‘The Walking Dead’: Kirkman Talks Differences Between Comic & Season 2

Published 3 years ago by , Updated February 15th, 2014 at 10:01 pm,

Robert Kirkman Discusses Walking Dead Season 2 Differences The Walking Dead: Kirkman Talks Differences Between Comic & Season 2

In anticipation of The Walking Dead season  2 being unveiled on DVD and Blu-ray later this month, several of the series’ major behind-the-scenes featurettes have been released for anxious fans to sink their teeth into. While Robert Kirkman, creator of The Walking Dead comic books and executive producer of the show, has already spoken at length about the process of adapting a beloved graphic novel into a 13-episode-season TV series, it’s always good to hear him talk a little more about it.

On the DVD will be a featurette titled ‘The Ink Alive,’ which focuses on the major differences between the TV show and the comic books, and also the major connections viewers can draw between the two. While we can’t provide the full featurette, we can break down some of Kirkman’s major points about season 2. It goes without saying that spoilers are ahead.

Any fan of the graphic novels will know that the series tends to deviate heavily from events in the book, but also tries to preserve the spirit of specific key moments like Hershel’s farm and, in this upcoming season, the prison. As with any good adaptation, it’s all about balancing fan expectation while at the same time creating a compelling piece of episodic television. In some cases that means taking liberties on how the show chooses to tell its story.

Robert Kirkman explains:

“There are things that happen in the comic that you absolutely have to put in the show, otherwise you’re not doing the comic justice. But maybe we move it up, maybe we move it back, we add different characters into the mix. We just do little adjustments to make it a little more compelling for the audience that is invested in the source material.”

One of the biggest deviations in The Walking Dead season 2 – as compared to the comic book – is the presence of Shane. Viewers of the second season already know what tragedy befell Shane, but in the comics that “event” is much different, and takes place much earlier, as far as the overarching storyline is concerned.

shane walsh the walking dead The Walking Dead: Kirkman Talks Differences Between Comic & Season 2

In the show, Kirkman was able to take Shane’s descent into madness and his coming to be at odds with Rick (Andrew Lincoln), and do much more with that. The end result is still the same, but it gives audience members a better chance to witness this character’s transformation.

“To have that extra little notch. That’s a cool byproduct of really smart writers being able to look at that material and go, ‘Hey good job Robert, now let’s do this.’”

Keeping Shane alive for much longer, however, spun off its own new storylines, and even led to one of the bigger deviations between the TV series and the comics: the death of Dale. In the comics, as Kirkman points out, Dale goes on to have a relationship with Andrea, but in the series, because Shane is still around and Dale is suspicious of Shane, Dale is snuffed out much earlier.

It was a moment in the series that upset fans immensely, but Kirkman thinks that fan enthusiasm is “cool.”

Another major point of contention in the second season was the focus on finding Sophia. The plotline occupied much of the first half of The Walking Dead season 2 (it was wrapped up during the show’s midseason finale), and even led to many fans wondering if the show’s writers had lost steam.

The Walking Dead Season 2 Images zombie Sophia The Walking Dead: Kirkman Talks Differences Between Comic & Season 2

Kirkman feels differently, as he likes that the search for Sophia and the discovery of her whereabouts greatly impacted so many of the show’s characters. He wouldn’t have had the writers do it any other way:

“To not do that story simply because I didn’t think of it when I was writing the comic, or because I did the comic a little differently is absurd to me. Staying true to that stuff is great when it’s necessary, but there are so many great ideas thrown around in the writers’ room that you just have to do that stuff. And I think it makes the show that much better.”

And finally, since it’s right around the corner, Kirkman talks about what fans can hope for in season 3. When we last left the group, several characters were at major turning points, and the entire show was moving closer to one of the graphic novel’s most iconic locations. It was exactly what the series needed to bring fans back on board, and Kirkman knows it:

“The most important stories over the life of the comic book series start when they find that prison. Comic book fans know now we’re really getting to the good stuff. Now we’re going to see Michonne, we’re probably going to see the Governor, we’re going to see Woodbury, we’re going to see all of these different things that people know and love from the comic book and they know is on the horizon just some from seeing that image at the end of the second season.”

Wherever season 3 takes us, it’s promising to be worthwhile television that Walking Dead fans and non-fans should enjoy. AMC’s series has already snagged some pretty important casting – that of Michonne and the Governor – which once again tells us they are on the right track.

The Walking Dead season 3 premieres October 14, 2012 on AMC.


Source: Judao


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  1. Keep trying to put some positive spin on it but Season 2 suffered from trying to draw it out to 13 episodes so they would start at the prison next season on a MUCH smaller budget than they originally had.

