Would You Like A Pre Or Post Apocalypse? Walking Dead #112 And Sheltered #1

Brits get two Image comic books one whole week in advance, today. Admittedly, variant copies were also available at the Image Expo yesterday, but it still gives me more of a chance and reason to write this article.

We start with what we know. The Walking Dead #112 by Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard. Last month saw a death. And this week we get the consequences of all that. And Rick playing his long game with Negan.

IMG_0031And we've been hoodwinked. Because while we knew Rick was planning a secret game with Negan, though we did not know what it was, we presumed Negan was all on the level. That his open acts were so gross, so extreme and so backed up with hedonistic justification, that we may not have suspected a second level, another plan,  ready for whatever Rick has to throw at the man. Why keep secrets when you are so open about the disgusting recesses of your life? Because shit attracts flies…

Special attention has to go to Adlard this issue for a tremendous use of the double page spread, rarely used in The Walking Dead, and even more rarely used for a single person action. It also has one of the best pull-back-and-reveals I've seen in comics and Adlard perfectly played it to work. Get ready for your heart to jump into your mouth. You may not see this coming…

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Sheltered #1 by Ed Brisson, Johnnie Christmas and Shari Chankhamma can't quite claim the same. The twist here is pretty obvious through the reading of the comic, and you pretty much know what's coming at the end. However, what comes next, well all cards are off the table.

Set amongst separatists, preparing for nuclear apocalypse, or martial law, or a zombie apocalypse, or whatever, this could be seen as a proto-Walking Dead, people preparing for the world to come, and their conspiratorial beliefs are hardly extreme in that light. But these are people in their own bubble, they have lived a sheltered lifestyle, and they are wielding the pin ready to pop.

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So yes, there is a generational gap of attitude. Not something I really addressed in my Holed Up comics series, at least not when it came to the survivalist lifestyle. But it becomes the very focus of this comic.

The books looks at a variety of different personality types, as well as attitudes to the world around that, that conflict rather than unite, but all these people are heading in the same direction. It may not have the black and white world of Walking Dead, but there is a limited pallatte, the bleak snow covered landscape interrupted by dulled reds of hats and cars, with beiges and yellows for clothes and hair, and browns for the shadows around them and into the woods. This world, despite the open air setting, has limits, and a narrowness of viewpoints.

Both books have a similar dialogue style, mundane chit chat interspersed with dramatic action, shouting and making serious points.

And, yes, some serious weapon wielding.

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Something it seems to rather share with this next week's Walking Dead in a rather coincidental framing approach…

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Yeah, most Americans will have to wait a week to find out what happens next…

Comics courtesy of Orbital Comics, London. Currently exhibiting Jason Atomic's Satanic Mojo, inspired by underground comics with work from Atomic, Shaky Kane, Garry Leach and more… for adults only. Go to the gallery and buy the comic…

About Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.

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