The Walking Dead has become a certified pop culture phenomenon over the past few years, but I’m sure there are plenty of people out there who have never sampled the source material that gave birth to it. The comic series created by writer Robert Kirkman and artists Tony Moore and Charlie Aldard has been unfolding since 2003, and recently hit its 108th issue. If you love AMC’s The Walking Dead — hell, even if you hate AMC’s The Walking Dead — you owe it to yourself to check out the series. And you’ve got no excuse not to, because you can read a digital copy of issue #1 for free.
The Walking Dead #1 is available by way of Comixology, a snazzy digital comics provider that I can’t recommend highly enough. It’s one of a ton of free comics they have up for grabs at any given time (they also have issue #1 of Kirkman’s superhero comic, Invincible). If you’re still sticking to hardcopy comics, the digital variety lets you read full-page like a normal comic, but you can also skip from panel to panel, which may well spoil you. For that matter, I should probably warn you that reading even one issue of The Walking Dead may well launch you down a runaway spiral of addiction that won’t cease until you’re all caught up. It also may irritate you how far the show often falls below the comic’s bar of quality.
You should also check out issue #1 of Brian K. Vaughn’s Saga. It’s a space opera that has been described as “Star Wars meets Game of Thrones,” and that’s pretty apt. It’s the story of star-crossed lover from two warring species who go on the run with their newborn, while authorities from both their people try to hunt them down. It mashes together magic and technology, ghosts and robots, and a mercenary named The Will who travels with a cat that can detect lies. It is enthusiastically, gloriously weird, in the best possible way.
You can check out all of Comixology’s freebie comics right here.