It’s the most shocking death to hit “The Walking Dead” – itself. Writer Robert Kirkman has unexpectedly announced that his long-running horror comic will come to an end – this week in fact.
The new issue, the triple sized No. #193, is about to be released and in an essay, Kirkman has confirmed it will be the last in the undead saga. He says he mapped out the major story points of the series’ end in 2015 and ultimately resisted the temptation to pad things out.
He adds that no attempts to expand the story felt right, saying “everything felt like an unnecessary detour” and soon it became clearer that things needed to end. He also explains why he did not prepare readers for this abrupt ending:
“This is the end of The Walking Dead. That’s it… it’s over… we’re done. I’m sure you have a million questions… and I’m sure you feel as emotional about all this as we do… if not more so. I’m completely willing to bet some of you are angry over this. I get it… I do. I mean… WHY didn’t we announce this so that fans would have some time to prepare?
Well… personally… I hate knowing what’s coming. As a fan, I hate it when I realize I’m in the third act of a movie and the story is winding down. I hate that I can count commercial breaks and know I’m nearing the end of a TV show. I hate that you can FEEL when you’re getting to the end of a book, or a graphic novel.
The Walking Dead has always been built on surprise. Not knowing what’s going to happen when you turn the page, who’s going to die, how they’re going to die… it’s been ESSENTIAL to the success of this series. It’s been the lifeblood that’s been keeping it going all these years, keeping people engaged. It just felt WRONG and against the very nature of this series not to make the actual end as surprising as all the big deaths… from Shane all the way to Rick.”
The comic’s first issue was published back in 2003 and led to the successful AMC TV series and its spin-offs which have served as a loose adaptation of the property. The end of the comic isn’t expected to impact the TV series which has veered away from the comics but is still incorporating elements of them.
The most recent ninth season is up to the events in the comics taking place around issues numbered in the early 140s meaning there’s still around two to three seasons worth of potential material for the showrunners to mine.