The GovernorIf you listened to The Black Geeks Podcast on January 13th, you already know that our main topic was books. Given our overall obsession with zombies and since I just finished this book earlier today, I wanted to share my thoughts. First of all, the book is awesome! For fans of the graphic novel this book will serve to fill in a few gaps about the back stories and motivations of some of the characters like Dr. Stephens and Alice; not to mention Bob the drunk who saved the Governor’s life after Michonne left him for dead. More importantly it’s a great stand alone story that adds volumes to The Walking Dead canon. I do however have one small complaint. It’s something I’ve been noticing about Kirkman. Please feel free to chime in later in the comments section if you think I’m off base, but to me it seems as if Kirkman has a knack for killing of his strong African-American male characters.

In the graphic novel he kills off Tyrese which I found disappointing but accepted it. The only other African-American characters that now exist in The Walking Dead are the preacher and the doctor’s new love interest. Neither of which can be considered strong African-American leads, they’re more like background. I’m not going to even mention Morgan, I found his weakness to be palpable. But in The Road to Woodbury (!!!Spoiler Alert!!!) he kills off a character that in my opinion was one of the most interesting and well developed characters in the story, Josh Lee Hamilton. I can’t wrap my head around why he continues to do this. Mind you, the story was great and the emotion and self reflection that comes as the result of his death especially within Lilly, is well done. However, I think this could have been achieved without killing Josh, especially in such a meaningless way. I get what Kirkman is doing in his illustrations of the darker side of human nature and how that prevails under extreme stress and the breakdown of civil society. Kirkman’s social commentary is poignant in its brilliance. The living are the real threat. That concept leaves you with a lot to ponder. But, in my opinion, the death of such a character is a true waste. Given the fact that there are so few African-American characters, especially for a story set in Georgia, which in itself is a bit erroneous, I’d like to see Kirkman develop and maintain another strong African-American character other than Michonne. I love this book and I love the series. I, like most of my other Geeks heap tons of praise on Kirkman for what he’s created, but in a state that has a larger African-American than Caucasian population, greater representation is warranted. I’d like to see Kirkman make a social commentary with that in mind. Just my thoughts, please share yours…

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