Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Walking Dead Volume 17: Something To Fear (2012)

I'm starting to hate the internet. I like to check out the naked actress screencap sites, which led to a subplot from this season's Mad Men getting spoiled for me just because I wanted a peek at some Rory Gilmore sideboob. That's the price I had to pay I suppose, so I could walk that off. Then I was reading an article about this year's Golden Globes nominations, and Mad Men got snubbed for once. The article felt the need to not only point out that an actor besides Jon Hamm perhaps deserved a nom, but specifically because this this and that happened to their character. Why in the fucking fucking shit cunt faggot whore did that need to be dropped casually into a sentence? Because the person writing it was an unconscientious dickweed who doesn't seem to be aware that there isn't much in the way of appointment television anymore, and some of us like to watch a whole season in one rip on DVD. I will point out that if my girlfriend hadn't insisted that we re-watch season four because of the extended gap before season five, we'd have seen the show before it got ruined for me. Remind me to give her the finger later. Just the one, now.

Anyway, comics sites are no better, especially when they delight in covering The Walking Dead #100 and how it was the best-selling single issue of a comic since before the current crop of Disney/Nickelodeon stars were born. This involved a host of variant covers and there were cutesy tie-ins so that by the time the trade collection had come out, I knew that it was Professor Plum in the study with the lead pipe. There was one other surprise in there, at least, but the book is still reading like an extended adaptation of The Girl Who Owned a City with more curse words. A lot of the set-up was strikingly similar to the epic arc around #50, demanding comparisons this arc is painfully ill-equipped to stand up to. I got a bigger jolt reading about the current shenanigans in Spider-Man, a character and franchise that hasn't meant anything significant to me since about 1988.

The only TV show I currently watch first run is The Walking Dead. I'm seriously considering adding a few more because of how insane the lack of courtesy with regards to spoilers has gotten (should I even bother with True Blood at this point?) It's ironic that I've followed The Walking Dead in first run since reading the comic puts me years ahead of the adaptation, and for the first couple of seasons, the show wasn't particular good at translating the appeal. I mostly kept up with it because my girlfriend had gotten into it enough to make it a ritual. However, the current season has been fucking fantastic, casting off dead weight in spectacular fashion while ratcheting up the action and intrigue enough to conceal the plot holes and uneven acting. The show has caught up to the comic's golden period, and has lifted its game to compete. One of my favorite comic characters joined the show at the mid-season break, just as I'm realizing that I don't root for any of the characters left in the books anymore. The comics are doing their best to maintain the lowest depths of tedium from the show's second season. Television has finally overtaken the comics in quality, which makes me sad and not a little put out when I fork over money for new collections after the shark has long since been jumped. It's hard to quit after seventeen fucking volumes, and I'm mildly curious to see where things go from here, but for me the best thing Robert Kirkman could do is start a new story with an entirely different cast in a different location. Compared to the show, the comics are a chore, and my preferred reading model undercuts my best hope for pleasure: modest shock value regarding a crew coasting on fumes.

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