Too Far Gone
is Robert Kirkman and company's thirteenth collection of Walking Dead
comics, and the long-running zombie/horror/adventure comic continues to fascinate, engross and scare me.
Once again, our plucky survivors have found an oasis in the killing fields of America where biters threaten all that live. But this time, it's not a fortress to hide themselves in, nor a post-apocalyptic tyranny run by heavily armed, sadistic megalomaniacs. Rather, they find themselves in what seems to be version 2.0 of the nice, gate-guarded suburb, a fenced-in, solar-powered town that is trying for a new normal amid the carnage.
This gives the creators a whole new set of tools for smashing apart their poor, maltreated characters: can they ever face civilization again after all the killing, betrayals, and hard choices they had to make on the road? Can they trust the good will of the residents of this sleepy hamlet? And, most importantly, when things go wrong, do you become a marauder, or do you help your neighbors?
The dramatic answers to questions like these are the lifeblood of apocalyptic fiction, and how you answer them says a lot about your theories of human nature (we are beasts, reined in by civilization; we are fundamentally good; we can trust our friends; we can't trust anyone) and Kirkman doesn't have any easy answers. Which is why Walking Dead remains my favorite zombie story of all time, and why I'm looking forward to the fourteenth collection.
The Walking Dead: Too Far Gone
Books one and two of Lumberjanes introduced us to the characters and setting of the awesome, women-run, girl-positive comics: the girls of Roanoke cabin at Miss Quinzella Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet’s Camp for Hardcore Lady Types are Lumberjanes, being trained in the badass arts. Book three — collecting comics from a kind of victory lap of the title after its amazing success — turned the series’ reins over to some of the best writers and illustrators in comics-dom for a series of vignettes. Now, with Out of Time, the fourth book, the original creative team are back at the helm, telling a long-form story that illuminates the Lumberjane backstory and introduces one of the best, scariest monsters of cryptozoologica.
The first two volumes of Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky’s Sex Criminals were a dirty romp: a pair of lovers who discover that they can stop time at the moment of orgasm start robbing banks to save a local library from demolition, and run into a posse of other time-stopping fuckers who are set against them. But in volume three, Three the Hard Way, the story transcends the sex and the jokes to take a hard, wet look at what humans do when we do sex.
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