When yours truly flubbed the description of promotional episodes of The Walking Dead that rolled on AMC in July (I know: a mistake? Me?), this zombie-headed blogger was quickly called to task for “sloppy reporting” by Zombie Apocalypse Monthly. But “The Monthly Magazine Covering All Things Zombie” has competition, at least on The Walking Dead front, thanks to the blood-splattered show's official magazine that debuted this month.
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Also available in digital formats, The Walking Dead: The Official Magazine is a slick glossy that carefully blends the distinct looks of the television show developed by Frank Darabont and the graphic novel series created by Robert Kirkman (writer), Tony Moore (interior illustrator/cover artist) and Charlie Adlard (artist). I'd also argue the mag also borrows from the horror zines and flicks from decades past that no doubt inspired Darabont, Kirkman, Moore and Adlard.
The first issue, which hit the newsstands Wednesday, includes interviews with Kirkman, Adlard, showrunner Glen Mazzara and Nerdist/The Talking Dead host Chris Hardwick. But getting the most splashy (splattery?) introduction is cover girl Danai Gurira, the actress who plays Michonne in all her Samurai swording glory.
Having emerged slowly and mysteriously over the first two episodes what is currently the third season of the AMC program that premiered Oct. 14–damn, hope I got that right this time–Michonne is a favorite of devotees of the graphic novel. So, yes, hardcore fans already know what the hell's the deal with the armless zombies on chains Michonne drags along with her?
Think of the magazine as the place to help you catch up with those all-knowing about the comic, TV show, two video games, two toy lines, apparel line, etc., etc. As Kirkman writes in the introduction (under a photo of him embracing a zombie), “this magazine is going to be the place to keep it all straight.” Editor Toby Weldmann later adds he hopes the magazine becomes a forum for fans (to go with all those other ones online, apparently).
However, since the magazine is coming from those really in the know, you'll get before anyone else not breaking their confidentiality agreements “secrets” from future episodes, the insights of the actual artists, illustrators statue creators, make-up artists and actors. For instance, the debut issue includes an illustrated short story based on a character just introduced last Sunday.
In addition to tips on how to avoid becoming walker food, may I pitch a future story on how London-born Andrew Lincoln, who plays small town Deputy Rick Grimes on the TV show, not only owns his Georgia accent but the aura of a modern Southern man? Until I heard Lincoln (born Clutterbuck) speak in his native tongue, I'd assumed he was an Atlantan.
While the magazine is especially a kick for those who have been invested in the story since it debuted on the page in 2003, my advice to fellow viewers who only know the teevee version (print is undead, heh-heh) is to catch up if you're behind with the series to fully appreciate the magazine. The first two seasons are available at a price via Amazon and probably Netflix (or for free if you know how to find such things on the Interwebs, which is strongly discouraged, of course). If you missed it, you can catch on AMC the first episode of Season 3 (“Sick”) tonight and Saturday, the second episode (“Seed”) Saturday and Sunday, and the first run of episode three (“Walk With Me”) Sunday night. Check your system's listings for run times.
Oh, and click here to find out how to get The Walking Dead: The Official Magazine online or in your mailbox. As Weldmann writes in his introduction, “I hope you enjoy the bloody guts inside.”