One of the things I hear a lot is that fans of the show are hesitant to get into the comic for fear of spoilers. Which is fair enough, but let me say two things:
1) The show and comic follow the same general course, but events happen at different times (or not at all), characters have different arcs, some of the characters are different, etc.
2) There are at least 24 issues (4 volumes) you could safely read without getting ahead of the show. I say “at least” because due to differences between the show and the comic reading past volume 4 may or may not expose you to things that will happen later in the show.
So what’s going on in the comic up through volume 4? In short, volume 1 covers Rick’s time in the hospital, his trip to Atlanta, and meeting up with Shane, Lori, and Carl at the campsite. Volume 2 covers the trip to Hershel’s farm and the brief time there. Volume 3 and 4 are the first parts of the prison story, up to just before they see a helicopter crash in the distance. Volume 5 deals with the introduction of Woodbury and the Governor. You could probably read Volume 5 without too many spoilers (the Governor’s arc lasts all the way through Volume 8) but I feel like some elements from 5 may appear late in season 3 of the show, so maybe hold off on that one.
Here are some reasons to check out the comic: -It’s a great first comic for people that have never read a comic before. -It’s a great comic even if you’ve read 1,000 other comics. -Find out what happens when Tyreese meets Rick before Rick loses it. -Andrea is much cooler. -You can act like a hipster when your friends talk about the show.