The Walking Dead: Kirkman doesn’t consider show when writing comics

The Walking Dead comics. Image Sky bound
The Walking Dead comics. Image Sky bound /

Robert Kirkman continues to write his The Walking Dead comics today without considering the effect they might have on the show.

The Walking Dead comics are the source material for the popular zombie show that began its 7th season a few Sundays ago on AMC. While the show is based on the comics, the show has made many changes to the source material creating a new and surprising experience even for comic readers.

Unlike many book to screen adaptations, both the show and the comics are still in progress. Robert Kirkman’s comics are on issue 160 and the show is hovering around issue 100 of its adaptation of the story lines and characters.

It might seem natural that the two might start to merge in the minds of Robert Kirkman as he works on both the show and the comics. According to Kirkman, that’s not the case.

Entertainment Weekly asked Robert Kirkman if he felt the need to let the show people know about major events coming up in the comics.

"No, there’s no communication whatsoever. They have no approval over what happens in the comic. Scott Gimple is an avid reader of the comic, and prefers to experience the comic book as a reader, so he gets the advance issues as they’re published, but he doesn’t read scripts. He gets mad at me if I give him any kind of indication as to what’s coming, because he doesn’t like spoilers. So, they’re kind of a hundred percent in the dark, which I guess is pretty remarkable, and I would probably say it’s a testament to the trust that AMC has in me. I mean, I guess to a certain extent, at this point, the comic book is kind of a workshop of future seasons of the show, and it’s fun to think that I can just completely torpedo the story if I wanted to."

It’s nice to know that Robert Kirkman has a vision for the comics that doesn’t include how the show will progress. The show can still maintain its own freshness as it goes along and it can adapt, keep and change things as it sees fit.

"Yeah, I know exactly how it ends, and I’m always taking baby steps toward that point as I’m telling the story. I know what the end point is, and at the end of the day, I want this entire long narrative to be a complete story with a beginning, middle, and end. We’re just spending a lot of time in the middle, so, I kind of have to know what that direction is, and I have to know what that end point is to be able to keep building towards it. I think that’s the only way to keep it alive."

Who knows if the show will get to end the way the comics end. We don’t know if the show will have the opportunity to have enough seasons to get to the end of KIrkman’s vision or if the show will have to create its own ending and the comics will continue.

Next: 5 things we learned in issue 160

At this point we can just hope that both the show and the comics continue side by side for as long as possible. We know that AMC has renewed The Walking Dead for an 8th season!