The Walking Dead: Kirkman’s road to creating The Walking Dead [Video]


Robert Kirkman talked with Fast Company  about the creative process. He shared a story about an experience at Wizard World Chicago Comic-Con that changed his vision and gave us The Walking Dead!

Martin. AMC Walking dead
Martin. AMC Walking dead /

On The Walking Dead, during a hallucination after being bitten, Martin blames Tyreese for Bob’s death because of “dominoes”. Actions that Tyreese didn’t take that caused other possible actions and so on. Bob called BS on that theory. I agree. Not that there aren’t dominoes. But that people aren’t always responsible for the dominoes.

Dominoes are everywhere. We call them by different names– karma, coincidence, serendipity, synchronicity, God works in mysterious ways, accidents, fate, destiny-domino s-*t.

One of Kirkman’s dominoes fell at that Comic Con. At that time Robert had a self-published comic book called Battle Pope. Battle Pope was a drinking, womanizing superhero whom, with the help of his sidekick Jesus, God appointed to protect and help the rest of the bad people who were left behind with him on Earth after the good people were taken up to heaven.

Robert Kirkman
Robert Kirkman /

Kirkman was as focused on making Battle Pope his whole life and career as Abraham was on getting Eugene to Washington. Then at Comic-Con he was across from a gentleman whose comic had everything Kirkman wanted for Battle Pope–a movie, posters, t-shirts. And that man was miserable.

After watching Ebenezer Scrooge man for 3 days, Kirkman decided to diversify and create as many things as he could. After that came several projects, including The Walking Dead.  So thank you Ebenezer for tipping that domino over!

Dominoes show up inside and outside of The Walking Dead. In the plots on the show, one tiny event can change the trajectory of a character’s path, the storyline or even the entire series.

Dominoes /

It’s more interesting to me now to understand how the TV show is a special project for Kirkman and how he doesn’t seem as attached to the source material in the way that most authors are with screen adaptations. He really looks at them as separate entities, it seems.

It helps explain to me Kirkman’s interest in spinoffs in a different way than just business. It seems he truly digs the television way of bringing a story to life and Fear the Walking Dead will be a new experience-straight to television, no source material.

And, of course, there is a life lesson in the dominoes. We never know what dominoes will fall when, and which ones will make way for interestimg changes in our lives. Yes, there will be dominoes that whack us over the head, but some may fall in a beautiful pattern if the timing is just right.

Next: Season 5:All Named Character Deaths

More from Undead Walking