The Walking Dead comics ended with its 193rd issue this year and its creator, Robert Kirkman, feared the backlash he would take from fans when he arrived at San Diego Comic Con, according to Charlie Adlard, artist for the comics. Adlard appeared on Skybound’s Talk Dead to Me podcast and discussed the end of the comic book series.
“I wasn’t there, but 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 fifty percent people saying well done, and fifty percent people wanting to kill us,’” Adlard said. “And he said the majority of people were all thumbs up and just saying, ‘Yeah, you’ve done exactly what you should have done.’ Which was great. It’s great to have the fan support, as well. That was really brilliant. It was great.”
Adlard continued, “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. So yeah, we went out on our own terms, still on a high, on a creative high. I think the fans really appreciated that, so thank you, everyone.”
In a letter to fans in the 193rd issue, Kirkman revealed it was during Comic Con 2013 where he pitched his idea to Adlard for the comic’s ending:
“I worked it out with Charlie right away. He’d always been pushing to end on a high note,” Kirkman wrote. “He was with me, all the way, as long as I didn’t run this series into the ground. Charlie just wanted to make this book special. If I had a solid plan for 300 issues, he’d have made it happen, but if I started turning in stories Charlie thought were lame… I would have heard about it and he’d have convinced me to end the series. So when we talked about the plan, Charlie was excited, his fear of overstaying our welcome and keeping this book going well past its popularly were quelled.”
On the television show, The Walking Dead, Rick Grimes no longer is a character, as Rick has gone off into a new direction and will get his own set of films. As well, Carl Grimes was killed off two seasons ago, so the comic book source material no longer aligns with the television show. There is a lot of fan speculation that Daryl will now take over Rick’s story from the comics and Judith will take over Carl’s.
The comics had an amazing run and Kirkman did a great job of wrapping them up in a way that was satisfying for the vast majority of its readers.
The Walking Dead Season 10 returns with new episodes Feb. 23 on AMC.