If you weren't aware, Robert Kirkman did an AMA on Reddit this afternoon, answering fan questions about everything and anything. I've highlighted some of the most interesting questions about The Walking Dead comic, TV series, and video game below.
Kirkman talks about his regrets from the TV series and comic, his role in the making of the video game, and answers questions on the latest events in Season 4 and "All Out War"!
I remember reading an interview from a while back in which you said you planned on having The Walking Dead span about 300 issues. As of now, is this still the plan for you, or could it continue indefinitely? If so, could we ever see the story shift to a new group/location entirely?
- I do plan on doing at least 300 issues, but if I'm having this much fun then I won't stop there. Also, if I suddenly start having a lot LESS fun, I may end it earlier, but I don't see that happening. I'm in for the long haul, and Charlie Adlard is too. As far as a new group/location... not exactly... although there are some REALLY cool changes coming up in issue 127.
Do you think there will ever be a conclusion to the Walking Dead on your on terms or will you keep writing until its not longer profitable?
- I'll end it on my own terms eventually. I have more control over when the comic would end than I do of when the show would end, obviously. But I'm hoping both will wrap up in a cool satisfactory way in a hundred years or so.
I'm a big Paul "Jesus" Monroe fan, among others. I found it very awesome that you recently revealed him to be gay. Any reason in particular that made you do this?
- In my opinion there should be more awesome gay people in fiction because there are plenty of awesome gay people in real life. I want Jesus to be a character where his sexuality is as unimportant as Rick or other heterosexual characters. So we won't focus on it constantly and it won't be the focus of any big storylines for him... but he'll make it with a dude every now and then... before going out and drop kicking zombies. He's one of my current favorite characters.
In a showdown between The Governor and Negan, who would you imagine winning? Also, there has been some confusion regarding the pronunciation of Negan, can you clarify?
- It's pronounced KNEE-GAN. Negan would beat The Governor, I feel like he's stronger, smarter, saner and more control. But David Morrissey could take anyone in a fight. LITERALLY ANYONE. The guy is a monster.
How different has the story turned out from what you envisioned when you started the comic? Are there any characters you wish died earlier, died later, or didn't die at all?
- The story has evolved and continues to evolve. Originally my idea was that they live in a high school for a while... that changed to a prison very early on. There were characters that were going to die very early on... but didn't, and vice versa.
- I honestly considered killing RICK in issue 6 and making the comic about Carl having to grow up with this guy he saw kill his father. But in the end, I decided against it. That was never the plan, but it was a thought that popped up that I entertained while I was writing issue 6.
In the Nerdist podcast you said that you wished you hadn't had (*SPOILERS*) Rick's hand cut off as it was hard to draw him buttoning up a shirt (and a lot more but this covers it.) When it came time to do the same in the show, you didn't. Was this a financial CGI decision or just a "I get a re-do" decision.
- To clarify, I think cutting Rick's hand of when we did was GREAT for the comic. It's just that in another medium it would be harder to pull off, we cheat in the comic because things aren't moving. You can't do that on the show. You'd see Rick not being able to reload his gun, and things like that. The CGI of cutting off Rick's hand would be expensive, but we did it with Hershel's leg so if we felt strongly about Rick losing a hand, we'd do it.
Which character do you think was best adapted from the comic books to the TV series? Which has been your favorite scene from the TV series so far?
- It's hard to pick a favorite scene. Off the top of my head, the talk between Rick and Morgan in CLEAR is high on my list. The scene between Hershel and Glenn in season 2 when he talks about whether or not Glenn is good enough for Maggie and gives him the watch is also a favorite. Michonne stabbing the Governor in 408 was pretty rad, too.
How does popularity, if at all, effect the survival rate of characters? Have you ever killed a character just because they were popular and you wanted to shake things up?
- In my opinion, I feel like characters ripen like fruit. So while I wouldn't say the more popular a character is the more likely they are to die, they do have to reach a certain level of popularity before they've "earned" the death.
- No character is too popular to die. (Suck it, Reedus!)
If you had to sum up the season finale in one word, what would it be?
- SAVAGE. Honestly... people are going to be talking about this one. The cliffhanger at the end of season 4 will make the wait between seasons 4 and 5 the hardest wait we've ever had. ENJOY!
How much does the TWD TV shows censoring stop you from doing what you wish you could, and how has that effected the story as a whole?
- There honestly haven't been any moments that had to be cut from scripts or edited out of the show due to content. AMC is pretty great when it comes to that stuff. There are clearly limitations. We can't use "FUCK" for instance or show nudity or things like that. Be we know that going in, and I think as evidenced by the most recent episode there's nothing stopping us from getting as dark as the comic series is at times.
What is the funniest thing that ever happened on set while shooting the show?
- I'm somewhat childish, so I'll go with during the filming of episode 402, EVERY SINGLE TIME Andrew Lincoln would pick up one of those pigs, it would shit all over him. Every single time. I think there was one pig he picked up three times over about 20 minutes and it was like the pig was holding shit inside him so that it could have enough to keep shitting on him next time he picked it up. By the end of that shoot, Andrew was covered in pig shit and he would just come over to the monitors where the producers were and hang out.
Will there be a character on the tv show that will replace comic Andrea? She's so great in the current parts of the story!
- There are, if you're familiar with the comics, storylines that we just HAVE to do in the show. And some of those stories are dependent on characters that have already died in the show. We've seen other characters take on different comic characters stories in the show before, and that kind of thing will continue to happen as needed.
Is there anything you can give us about Beth's outcome after the supposed abduction?
- We will see Beth again... eventually.
Is there anything that the show has added that you would rather they not include?
- I thought revealing what was going in FRANCE during the CDC storyline wasn't the best idea.
Kirkman later elaborated:
- I feel it revealed too much of the world and gave the characters too much information. I prefer the way they're more in the dark about the rest of the world in the comic. For instance, for all they know in the comic, the outbreak is contained on this continent.
How much do you have to do with the Telltale seasons of The Walking Dead?
- At this point, I feel like if I got too involved I'd just screw things up. I was slightly more involved in season one, I think, but really it was just a matter of me approving their story when they ran it by me. The team there did an enormous amount of work to get the tone and feel in line with what I do in the comics before they ever came to me.
- Before we started season 2, they asked me a lot about where I was going in the comic and some things they should avoid, and I gave them some notes, but for the most part, those guys have taken the ball and run with it... to what I think we can all agree is great success.
Is there any possibility of Lee, Clementine or the other characters from the Telltale game making an appearance in the comics or TV series? That would be a cool crossover!
- It's not impossible... but I wouldn't be looking for it any time soon.
Learn anything new? Leave a comment below about anything you found interesting or insightful. And feel free to check out the full AMA here.