Clementine: Book Two is the second book in the Eisner-award nominated horror trilogy set in the world of Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead. Written and illustrated by acclaimed comic book creator Tillie Walden (Spinning, On a Sunbeam, Are you Listening?), Clementine: Book Two continues the adventures of Clementine, a young woman with a lot of scars and emotional trauma, who was forced to grow up quickly in a post-zombie apocalypse world. Clementine: Book Two is 296-pages long and was published by Skybound Comet on 3 October 2023. It follows on from the first in the series, which came out 28 June 2022, and picked up where Clementine’s storyline ended at the end of the final season of The Walking Dead: A Telltale Game Series.
In book two, Clementine and her friends are back on the road, searching for a new safe place to call home. After Clementine falls sick, the group are rescued and taken to a remote island where a community of survivors live. Clementine is taken to see Miss Morro, an older woman with a background in medicine, who uses her skills to cure her infection. After waking up from her sickbed, Clementine struggles to adapt to life on the island. Her past experiences and trauma make it difficult for her to relax and feel safe. This causes conflict in her relationship with her girlfriend, Ricca, who feels like she is not present. Clementine wants to feel safe enough to spend time with Ricca, but is so preoccupied with trying to survive and keep Ricca safe, she struggles to find the time to really stop and experience life.
I found Clementine’s relationship with a lot of the characters in this book to be really interesting. I really liked the character of Miss Morro in particular who I thought shared a lot of similarities to Clementine. Miss Morro’s past experiences and traumas have influenced how she deals with walkers. She insists on examining every dead walker that she finds, identifying the body, and then giving them a proper burial. She does this because it was her job before the outbreak and she sees it as an important ritual that is worth continuing to do. It is her way of keeping her humanity and clinging on to a tiny piece of the life that she had before. Tension erupts when Clementine discovers that Miss Morro has a “back log” of walkers kept in a walled-off section of the island that still pose a threat.
Clementine is angry about the dead behind the wall and wants to deal with them as soon as possible. When she confronts Miss Morro about the situation, she panics and tells Clementine that she hasn’t got the facilities to deal with so much dead all at once and begs her to put it off. I thought this was a really interesting scene because it showed the split between the two characters. Miss Morro has an advantage over younger characters like Clementine because she can read and write and remembers how the world used to be. Clementine, on the other hand, has more experience with how the world is now. I felt bad for Miss Morro because it was clear that she was stressed and wanted to keep working as hard as she could to identify all the bodies because she felt that it was the moral thing to do. It was easier for her to hide in her work than accept that Clementine was right and knew better than her how to handle the dead.
Tillie Walden blew me away with this book. I thought that it was an excellent horror graphic novel that dealt with some interesting themes like survival, coming-of-age, trauma, grief and loss, adulthood, sexuality, sacrifice, religion, rites of passage, resilience, and disability. I was blown away by the amount of detail that Tillie Walden put into their illustrations. She was able to bring the natural beauty of the island alive and show how horrifying the walkers were at the same time. It was some of her best work yet. I wouldn't be surprised if she wins another Eisner award for this book.
I was surprised when researching this article to see how much negativity there is online towards Tillie Walden’s Clementine books. I noticed the same thing when I reviewed book one, but things have gotten a lot worse since then. Walden is getting harassed online, reviews are becoming aggressive, there is a hashtag on social media called #notmyclementine and even a change.org submission to make the books not canon. When I saw all of this negativity online I was baffled. What is wrong with people? Why are some fandoms so toxic? I think it is fine if people do not like these books and don’t want to consider them canon. But do not harass and threaten Tillie Walden about her work. If you do not like these books don’t read them. It’s as simple as that. As for me, I love them, and can’t wait for the third book in the series.