2012/07/17 18:29:41 UTC by Jonathan James

Exclusive: Robert Kirkman talks Issue #100 and the Future of The Walking Dead

The Walking Dead easily had the biggest presence at this year’s Comic-Con. However, because issue #100 had just been released last week, the comic book panel was spoiler-free and we didn’t hear too much about the Something to Fear story arc.

Thankfully, I had some one-on-one interview time with Robert Kirkman during the convention and talked to him specifically about The Walking Dead #100 and the future of the comic book series. Continue reading to learn about a major character death that was supposed to happen earlier and find out who Robert Kirkman promises will not survive the series:

**SPOILER WARNING** There are major spoilers for those who have not read up to and including issue #100.

I wanted to start by talking about the major character death in The Walking Dead #100. Was it always the plan to kill this character in issue #100 or did it happen more organically?

Robert Kirkman: I had actually been planning to kill Glenn in issue #75, but felt that I had more to do with the guy. I found myself trying to shoehorn that into the storyline back when I was in the 60′s of the run. I plot what’s going to happen in the book, which people are going to die, and how they are going to die, but every now and then I throw myself a curve ball and change my mind.

The idea behind his death was just to portray it as such a random event. Negan is so dangerous because he can do anything to anyone at any time. To me it is terrifying to have a guy standing in front of you saying “I’m going to kill one of you.. I don’t know which one it’s going to be and I don’t really care…”

That’s horrifying and having Rick experience that and being powerless in front of this guy is really going to fundamentally change the book in huge ways. I think that makes Glenn one of the more important characters in the life of the series.

After having written Glenn for all of these years, was it difficult for you to kill him? Do you feel the same connection or more of a connection to the characters than the readers do?

Robert Kirkman: Yeah, it’s always difficult. It’s very hard for me to come to grips with the fact that I’m never going to write another Abraham or Glenn story. Or the fact that I haven’t been writing Tyrese or Axel, or even Shane who died very early on or Lori.

Both Charlie and I grow attached these characters and it affects us the same way it affects the readers. When I’m writing scripts, I actually do become upset and sometimes it’s nerve-wracking because I plot everything out and I know what’s coming. When I’m actually writing the script, I’m experiencing the story in real time to some extent.

When Charlie reads the scripts, he likes to keep things vague, so he doesn’t ask questions about what’s coming up. He gauges the series based on his reading of the script and how he experience it. He’s able to experience it fresh and it helps him move forward. It’s very emotional for all of us.

Looking ahead, do you know how you want Rick’s story to end? If the series continues 10 or 20 years, and it always follows Rick, the stories would not have the same impact because readers would always know that Rick will survive. I’ve heard you say in the past that Rick could die at any time. Is that still the case?

Robert Kirkman: Yeah, Rick could go at any time. I think that Carl could carry the book now. I know that there are interesting stories I could do with him, Andrea, or Michonne. To a certain extent, I think it would be interesting to follow Negan for a little bit and see what that story would be like.

I definitely think that Rick has been the anchor for the series and may be the anchor of the series for a long time. I do have plans for him and I know where his story is going, but I promise that Rick will not survive the entire run of the book.

I think the book will go past 300 issues at this point. Charlie and I absolutely love what we’re doing and it is exactly the thing I have wanted to do ever since I wanted to do comics. I’m having the time of my life. The book is going to go on for a long time and no one is safe… not even Rick.

I feel like it will be harder for readers to sympathize with Rick at this point in the series. Now that Rick has decided to go on the offensive without discussing it with the entire group, he’s more responsible for the recent character deaths. Do you want readers to put more of the blame on him for the events that transpire during Something to Fear?

Robert Kirkman: In life I think that sometimes you’re the hero or villain, depending on perspective. In telling Rick’s story realistically, you’re not always going to like him. When you deal with human interaction, people make mistakes or decisions without thinking and it’s certainly something I’m trying to portray. There will be times when you hate Rick and times when you love Rick.

This is much in the same way that the story has very slow and quiet periods that make the explosive, violent, and terrifying periods seem that much more powerful. There will be periods where you absolutely hate Rick and don’t identify with him, but that will make the later period where you are completely behind the guy that more interesting. I think that the book can survive having a character that you can’t really read some times, so I have a lot of fun messing with him.

I wanted to ask quickly about The Walking Dead FPS that was recently announced and follows the events that take place before the TV series with Daryl Dixon. Do you have any creative involvement in the story or game elements?