    • Since each “chapter” of the comic consists of 6 issues, and the first season of the show was 6 episodes long, I had hoped that that would be the norm for the the seasons. Season 2 dragged on WAY too long at 12 episodes. Conflicts abd delimas were drawn out for so long that it made the characters come off as dimwitted and prone to inaction. Lori’s issues deciding between Rick and Shane and Rick’s delimma with dealing with Shane, for instance, were drawn out to the point of becoming a silly joke.

  2. man i still dont get y they would get rid of sophia.She was such a big influence on carl in the comics thats the one thing i didint like in season 2.

  3. Season 2 was tough to sit through, the first half was grueling. I don’t see how the changes they made from the source material added anything to the series other than to keep the group on the farm for the duration of the season. It’s like the writers dove into the season, dragged it out, and wrapped it up with a solid 2 episodes with good material.

    If the comics didn’t exist I’d be more into the show so I understand why people eat this stuff up.
    Had the series stayed true to the books, they might have had something truly groundbreaking instead of depending on the loyal following of horror-esk fanboys.

    If season 3 doesn’t pick up the pace I’m bailing for good.

    • So grueling it made the pace of LOST look brisk by comparison!

    • Good. Don’t watch the show. People like you who want nothing but hordes of zombies and constant action are lame. If you want to watch a crappy zombie movie then go watch that and leave walking dead alone. I guess too much speaking and character development doesn’t appeal to you. I bet you thought Avengers was the greatest movie ever which sums up your taste in entertainment.

      • The OP is talking about wanting the show to be more like the books. That’s a far cry from asking for a mindless gore-fest. And hardcore fans of the comic would probably argue that the show is a “crappy” representation of the books as far as character development goes. I enjoy the show well enough, but it definitely doesn’t do some of the characters justice (ESPECIALLY Andrea).

      • I’m all for speaking and character development, but it comes off like soap-opera melodrama, the dialogue and tireless monologues are ridiculously cliched and corny, and the characters are mostly one-dimensional and poorly acted. The zombies are the ONLY thing they get right, so I’m left wanting more of them and less of the illogical, poorly-written humans.

    • I totally agree if The Walking Dead television series followed the book alot more then it would’ve been groundbreaking.
      Or if the creators wanted to add things then they should’ve created a new group altogether & a story built around them.

      However with this the entire thing comes off as poorly written, full of overly dramatic situations, & 87% unlikable characters.
      At times the show spikes with something good but 20minutes later it’s hard to watch.

      I’m going back to the comics for this.

  4. I don’t think people would be as annoyed with the deviations from the comic if the season had actually been good. There was a lot to love from the season, most of it was Shane going nuts, but there was just so much filler. It felt like every episode we’d get the same characters having the same conversations with slightly different words.

    And Kirkman saying “we’re PROBABLY going to see the governor” while confirming the presence of Woodbury in the same sentence worries me. We all know the Governor has been cast and confirmed, but we also know David Morrisey does not look the part. That’s not to say he won’t do the role justice, only that I think Kirkman has let it slip they’re making some pretty big changes to the governor character.

  5. kirkman is a great comic book writer but should probably stay out of film and TV., sadly. I blame him for the s***** show since he has a lot of say in the script department. I never thought i would be happy to say, I want this show to be canceled.

    • Given the following it has from zombie fans i doubt it will be cancelled. Unfortunately i feel it will survive till series 4 and end on a cliff hanger

    • Why would u say it should be cancelled..the .. im a TV..show fan.. And it has to drag out to keep u guessing.. I think its good ..they do sum really dumb stuff like with sophia.. And then writing on the car telling her to stay there.. And her having the baby..lori…pissed me off ..so not cool.. But i really like the stretch …they should of made her miscarry ..some how..like wen carl got shoot.. O LOVE THR SHOW..GONNA START THE COMICS..NEED TO SEE WAT ITS ABOUT..THANK KIRK..MY AND MY KIDS THANK YOU..WE LOVE THE SERIES……

  6. I read the comics before watching the show and i honestly think they have done well. I could say it could be better but I’m not sure how well the comics would adapt to the T.V screen if the script and story line stayed exactly the same. I was shocked when i saw sophia walk out of that barn and at the time slighly annoyed but now i think they did it quite well and it changed the dynamics of the characters in the show. So for the people moaning about it not being so accurate be thankfull because the comics (up untill the #100) did not feature the character Daryl.

