although, it seems quite a stereotypic and primitive description of the zombie contamination, Walking Dead deserves a separate place in the genre of comics and the zombie theme. Actually, it shows post-apocalyptic world and people who try to stay alive and survive in the cities contaminated with zombies. The threat to be a food for dead monsters makes people organize some groups of resistance. The head of survivors, Rich teaches people to fight and to use guns in the war with zombies. However, monsters are too strong to be killed and can exist even without head. The problem looks like an unknown disease or virus, infected people through bite. Citizens have to fight, though they face with multiple other problems: fear to die like an animal, children with rifles, unknown and doubtful future. The global transformation of the world brings society to deadlock of the situation; it violates the family life and causes its dysfunction. Humanity suffers from loneliness, individual identity ptoblem, and medical helplessness. 


The issue of globalization in the zombie comics is reflected in the symbolical context and combines several themes as the way to illustrate contemporaneous stage of generalization of the world. Zombies reflect the idea of globalization itself since their appearance and rapid extension in the world associates with global processes on the planet, which connect all the aspects of life and smash some differences among the civilizations, ethnicity, and race. Thus, zombie is a perfect many-sided symbol of reflection multiple aspects of life. In addition to it, the way of this demonstration is a graphic novel. If the books’ illustrations do not coincide with the context and give some place for personal imagination, the comics’ genre presents the text together with the pictures and makes readers concentrate on the essence of the story. Actually, the comics is more about living people than about dead monsters, because June Michele Pulliam and Anthony J. Fonseca find that the title Walking Dead refers more to people’s sufferings. The post-apocalyptic planet illustrates generalized life. It is possible to assume that the author tries to show that this globalization destroys all the borders and people will all soon transforms into dead. Thus, to be different means to be alive. Modern technologies and innovations change and combine the world into a single and featureless unit. The texts reveal the most essential problems of globalization, when the personality loses its identity and becomes a part of social mass. 

The problem of individual identity is acutely illustrated in the comics Walking Dead in the symbolical meaning of zombie. Individual identity of the personality is a unique and exceptional unit. However, the zombie invasion destroys the phenomenon of unique individuality. Moreover, the author shows it as the unknown epidemic. The zombie virus is not investigated, the reason and the source of the infection is unknown as well. The main hero wakes up in the morning in the hospital and realizes that the world is totally different. This transformation and monster invasion comes quite suddenly, though it is possibly to assume that the infection penetrates into humanity gradually. The writer tries to illustrate this destruction of the personal identity through the symbol of zombie since people do not expect that they lose all the individual and personal features and cannot be classified or differentiated. Humanity is categorized as indifferent mass without some particular and special peculiarities. Aaron Meskin gives exceptional but quite neatly explanation for the essence of comics: “The recognition of the hybridity of the art form also sheds light on a number of theoretical and critical issues that lurk under the surface of the apparently straightforward question about categorization. In other words, an extraordinary nature of comics helps to explain some social phenomena.

Walking Dead describes the most essential issues and problems on the theatre of social unrest as the background for disorder in society. Actually, Walking Dead is the first and the most popular comics about zombies, which proposes the way out and methods to survive in the lawless and violent society. The idea of uncontrolled society is shown not only in description and illustration the people who are terrified by monsters’ invasion; it is hidden in the symbolism of zombie irruption. Any social unrest associates with the zombie epidemic because people achieve features of emotionless creatures without individual characteristics of the personality. Mass disorder destroys everything and associates with zombie invasion. Thus, the process of zombification symbolizes cultural act of transformation, directed against individuality and violates a general code of ethics. Consequently, comics have important meaning as an art of the modern world and explain significant and deep philosophical essence of the contemporaneity. They neatly supplement illustrations with the written text. Thus, comics is a reflection of the modernism. Every period of history had its special art peculiarities, the comics exist in the contemporaneity not only as a reflection of social processes but also as a demand and necessity of humanity to read it in the democratic society. However, people of the modern time connect they life with different fears and try to show them in their art.

Comics about zombies touch the problem of social fear, which concerns total loneliness, medical disability, fear of epidemics, apocalypse, the end of the world, or police helplessness. It is possible to admit that comics is the most popular literal way of art because people can find there everything they like or afraid of it. Thus, the comics Walking Dead cannot only be a source of philosophical context but also a method to investigate psychological problems of contemporary life. The most serious issue is loneliness since the zombie invasion destroys casual life and people faces with their fear to be alone. Almost all famous zombie horrors reveal this issue. The key characters stay alone in the destroyed world, or they wake up and realize the end of civilization. Certainly, it is a troublesome idea of all the humanity at the present time – to see suddenly that the world is empty. The academics have quite strong interest toward the comics as they can use them in education and as the necessary material for medical and psychological material, which can be applied in rehabilitation. Walking Dead revels the problem of medicine as well. It is necessary to admit that the world of modern technologies and progress may give some serious troubles for human health. Thus, the medical possibilities face with unknown threat of epidemic. Certainly, society experiences some fear concerning the problem of medical impossibility. The horror comics are determined to induce fear in the audience and reflect social anxiety as well. In opposition to all the fears the modern time faces with the family issues.

Walking Dead pays much attention to the problem of family dysfunction. Actually, the comics do not reject the aspect and necessity of the family but they show the idea of the family values destruction. The problem is that modernity does not value family and zombies have only some instincts without the memory about the previous life. It is possible to assume that people are afraid that the family importance can be unnecessary in future. The author of the zombie comics shows that the main hero loses his wife and son. However, the troubles are connected with danger of epidemic. The members of the family may suddenly be infected and lose control. Actually, this fear is quite close to the reality since the modern life has quite rapid stages of development and it vanishes the memory of generations. Thus, new generations may associates with zombies, who concentrates on some instincts, without memory and family issues. For instance, the modern world demands total devotion to the social problems, technical progress, consumer relations and business. The necessity of the family values gradually disappears. Thus, the zombie’s comics is an appropriate response of the modernity to the development of the world. Deep symbolism of  Walking Dead reflects the problem of family dysfunction. Actually, the author describes all the troubles and problems of humanity taking into consideration experience of the post-colonial society. 

Zombies symbolize the phenomenon of colonialism since all the problems reflected in the comics are the result of colonial relations. Monsters invasion brings significant changes to certain countries. Colonists destroyed the order and national values without possibility to bring everything back. Thus, the main hero tries to teach his son to use gun and understand the danger of it, though it is necessary for protection from zombies. Actually, colonialism had almost the same consequences and made young people to use guns. External interference changes the countries significantly and this influence is reflected in future generations. 

Walking Dead is a famous American comics, which was presented as a way of literal art of modernity and achieved deserved love of the audience. In addition to it, the cinematography use the materials and ideas of the comics in order to make a movie. Although, the stories about post-apocalyptic monsters seem to be quite primitive and controversial with the notion of art, they reveals deep psychological, metaphorical and symbolical context. Zombies symbolize external invasion, and associates with social fear of possible epidemics, loneliness, and family dysfunctions. Moreover, it is an acute response to modern society to they attempt of rapid technological development, which destroy important values, illustrates destructive power of mass and social unrest. These issues become an essential part of global generalization of the world, which lose its peculiarities, borders, possibility to be categorized and smash individual identity.


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