Comic-Con 2019: Creator of 'The Walking Dead' Robert Kirkman defends decision to end series; wanted to avoid being repetitious
Kirkman explained that the end was possible because people had learned to band together and they also stopped taking things for granted, which is something they hadn't done before the Zompocalypse
Robert Kirkman, the creator of 'The Walking Dead' took part in SDCC 2019 and addressed fans about his shocking decision to end one of the most popular comic book series. The popular comic was then adapted into a live-action series by AMC, and the show titled 'The Walking Dead' became one of the biggest hits among the audiences.
So when Kirkman and artist Charlie Adlard decided to end their series, many were unhappy. Kirkman began the panel by asking, "Anything interesting happen lately. Anything in the Walking Dead Universe anyone is upset about? Anyone here want to do me physical harm? I just want to make sure before we get started with this panel."
Speaking of the events leading to the finale which also sees a time jump, Kirkman explained that the end was possible because people had learned to band together and they also stopped taking things for granted, which is something they hadn't done before the Zompocalypse.
He said: "For the characters inside the story, in hindsight, it's a better world than what came before. It's a world where people appreciate things more, come together, work together to solve problems instead of fighting and picking problems. People have been pushed to their limits, and they are in a mindset that's different from where we are now. It's a more peaceful world and it makes people appreciate what they have more. That's the message: The zombie apocalypse happens, people die, but at the end of the day, you learn to appreciate what you have."
Speaking about what pushed his decision to end the series, the creator said he did not want to produce repetitive story plots and explained, "I know people criticize the book for being repetitious sometimes," and added, "I go on the internet, I'm human, and I go on the internet and see things that make me sad — and then I go back on the internet to look for more things to make me sad. I feel like the story wasn't repetitious"
He also said he felt things escalated pretty quickly from here and that he was "acutely aware of how it could become repetitious and I really wanted to avoid that. I wanted there to be a narrative flow, and in order to achieve that, I knew I would have to wrap it up."
Kirkman had noted in his farewell note in the last issue of 'The Walking Dead' that he considered ending the series about 100 issues prior and the conclusion then was morbid compared to the hopeful tone that the actual ending portrayed.
He said: "It was a futile ending. It was me as a young writer figuring out how to cap everything off. It was really unsatisfying because it made everything pointless. I considered it, but I was having fun with the book and I kept generating new ideas for the book. When I came up with the idea of the ending, that's what it brought it about. The ending was the purpose. It made everything mattered. It gave purpose to everything Rick did, and how he impacted the world. It's hopeful to see how people who are struggling and dealing with loss are making the world a better place and making a world that's better and good. Once I came up with the storybook, and [Carl] is reading to his daughter, I became very laser-focused on getting to that moment."
When asked if Negan would return, Kirkman said, "Negan is alive. I think that's a cool tidbit. He's still out there, theoretically living in that farmhouse. There might be a story to be told there. It's possible that's my escape hatch if my career takes a nosedive when I'm 42. The joke is I'm very nearly 42." He also added, "I probably said too much, I regret answering that question."