July 25, 2024

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Clementine in our graphic novel review: The Walking Dead returns to its roots – ntower

Clementine in our graphic novel review: The Walking Dead returns to its roots – ntower

Before I take you into Clementine’s world, I’d like to name the (zombie) elephant in the room and I must warn you: I’ve never played Telltale video games based on The Walking Dead. And while we’re on the subject, the comics left after 10 volumes of hardcover and I stopped watching the TV series after Season 8, too. So my attitude towards the Walking Dead franchise is quite ambivalent. But when I heard Clementine’s character was getting a comic adaptation, I was still in awe. The reason for this is author and illustrator Tilly Walden, who worked a few years ago with On a Sunbeam (see our review) here) created the comedy film of the year for me at that time.

In order to go into more detail and also to catch up with the readers, who go into this review completely unencumbered, I will summarize briefly. The first major video game adaptation of The Walking Dead was released in 2012. With The Walking Dead: Season One, the specialists at Telltale Games created an adventure that departed from the original comic and TV series with its own setting and characters. There, a little girl named Clementine appeared for the first time, who was hiding from zombies in a tree house. The protagonist of the novel, Lee Everett, took Clementine under his wing and protected her as best he could from the dangers lurking there. It would be pointless to discuss the events of the video game’s other three seasons here; Most importantly, Clementine has grown into a very popular character that many gamers can identify with, and that’s definitely due to her original voice actress, Melissa Hutchinson. The entire video game series is also available on Nintendo Switch, so if you’re interested, grab the console and get gaming. If you’re still planning to do this and don’t want to be spoiled, feel free to jump to the conclusion, which I’m staying spoiler-free.

Following the video game adventures, the character Clementine made her first appearance outside of the Digital World in a comic book short story commemorating Imprint Skybound, where The Walking Dead appeared in the original US version. Accordingly, artist Tillie Walden is now able to take on the character and continue Clementine’s story in three thick books with mastermind Robert Kirkman’s blessing. The first book is now published in German by Cross Cult Verlag, who also published the entire The Walking Dead comic series in Germany.

We experience a young Clementine who is already distinguished by life and has to put up with some physical and psychological limitations. She has had her leg amputated as she struggles north. When her prosthesis is replaced in the form of a wooden stump, she has to rely more on her crutches, which further reduces her speed. Clementine sleeps in the trees and finds everything she needs to eat and drink along the way. When she meets a group of three girls, she reluctantly agrees to improve her prosthesis and stock up on rations. A group of people, including girls, barricaded themselves in a small village. This village protects itself from the outside world as much as possible and supplies itself for the needs of the surrounding area.

Even if Clementine finds it hard to accept help, she gets a new prosthesis for her leg in the village and the next day moves north with renewed courage. Her destination is not clearly defined, she does not know herself exactly, and she may be traveling to Canada. Shortly after she leaves, the Amish meets Amos, who is traveling north with a carriage and his horse, Helen. He offers Clementine to accompany him on his “Rumspringa” for a piece. During the outbreak of the zombie plague, this Amish tradition of allowing young people to have their first experiences outside of the community was not carried out. Amos now feels strong enough to embrace the tradition as a rite of passage. This is how Clementine joins Amos for a while, and together they also form a team that is good at killing so-called “walkers”.

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Amos’ first target is a small group of people who set themselves the goal of repairing some log cabins on a mountain range in order to find refuge in them. There in cold weather with snow and storms, walkers supposedly can’t get there because the adversity is too great. Arriving at the cable car at the foot of the mountains, Clementine decides to accompany Amos up the mountain because she is uncomfortable with a small group of young men who want to take care of accommodations on the mountain. But the weather there has its own risks and the group dynamics shouldn’t be underestimated either.

At a good 220 pages, Tillie Walden continues Clementine’s story as a kind of road movie with black and white graphics in this hardcover book. I think it captures the character well, but I haven’t played video games so I can’t be sure. Prior to the publication of Clementine Book One, hashtags were already being used online, as hardcore Clementine fans distanced themselves from the depiction in the graphic novel; Sometimes in advance. I can’t comment on the transition from video game to graphic novel, but I think each one can stand on its own. While the video games cover Clementine’s childhood, in her book Tillie Walden explores early adolescence and the struggles that come with it. I can separate them perfectly and would like to continue to accompany Clementine on her journey.

If you would like an insight into the artwork, you can find it here connection sample read.

One Clementine book published by Cross Cult:

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ISBN: 978-3-98666-055-0

book cover

16×24 cm
Black and white

256 pages

26.00 euros


Order the Clementine Book One at Buecher.de now





This is an affiliate link. Our online magazine ntower is a member of the affiliate networks Amazon PartnerNet, Awin, Webgains, Media Markt E-Business GmbH and Saturn online GmbH. If you order via one of our affiliate links, we receive a variable commission from the respective store operator. There are no additional costs for end customers.



Order the Clementine Book One now on Amazon.de





Our online magazine ntower is a member of the affiliate networks Amazon PartnerNet, Awin, Webgains, Media Markt E-Business GmbH and Saturn online GmbH. If you order via one of our affiliate links, we receive a variable commission from the respective store operator. There are no additional costs for end customers.