The Walking Dead Comic vs the Show: What’s the Same and What’s Different?

'The Walking Dead' TV show has been a toe-curling, heart-wrenching and all round jaw-dropping phenomena since it first came to our screens in 2010. But long before the blood-drenched TV series became one of the biggest shows on television, the original black and white comic book series existed. Broadly speaking, the TV show follows the same timeline, themes and characters of the comic book, however there are numerous minor and major differences between the two. But what are they? Find out here.

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Warning: Contains Plot Spoilers
'The Walking Dead' comic books which were created by Robert Kirkman and illustrated by Charlie Adlard are still being made today. As of the end of October, 2017, the series is in its 14th year and over 170 issues have been produced. The TV show is further behind in the timeline, and is onto its 8th season. But before we dive into the ins and outs of both books and show, we must warn you: the following text contains plot spoilers. So do not read on if you’ve yet to catch up with the thrills, the gore and other on-screen action.

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First up, there have been many characters who haven’t survived the TV show but are still keeping up the fight in the book pages; or conversely those who died long ago in the comic books, but have been kept alive in the show… For now. In order to keep even the most avid comic book fans guessing who might die next - or when - the show continually switches deaths around.

Carol is a good example of an on-screen survivor who didn’t fair so well in the books - she was given the bite of death in issue 42. Her daughter Sophia, who was killed in the TV Show, however? Still alive and well in comic book land. Deaths of characters like Tyreese, Dale, and Hershel, have happened in both versions of the story, but the times and methods have been mixed around. For example, in the comic books it’s Tyreese who gets beheaded by the Governor, not Hershel. Whereas TV Tyreese meets his end after a bite from a walker. Ouch.

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Character Traits
Most film and TV adaptations tend to change up character traits and dynamics from their original sources, and 'The Walking Dead' is no different. For instance, comic Carol stays the same timid, meek shadow of herself and never becomes the defiant, gun-wielding hero we see in later seasons of the TV show. Before his death, Tyreese played a much bigger role at Rick’s side in the comic series, but faded into the background more in the TV show. And in fact some characters we see on TV never even existed in the comics. TV Beth and Deanna, for example, exist in place of other major characters which the show lost long ago and others such as Sasha, Noah and, surprisingly, major character Daryl are completely original to the TV show. In many respects, can you even imagine on-screen 'The Walking Dead' without Daryl’s husky skulking?  

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Perhaps one of the most prolific romances to date, Maggie and Glenn’s love was lifted straight from the pages of the comic books and plays out mostly the same in both versions of 'The Walking Dead'. But many other would-be relationships were left on the cutting room floor for the TV show. For example, Rick and Andrea’s liaison and Michonne with both Morgan and Ezekiel, all happen in the comic books but not the show. Instead in the TV version, it’s Rick and Michonne who get together in between fighting off walkers and leading the group. With Andrea’s demise, it could be argued that TV Michonne has essentially become comic book Andrea. For some? A match made in heaven. For 'The Walking Dead'? Perhaps more of a match made in the apocalypse.

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The ‘Z’ Word
Walkers, biters, floaters, dead ones… All names used to describe the undead by Rick, Daryl and other characters in the show. TV show creators have been very careful never to use the infamous ‘z’ word in any episode or even in any of their marketing surrounding the show. Whereas the comic books certainly do not shy away from calling those hole-ridden, human-biting, skin-rotting creatures exactly what they are: zombies.

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If you’re a 'Walking Dead' fan, keep an eye on our Comic Book auction to see if any editions appear for sale. This auction is also filled with an exciting variety of the best and most exciting comics so be sure to check it out!

Perhaps you have a stack of comic books which you would like to sell? You can register as a seller for free and submit your comics to our team of dedicated experts who can’t wait to see your comics go to auction! Don’t be afraid… they won’t bite!

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