Review: Walking Dead #96

Cover by Charlie Adlard

Writer: Robert Kirkman
Penciler & Inker: Charlie Adlard
Gray tones: Cliff Rathburn
Letterer: Rus Wooton

Rating: ★★★★★ 

“We’ve been surviving in order to reach this moment, this discovery, the Hilltop… This is our future.”

If this quote is reminiscent of John Winthrop’s Shining City Upon a Hill that is likely not accidental. That concept originated in 1630, and has been connected to an ideal society, as well as notions of American Exceptionalism. More importantly it denotes the desire of a group of people to live a life as best as they can, and as an example to all that would follow. Which is precisely the sort of thing that Rick is trying to get at — no longer must they just survive, but live. Not bad for a story that’s set in a zombie infested world. Kirkman’s story has never really been about zombies, but rather about the characters inhabiting that world. Now though, it looks like a new layer of complexity is finally being unveiled. Read More

How Subjective is Ownership of an Idea?

In case you missed it Tony Moore recently sued Robert Kirkman over Walking Dead, and it stirred up all kinds of comments and reactions. Most notably an exchange on Twitter between Rick Remender and Cory Walker where they argued if designing characters is enough to constitute ownership. Walker collaborated with Remender on Strange Girl, an Image series from 2005. The twist is that Walker quit the project before the first issue was even fully conceived, and Eric Nguyen replaced him and provided art for all 18 issues of the comic. Walker’s contribution boils down to character designs and sketches. This exchange on Twitter is certainly not about to explode into another lawsuit, but it raises an interesting question, just what defines ownership of an idea?

Should Walker receive credit for being the first to put pencil to paper and transforming Remender’s words into images, or does all the credit go to Eric Nguyen, who did the hard work of illustrating 18 issues? For that matter how much credit should go to the artist, over the say the writer. To take this even a step further, how much credit goes to whatever influenced the creators in the first place. I’m sure many have found themselves reading stories, only to find many or few elements borrowed from elsewhere. What then even constitutes a new idea? Is it turtles all the way down? Read More

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