SDCC 2019: Robert Kirkman Reveals Why He Ended 'The Walking Dead' Comic
Image Comics

After nearly two decades, Robert Kirkman delivered the most shocking ‘Walking Dead’ death of all when he canceled the groundbreaking comic book that inspired the hit TV show.  So naturally, when he took the stage at San Diego Comic-Con for his panel, he had a lot to say… and answer for.  In a column at the end of issue #193, Kirkman revealed that he had originally planned to end the series much earlier and in a much more cynical fashion, revealing that ultimately the zombies won.  Instead, the book ended on an optimistic note, with what Kirkman feels is a better message.

During his panel, he stated:

“For the characters inside the story, in hindsight, it’s a better world than what came before. It’s a world where people appreciate things more, come together, work together to solve problems instead of fighting and picking problems. People have been pushed to their limits, and they are in a mindset that’s different from where we are now. It’s a more peaceful world and it makes people appreciate what they have more. That’s the message: the zombie apocalypse happens, people die, but at the end of the day, you learn to appreciate what you have.”

Regarding his earlier planned culmination, he explains why he scrapped it, “It was a futile ending.  It was me as a young writer figuring out how to cap everything off. It was really unsatisfying, because it made everything pointless.”

Is this really the end of ‘The Walking Dead’ as a comic book.  Kirkman mused:

“Negan is alive.  I think that’s a cool tidbit. He’s still out there, theoretically living in that farmhouse. There might be a story to be told there. It’s possible that’s my escape hatch if my career takes a nose dive when I’m 42. The joke is I’m very nearly 42… There’s no plans as of yet, but there’s an option there, sure.  I’ve clearly said too much, I regret answering your question.”

Negan doesn’t appear in the final issue, outside of a flashback.  In fact, multiple survivors are absent from that issue, although at one point, Kirkman planned a protracted courtroom scene that would have paraded in all of those characters, but he ditched it when he “realized that was just the Seinfeld finale.”

Ultimately, he wrapped up by saying:

“I’m upset, too. I’m going to miss it as much as you will, if not more so. It breaks my heart that I had to end it, and we have to move on… but I just love this world too much to stretch things out until it doesn’t live up to what I want it to be. I got to tell my story exactly how I wanted to, for 193 issues, and end it on my terms, with no interference at all along the way… at any point. That’s such a rare thing, and it doesn’t exist without the unyielding support this series got from readers like you.”


Source: THR/