Robert Kirkman: I am consulted about it and was made aware of it. The Telltale game is based on the comic book series and I have direct control over whether that exists and how it is produced. This is more of an AMC thing, but I think it’s going to be a lot of fun to shoot bolts from a crossbow at zombies as Daryl Dixon.

Before we wrap up, can you give our readers a tease of what they can expect in the next issues of Something to Fear?

Robert Kirkman: Negan’s introduction was a huge moment and finding out what’s Rick’s reaction to that will be is going to be very interesting. You’re going to get a sense of where the series is going by the time you get to #102 and I think people are going to be a little startled by what we’re doing. It’s going to be a new evolution in the stories we tell, and a new situation for Rick and the rest of the cast. It’s going to be really cool.

——

We’re not done with our exclusive coverage of The Walking Dead from Comic-Con. Keep an eye out for interviews with the cast and crew of The Walking Dead Season 3 later this week. Missed out on any of our recent coverage of The Walking Dead? Check out the following articles:

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  • http://twitter.com/Agonzo1 anthonybgonzalez

    uggh, i hate you robert kirkman…idk if I’ll be able to handle any of the big 4 dying now, losing glenn sucked.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Cheryl-Keith/100003305236933 Cheryl Keith

    I have stopped reading after Glenn is dead. Robert has absolutely no respect for his characters. I don’t mind that Glenn is dead but to have him die in such a pathetic way is just unacceptable.

    • http://www.facebook.com/copper.valentine Copper Valentine

      That’s life. People rarely die in a huge patriotic, fireworks framed way. It’s way more realistic for him to die the way he did. People in life don’t usually “Get what they deserve”. Weather good or bad.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/D6SMQKUONBX5WN57GAJFJCJOWE EvanM

        Still, you can’t argue with someone’s feelings about the character’s death. I mean it’s already hard enough to grow attachments to characters in the comic, knowing full well they’re not going to make it.

      • http://www.facebook.com/pepe.coca.1 Pepe Coca

        completamenve cierto…

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  • FATFUCKKIRKMAN

    Hey Robert, you FAT FUCK. Go fuck yourself and your stupid fucking series. What you won’t say or admit, is that you wrote yourself into a fucking corner and now all you have left is snuff material. “Let’s just kill everyone”. “NO ONE IS SAFGE! HURRR”. That’s fucking ridiculous. Keep stuffing your fat face.

    I used to love the book. Now it’s childish, gore porn and is just all over the place. BLOOD DEATH NO ONE SAFE.

    You just don’t know what to do anymore. That’s the truth. Oh wait, you do know one thing. That’s to boringly kill everyone off.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/mhallagann McKenna Hallagan

    How could you kill Glenn he was such a good character. Don’t just kill Rick, you kill everyone and you have killed all of my favorite characters, Dale, Glenn, and Tyrese.

  • http://www.facebook.com/x.zuleMora.x Zule Mora

    No one is safe…Just Carl eh? buuuuu U.U

  • http://www.facebook.com/Hibou95 Hibou San

    I find funny the way people appropriate things, this isn’t our story, and we may like it or not, but talking about “respect” of his own characters is just hilarious, Robert K. tells the story he wants to tell, and we have nothing to complain about, we like what he does or not, but I think that’s a mistake to stop read him because he made a character we loved die (in vain).

    Losing Glenn has been hard for everyone, he was my favorite character, I would have prefered to see almost anyone else die instead, but think about it, that’s what makes the story interesting, if “the big four” as some call them were immortals, there would be no suspens, that’s the point of telling a story about the end of the world, about zombies and survivors, that’s the point of tragedy, people die and it doesn’t always have a meaning, sometimes they just die and if feels absurd and pathetic, but that’s what makes it a tragedy, and the fact that no one is safe is definitely interesting, we all know, someday Rick will die, we only don’t know how, but it might be just as pathetic as Glenn’s death, maybe they will tell us the story of Regan, why not ? They will keep on telling Rick’s story for a while but we all know that someday The Walking Dead will be Carl story, and I find it awsome as long as it is Robert Kirkman, because this is his story, he wants to make it in about 300 issues (I could imagine losing Rick around issue 150#) and if we keep read TWD now that we are waiting for issue #104 it is thank to his talent and his bravery for daring killing characters like Glenn, Lori, Tyreese, Abraham, ect… (I still remember the shock when Lori died) which isn’t easy even for him, cause if we like characters from a story we only read, think about how it must feels to get rid of characters you have created and made survive until now, after all the time it takes to just draw them, some people said the fact Glenn died isn’t a problem, but they expected a more important meaning in this death, well R.K explained his reasons, and I think it was a good reason, when you want to make a realistic story (zombies being only the context) where anyone could die any time, regardless of their importance, a story in which the “hero” can be the “vilain” depending on the point of view, introducing a character as Regan by killing Glenn in front of Rick the way it happened was necessary, it makes it all clear that Rick and the others now have to deal with a mad psychopath mother fucker that would kill any of them at random, it could have been anyone but Rick (cause he wanted revenge on Rick and he sees him as the leader he is).

