Written by Robert Kirkman, with art by Charlie Adlard.
This volume of the hardcover collection covers the survivor's new life in the prison. The symbolism of our survivors choosing to live in such a location smacks the reader square in the head, but the location also makes sense. There are fences, gates, separate rooms (cells), an infirmary, a playground, and a dining hall. And there are already a few people living there, our crew quickly discovers.
There are (of course) some deaths among our crew, but by this point readers are used to that brutal fact of life. This volume is mostly known for the addition of Michonne to the cast. Now that she has appeared on the TV show, the comic that contains her first appearance (#19) has greatly appreciated in value. She is helpful with battling the undead, as her sword skills are very strong. How exactly she survived so long without being in community is a mystery, but her solitary journey seems to have left its marks on her. Like almost everyone (to varying degrees), she seems a little bit crazy.
These issues see the departure of previous artist Tony Moore, and the arrival of Charlie Adlard. The black-and-white aspects of these books makes the artist's style and skill more noticeable than in books where color can be a distraction. By reading these many years after the fact, I know that Moore does not return, and this knowledge makes me more accepting of the change than some who were reading the books as it originally came out.
Kirkman is expert at balancing the gruesome nature of the world and its violence with the necessary character moments to make us care about what happens in the world. It's the psychology of the survivor that is on display as much as the zombies are. And it makes for a riveting read.