  7. You know the Lori character is still around to appeal to that demographic, she adds nothing to the show. The events in the first two volumes of the book are essential to the Rick character, leaving it all out of the show and having him become that way over Hershel’s farm being overrun by zombies take so much out of the story. In the show he’s breaking down over how crazy things are in the world instead of experiencing real loss and development.
    If it were up to me I’d axe Lori and make Carl Rick’s main focus. Carl needs to seem wiser too, He can’t be a normal kid in this new world, it’s silly.

  8. yeah, but i wonder if tyrone will be in it, he was one of my favorite comic book characters along with michonne so i really hope they put tyrone in the show

  9. Check out those fantastic character portraits for The Walking Dead! http://bit.ly/QJGCih

  10. T-Dog is definitely on the bubble this season. He is the most under developed character in the series. The writers intentionally leave out Tyrese and then create the T-Dog character for no other reason, then to foster racial tension within the group. This is a terrible reason to create a character. In my opinion, it is disrespectful of the source material and also to IronE Singleton, who happens to be a really go actor.

    What is the point of creating a totally original character, for the series, and then leaving him undeveloped? I think and I don’t mean this in a racially negative way. He has been relegated to the status of, Token African American Guy. You know what I mean. The lone man of color, destined to be offered up as cannon fodder in most horror genre productions. The writers created him and now they don’t know what to do with him.

    We were given more back story about Morgan Jones, in a single episode during season 1, and then we have given about T-Dog in two full seasons. It’s hard to like a character you know almost nothing about and in order for audiences to connect with a character; we have to know something about them. This is where the writers failed both the character of T-Dog and IronE Singleton.

    I think with Merle’s return, he will be the one to off T-Dog for leaving him chained on the roof in Atlanta. His return should also bring, Norman Reedus’ character, Darrell more into the foreground. This would be a good thing, since he is the most interesting character in the series, IMO.

    Lori is totally annoying. I hope with the exit of Shane, the writers will find a new and more likable direction for the character. She will probably bite the dust this season though.

    Carl just needs to be tied up and gagged, until he figures out what, “Stay in the house!” actually means.

    Sophia’s mom Carol is, the most useless member of the party. She is a walking, weeping Zombie hor d’oeuvre. I wouldn’t mind seeing her go.

    Andrea is slowly transitioning into the character from the comics. I think she will take those final steps with the help of Michonne.

    Glenn is safe I think, he is the groups conscience. I know eventually he will bite the bullet, but not this season.

    Kirkman has stated that Lennie James’ character, Morgan Jones, will show up in the future. I hope it’s Season 3. James is a great actor and I believe the Morgan Jones character is much more interesting than most of the current group. It would be a shame to relegate such a great actor to only a cameo. Jones and son, providing the son survives the transition from the book, would make an excellent addition to the cast. The younger Jones might serve to make Carl a little less annoying. I think this would give Chandler Riggs a chance to develop as an actor and loose some of his more annoying traits. Carl needs someone close to his own age and I think Duane Morgan would be a perfect pal.

    So the way I see it, T-Dog, Lori, and Carol are all open game this season. One or all of them should go ahead and begin bathing in BBQ sauce, because their days are numbered.

    • Well my friend, I would say you are a psychic! There are currently three graves for those people. T-Dog is dead, Lori is dead, and Carol is missing (Hopefully she meets the same fate as her daughter…)And this all happened in the span of one episode.

    • You’re good. I agree with you 100%.

  11. Why are you all harping on the show for deviating from the comic? Do you want to know exactly what is coming next? It stays along the same lines, but throws in things to change it up and keep you all guessing. Why would you want to watch a movie that is exactly the same as the comic you’ve read? It’s a tv series and a very good one at that. Oh Sophia wasn’t supposed to die because she is a big part of developing Carl? Well I don’t know about you but that was one of the twists that left me shockingly entertained.

  12. I just don’t understand putting characters in if you are gonna change them completely, why not just make new characters?

  13. Please, argue it however you want, there hasn’t been any little changes. The television show greatly deviates from the comic series and in some of the worst and most terrible ways.

    I am tired of writers and developers doing this to a series. The series was a success because of the fans and then you turn around and spit in their faces by hacking it to pieces in via the live action show.

    I hate everyone single one of you responsible.

  14. Book 1 and 2 are novels but I cannot find the other books in novels. only in comic format

    • Aren’t enough chapters yet for a 3rd Compendium. Each chapter is made up of 6 issues of the comic. Each Compendium is made up of 8 chapters (4 years of the comic). At this rate, there should be a volume 3 around 2016.

  15. I can see how every change was justified in the TV show. Some things work better on paper than onscreen and vice versa. I also did a post about the differences between the two here http://www.jeanmess.com/the-truth-about-the-walking-dead/