Robert Kirkman spends a good bit of his interview time talking about The Walking Dead TV series, so I look forward to our one-on-one Comic-Con interviews to discuss the comic book series and other topics. In my latest interview with Robert Kirkman, we talk about zombies becoming a manageable threat, the human civilization reclaiming what's theirs, more novels set in The Walking Dead universe, and what we can expect from All Out War:

Gale Anne Hurd has mentioned that it was important to show that the zombies in The Walking Dead Season 4 are not a manageable threat. However, at this point in the comic book series, the walkers are manageable and the communities are holding them off.  After All Out War, will zombies become more of a threat? Will you find new ways to make them scary?

Robert Kirkman: I feel like they’ll always be present and somewhat of a threat. Logically, they’ve existed in this world for so long that there would have to be certain events or parameters to make them more of a threat. If those events don’t happen, this threat would be something that they’ve dealt with for years now and know how to handle.

Evolving the story naturally and allowing the characters to adapt to this world, the zombies do need to recede a little in the background. But, there will be always situations where they are underestimated and are dangerous. The zombies will get their due, but for now and the foreseeable future, the main threats will be coming from humans. The zombies will play a part in it, and they will be very present in this world, but we’re moving on and telling different stories.

The scale of the story is getting bigger and bigger. Is it getting more difficult to weave in the smaller stories? Will the comic series go back to them for long periods of time or is the plan to show these communities expanding?

Robert Kirkman: I can’t say how All Out War ends, all of the communities could be gone by then, but I will say that it’s all about the evolution of the story. If things are getting bigger and bigger, that’s just where the story is headed. There will always be small moments with the characters, as they live and survive in this world, but they’ll be living and surviving in different ways going forward.

I’m never going another tell a story about Rick and Carl in a house while Rick is sick, because I’ve told that story. Those stories have been told and these characters have grown and evolved past that now. It’s still going to be a human story, but there are bigger things happening now. Civilization is getting to the point where it can be rebuilt and that’s something that they’re going to be working toward.

Part of that re-building is fighting back, trying to reclaim the land. We’ve seen pockets of civilization, but will you show them expanding out and trying to reclaim this world?

Robert Kirkman: Definitely. Making larger safe zones and making the world safe to live in is a priority if they can survive this war.

Something I was excited for was The Cutting Room Floor. Last year, you mentioned that it would be out by the end of 2012. What is the status on that?

Robert Kirkman: It ended up being a tremendous amount of work. It got a little unwieldy, because I want it to be as substantial and great as people want it to be. It kind of got away from me, but it is still in progress, it still will come out, and it will be very cool.

As I go through it, I found more and more forgotten gems. “Oh… I was going to do this with this character… Holy crap, that character was supposed to die here? Weird…”

It will be cool when the book comes out and people can see what the process was and how the story unfolded as I was telling it.

I know you have the third of The Governor novels coming up and that will wrap up the series. Jay has said he wants to work with you again on more Walking Dead novels. Is this something you’d like to continue with?

Robert Kirkman: It’s something we’re discussing right now. It’s been a fun process and I’ve really enjoyed it. It is somewhat time consuming for me, so that is a factor, but I’ve really enjoyed working with Jay and I’d love to continue. It’s something we’re trying to figure out right now.

Many of our readers are looking forward to the upcoming All Out War story arc. Can you give us a little tease of what we can expect from this major story arc?

Robert Kirkman: All Out War is a very accurate title. Negan has been a thorn in everyone’s side and now everyone is united against him. It’s going to be a big blowout and is a bigger story than we’ve ever told before. It’s going to lead to some pretty terrible things happening in the book. You can’t have a war without casualties, so it’s going to be a pretty dark period in the book.


This is the first of many The Walking Dead interviews we conducted during Comic-Con, so check back regularly this week for new content. Catch up on our highlights by visiting the following links:

TV Series Coverage:

Comic Book Series Coverage: