It is a “continuing story of survival horror”, after all

by Alex Hern

3. The structure of TWD is very episodic, with powerful cliffhangers driving the narrative. Does this format work as a collection? Is “Days Gone Bye” a discreet 6-issue story arc, or was it merely a convenient cut off point for a collected edition?

My edition didn’t have issue breaks, and I didn’t notice some of the ends/beginnings. So I’m not sure what that says about the cliffhangers, really.

More generally, I am noticing something similar to what we talked about with Ultimate Spider-Man, which is that there’s no drive on Kirkman’s part to resolve all the plot threads at the same time. If you actually look at what gets resolved, it’s basically just the Rick/Shane drama. Whether that’s because all the rest is just adding colour, or whether its Kirkman preparing to introduce further threads, I don’t know.

That said, I’d say Days Gone Bye is more than just six issues lumped together. There is that discrete storyline of Rick and Shane, and it will definitely move on from there. I couldn’t see, for instance, the collection making much sense ending at the end of issue five, which is far more of a cliffhanger and far less of a resolution.

That said, now that I think about it, one could certainly argue that the five issue arc is a strong one in itself – it ends on the inevitable attack on the camp, and the next arc opens on the aftermath. So, um. Take that as you will.

Could one make the argument that this is actually two three issue arcs, Batman and Robin style?

… No. The end of issue three definitely leads into issue four without any closure, while five still has some. So make of that what you will.