While The Walking Dead the television show lumbers on — with spinoffs and Rick Grimes-centered movies — the source material to the zombie apocalypse story has been laid to rest.
In a surprise move, writer/creator Robert Kirkman announced this week that the new issue of the comic book, which began in 2003, would actually be its last. In an essay that appears at the end of issue #193, Kirkman posited, “That’s it … it’s over … we’re done … 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.”
Kirkman went on to say that he had mapped out the major story points back in 2015 and that he didn’t want to pad out the plot. Which is a fantastic lesson for pretty much every creative endeavor (take your pick: Lost, Star Wars, Game of Thrones … ).
Don’t expect the comic book ending (no spoilers, but there is a time jump) to change anything regarding the TV show, however; the recent ninth season loosely coincides with issue 140 or so, meaning the source material can still be mined for a few more years. As well, the AMC series and the comic have taken different turns over the years, most notably that in the graphic novel Carl is (sigh) still alive and apparently quite important.
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