My Quixotic Relationship with The Walking Dead

twd_templateLast night’s episode of The Walking Dead is an excellent example of why I continue to ask myself what is the point of watching this show? S6E4 “Here’s Not Here” was 90 minutes of wind-blowing-through-the-trees zen psychobabble about man’s humanity with a character who, while interesting, isn’t all that compelling to me personally. So I sat and watched and rooted for Tabitha the goat and of course it was just one long slog of bleakness interspersed with 9th grade philosophical blithering. Reactions around the web are polarized on this episode, so I know I’m not just being harsh.

I’ve never been much into zombies, but I am a ghoul at heart, so by all accounts I should love this show. And yet it passed three seasons without me giving it more than a cursory thought. Then people started telling me to watch it, and by that time it had become such a phenomenon, I felt compelled to resist.

But I didn’t. I watch the first two seasons and decided it just wasn’t for me. I liked Glenn and Daryl (and even Rick sometimes when he wasn’t being insufferable), but I could barely name anyone else in the cast and I wasn’t moved when they started dying off. Also, I dreaded every moment Lori appeared on the screen with the passion of a thousand suns.

I was begged by my friends to persevere, I was promised grisliness and the death of the monstrous Lori. I trudged onward, but once Carl put his momma down, I’d had enough.

Two more seasons passed. A new set of people began nagging me to watch the show. A spinoff (Fear the Walking Dead) was coming and I decided to get in on the first season of that thinking maybe the problem with how I felt about the flagship show was binge-fatigue. It’s a lot easier to wear yourself out on the redundancy of a program when you try to cram multiple seasons into a couple of weeks’ worth of watching.

So I tried picking up where I left off with The Walking Dead in season 4. I was promised it got better (“There’s cannibals! You like cannibals!” ~ well, yeah, that’s true). Half-heartedly I managed to get through about half of season four (the back half), and random episodes throughout season 5. As far as I’m concerned, I’m as caught up as I’m ever going to get and Season 6 is quickly losing me.

stuff_thangsSo why am I telling you this? And why am I making paper dolls for a series about which I feel so ambivolent?

The Walking Dead has a very loyal and very vocal fanbase. They also generally have a good sense of humor about what’s absurd in the program. Not only that, but the people associated with producing the show have a love for it (the actors seem to enjoy themselves) and that’s evident as well. In response to those things, I can appreciate the series on a lot of levels even if I don’t share the intensity of adoration toward it. So I’ve made a handful of paper dolls for those fans (including my friends) to contribute to the goodwill of the phenomenon. It is, after all, a fairy tale success: skyrocketing from the obscurity of what began as a little creator-owned black and white comic book (now surpassing 145 issues and outselling many of the major superhero books).

There are a handful of paper dolls of The Walking Dead characters out there already. You can find them here:

Don’t expect anything too fancy from me with these. I’ll likely only make Rick, Daryl, and Michonne (they’re the ones I’ve drawn so far), with a couple of plates for costumes and a zombie or two. Yeah, I know I’m not supposed to call them zombies, but whatever.

Expect to start seeing plates for this series this coming Thursday. I’m having a devil of a time drawing Daryl’s silly crossbow, but I should be able to post Rick while I figure it out.