We’re getting close to the 100th issue of The Walking Dead comic book series and have some interesting quotes from a recent interview Charlie Adlard took part in. He talks about his work on the upcoming wrap-around cover for issue #100, topping what has been done in past issues, and looking at The Governor and Michonne come to life in season 3.
Via CBR: “What was the process like, figuratively digging up all the dead characters for the series for the 100th issue cover?
Charlie Adlard: When Robert said that it might be a good idea, my initial reaction was, “I have to draw all these people again?” Because, let’s face it — every artist who says he likes to draw a crowd scene, he’s a liar. [Laughs] So, initially it was sort of, “Oof,” but again, it’s people lying down on the ground. As an artist, it’s quite hard to draw lots of various people lying down on the ground dead. It’s a bit of a problem. That was the initial sort of suggestion by Robert, and then it was up to me to elaborate on it, it was up to me to make things interesting for myself. The Robert template was Rick in the distance above this stack of dead characters, all of which we wanted to show [along with] the methods of the way they had been killed. I think I angled it in the way it’s angled — Robert suggested a more horizontal look.
The thing that got me interested in drawing it was the decision — I think the variant is in black and white — it was my decision to do the gray wash rather than the stark black and white which I obviously normally do. All of a sudden, that opened it up for me. I’m sure all writers will laugh at this, but it’s so easy to write, “The army comes over the hill,” but it’s not so easy to draw it.
Robert said that the 100th issue actually has a moment that will top every other violent, bloody moment in the whole series. I know you can’t say anything specifically, but do you agree with his assessment?
Yes, I can say that. I know what he’s got planned, but he hasn’t sent me that part of the story. He did say he was going to send me some reference, which he told me to get ready for. I’m looking/not looking forward to receiving that. [Laughs] Let’s put it this way; I know what happens, but I don’t know exactly how it’s going to be described. Also, I know Robert changes his mind. He did something in issue #98 he never told me about and that almost made my eyeballs stick out on stilts, so he’s very good at that.
Moving from the comic to the TV show, how has it been seeing some of the characters you created and drawn for years brought to life on screen?
It was weird. [Laughs] I went on set for the pilot. That was curiously strange because that was not part of the book I’d worked on. To be so associated with the title and to have literally done most of it but six issues and being on set for the bit that’s not even my stuff was curiously strange. I haven’t had time to go back on set, especially with season two where they were coming into my stuff, so there’s Maggie, Hershel — people like that that were being introduced.
I’m more excited about season three because you’re going to see Michonne, Governor, some of the more iconic characters coming in. Especially when — you can take a character like Hershel and do the look of him completely different from how he is in the comic book. It doesn’t really matter. As long as he’s an old guy, it doesn’t matter. I’m not going to sit here and say they all have to look like the comic book, because this is meant to be a realistic show, it’s not some sort of cartoon. I was fine with how Maggie looks, I was fine with how Hershel looks. It doesn’t matter as long as they act the characters. I will admit that Michonne and the Governor do have to look right because they are so unique in their appearance. I can’t say any more, but I’m really trying to get on set and see the prison, see Michonne, see the Governor, etc. I think for me, that will be a bit more strange, a bit magical, perhaps, seeing these people that were really completely from my head translated onto the screen.”
The interview is a really great read and gives a better idea of the creative process behind each issue of The Walking Dead. To read the entire interview for yourself, make sure to visit Comic Book Resources. Keep in mind that there are spoilers for those that haven’t read the comic series.
If you’d like to take a look at Charlie Adlard’s cover art for The Walking Dead #100, you can visit our earlier coverage at: http://dailydead.com/the-walking-dead-100-variant-cover-art-previews/