I’m a fan.
And it’s not only because I’m a disaster freak. I love them all, from The Poseidon Adventure to The Towering Inferno, from Dr. Strangelove to 2012, even The Titanic, but not the cheesy parts, such as the dialogue between Leonardo DiCaprio‘s Jack and Kate Winslet‘s Rose.
What a field day for writers, scenarios like this — and I salute Robert Kirkman, the creator of the comic book from which the TV series is adapted!
The zombie apocalypse, whether as a possibility or as mere fantasy, has been mined too often for fiction, but I love it that in The Walking Dead, the zombies are literally only background material. More than about death, it is a tale of life and how clever that for every death among the central characters, life follows shortly, whether by way of a baby, the resurgence of hope, the emergence of survival skills, the strengthening of bonds, or a rude awakening.
I can’t say for sure if we all imagine or re-imagine our world in words, though I have no doubt some of us try to celebrate and make heads and tails of it in pictures, in melodies, in shapes or textures or tastes or scents. Still and all, words are always there — in the lyrics of a song, in the literature that comes with a painting or a sculpture, or in the thoughts that come to the mind of the viewer as he takes it all in.
In The Walking Dead, whenever I watch it, all the words make a special appearance, allowing me to bask in the terror, the despair, and the hope. Words lurk around like bloodthirsty zombies, pouncing at me at every opportunity. Words come to help me pick up speed when I feel the need to run for my life like Laurie Holden‘s Andrea when she was left behind at the barn. They move across my mind like subtitles even when silence prevails in a scene, such as when, wordless, the story unfolds in the eyes of Chandler Riggs‘s Carl or in the gaps between the heartwrenching screams of Andrew Lincoln‘s Rick at the very end of the episode “Killer Within” of season 3.
The possibility of the end of the world hangs over us now as we wait to prove or disprove the Mayan prediction. How is this conceivable turn of events drawing out the fictionist in you?
Or the poet?
Or the playwright?
Or the storyteller of any medium?
If we only had 17 days to live, assuming the Mayans were right, and it were up to you to write our story, how would you write it?