    We may not agree all of R.K decisions on his own story, just like the survivors may not always agree with Rick, but they still rely on him, and so should we ^^

    And by the way, according to the cover and title of issue #104, I think Carl will be mad at his father (once again ^^) for not taking action against Regan and I think he will act on his own, maybe put himself in danger, which would be a mistake cause Rick only wants to protect everyone, but he won’t give up the idea of avenge Glenn, as he said Abraham was what he was, but Glenn… It’s gonna be bloody !!! :D

    • Guest

      tl;dr
      10/10 Massive wall of text

  • Cez

    If Glenn, Rick and Daryl die, we will not watch the show anymore! If they die, it will truly makes me believe all horror movies are stupid or dumb. We want a good ending, not a pathetic story ending…

    • pearcedw

      That’s not a good ending, having characters impossible to kill is frigging boring. Also, this isn’t exactly a horror movie. A good ending? Just what exactly would a good ending be?

      • Cez

        Usually horror shows either a movie or TV series kill all the characters. I think it will be better if someone would survive and put the darkness into end. I don’t like if people have to struggle to survive but they all going to die in pain anyway… When there is life; there is hope!

        • pearcedw

          That isn’t pathetic storytelling at all. If you don’t like it then it means you care, which means good writing and acting. This isn’t a hopeful series, it’s a realistic one (Zombies aside) And it’s not usually, usually one character is too badass to die which is boring, or people survive by way too ridiculous means.

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  • Mr. Burning_ass_taco

    i swear to god, since glenn is dead, if Andrea dies next i’m never reading another walking dead comic ever again. Next to Rick, Carl, and Sophia she is the only original survivor left, and she’s damn awesome :3. Dealing with Morgans death was hard enough, but GLENN? He was my favorite survivor in the whole series!! Well at least we still have him in the T.V series. In short (this is going to sound cold) i wouldn’t have cared less if carl got devoured by zambies, but killing glenn?? REALLY? If you had plans to kill him you should have made him “go out with a bang” instead of having him beat to death by a bloody base ball bat.

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  • http://twitter.com/prescott788 Justin Lewis

    Why on earth does kirkman think it would be cool to kill off Rick? He says he is intending to make it a “carl” story. Carl is irritating. I know many people who like the series and not a one likes Carl. I have enjoyed TWD so far and I like that almost no one is safe, but I promise you…killing off rick will end the popularity of the book. K

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  • Lv4ever

    I’ll be sad if you kill our favorite characters: Rick, Glenn, Maggie, Judith and Daryl (TWD: TV Series). I think it doesn’t matter to you if the fans will like your story or not because you are the writer; you can do what you want.

  • willy2fly

    Bold story telling from Kirkman to kill off Glenn. RIP Glenn. You will be a much missed character. As long as the comic book doesnt end yet im a happy camper!

  • Failedzombie

    I stopped reading only a few issues after this one. Its just not the same to me. It seemed like after 100 a veil was lifted and all i saw was kirkman writing for the shock and awe value with brutality and less about character and story.

    Im sorry i just dont buy it when kirkman says his reason behind glenn’s death was to show “randomness of events”. its issue 100! Now I think kirkman just gets lazy and justifies his actions on the randomness of nature or human nature. It was just out of character in alot of ways, especially ricks side.

    Im also kinda tired of seeing the next “big Kid” on the street is. its starting to become rinse and repeat now.

    I also never understood his fascination with andrea… just never cared enough for her.

  • Test Subject 19

    You guys need to watch “The Twilight Zone”. In the end, Rick Grimes will wake up in the hospital bed, it was all a dream!