“Alone, Together” — Robert Kirkman

Robert Kirkman is best-known for his work in the comics field as the writer and creator of the critically acclaimed, bestselling zombie comic The Walking Dead—which is considered by many (myself included) to be one of the greatest comics series of all-time. Other comics he’s written for include Invincible, Haunt, and The Astounding Wolf-Man. He has also worked on many Marvel titles, such as Marvel Zombies, Captain America, Ultimate X-Men, The Irredeemable Ant-Man, and Fantastic Four. Despite all of these writing credentials, this is his first piece of published prose fiction.

In The Walking Dead, Robert Kirkman set out to tell a different sort of zombie tale. Most such stories focus on a brief period of intense danger—a single night, as in the original Night of the Living Dead—or perhaps a few days or weeks, and concern the characters eluding predators and obtaining the immediate exigencies of survival—food, shelter, weapons.  

The Walking Dead follows the characters for month after month after month in their grueling quest to stay alive and, more importantly, to stay sane. The stories present searing portraits of disaster psychology—survivor’s guilt, depression, and hopelessness, as well as the grim humor and small acts of kindness that allow people to carry on. The zombies in this world are an ever-present threat, but for long stretches of the story they fade into the background and the emotional landscapes of the characters take center stage as they feud, break down, fall in love, lose heart, and ultimately endure…or not—for this a gritty, realistic world where no one is safe. The characters learn the hard way that other survivors can be more dangerous than zombies, and that the most dangerous foe of all is your own heart.  

Our first story shares this focus on human psychology. This is a zombie story and a love story, the story of an ordinary man in a terrible situation, and of the woman who just might be his only hope to make it out alive.