When the comic book series based on The Walking Dead came to an end, Robert Kirkman was worried about how fans would feel about the abrupt conclusion.
By now, anyone who was interested in The Walking Dead comics knows the series has come to an end. In fact, issue 193 shocked regular readers when the July 2019 installment of the series would be the final book released by Image Comics and Skybound.
The response from fans have been mixed. While some fans love that the comics came to an end while they were still popular, others feel that the abrupt stop and quick wrap-up were a bit of a lazy way out.
This kind of response was exactly what The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman was concerned about when he mapped out the end of the comic book series according to artist Charlie Adlard on a recent appearance on the Skybound’s Talk Dead to Me podcast.
"“I remember Robert was talking to me and he was saying he was going to go to San Diego, and that was going to be the first encounter post the end and he said, ‘I reckon we’ll get 50% people saying well done, and 50% of people wanting to kill us,” Adlard said."
Thankfully, that ratio didn’t seem right during Kirkman’s visit to Comic-Con. Adlard reported that the response was mostly positive and that not dragging things out was welcomed by fans who had been following the story for over a decade.
"“I think most people appreciated the fact that we ended this book on our own terms, before the book was gonna lose sales and then it becomes obvious why you end a book.”"
As a whole, it is best that the comics came to an end while the story was still popular, relevant, and interesting. The classic Neil Young saying that “it’s better to burn out than to fade away” is very applicable here.
The comics coming to an end should have absolutely no impact on the three television shows, upcoming movies, games, novels, or any future release. Those properties are their own entities and will tell their own stories in the same universe. However, let’s hope that fans of those properties aren’t caught off guard with an abrupt ending like comic readers were.