The Walking Dead comic was published in black and white, and there are two main reasons why its creators chose to work without color.

Unlike many other Image Comics titles, writer Robert Kirkman (Marvel zombies, Invincible) and artists Tony Moore (Agent of Fear, Battle Pope) and Charlie Adlard (wild, Judge Dredd) ‘s The Walking Dead served the distinction of being published in black and white from its first issue in 2003 to its final issue # 193 in 2019. But despite becoming a phenomenon, loved by comic book fans and with a very popular television adaptation, the The series never made the leap to publish in color, not because it couldn’t, but because the black and white style was a conscious decision of its creators.

A fan of zombies from a young age, Robert Kirkman brought his love for the undead genre into comics, honoring not only traditional themes of blood and narrative, but even the creative aesthetics of the greats of the past. But despite being more ambitious than other dumber zombie comics on the stands, another unique element was needed to help the book stand out from its contemporaries. With October 2003 The Walking Dead # 1, Kirkman, and initial series artist Tony Moore introduced fans to the world of The Walking Dead in all its black and white splendor.

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Kirkman’s plans for the The Walking Dead, Besides being “the zombie movie that never ends” It ended up being even more ambitious than originally intended. During the series’ early stages of development, The Walking Dead was to be a continuation of the classic 1968 film by horror legend George A. Romero Night of the Living Dead. Filmed in black and white Night of the Living Dead was responsible for introducing the general public to the modern zombie genre and set the tone for everything that came after, an unprecedented feat that The Walking Dead would achieve for the comic book market decades later. But while a continuity shared with Night of the Living Dead Ultimately it wouldn’t get through the tough stages, it was enough to bring forth the series’ black and white aesthetic.

Walking Dead Michonne

Except for the show’s cover, everything from zombie characters, locations, clothing, and guts, turned colorless. But the decision to imagine The Walking Dead in pure black and white not only came from a tribute to Night of the Living Deadbut the freedom it afforded in terms of depicting injury and violence. Due to the lack of color, the title practically had free rein for intense scenes that would have drawn more concern if rendered in vivid reds. Kirkman’s series has gradually become a comic book known for its extremes of blood and violence, and yet working without color has helped avoid a sense of sensationalism or unnecessary excess.

The Walking DeadBlack and white art came to mean many things to the series, giving it more creative freedom and linking it to the legacy that spawned it. By using the covers to set color details that fans might have been curious about, such as hair color and decay of zombies, the comic was free to take the most atmospheric and ambitious route, and found it anyway. the success. For fans who are curious to see the world in color, there is also the option to post colored reprints after the series concludes, but The Walking DeadThe lack of color was never a weakness to overcome, but one of the smartest decisions its creators made.

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