It’s hard to believe, but it’s been 10 years since Robert Kirkman and Tony Moore introduced the world to Rick Grimes, Dale, Andrea, and the rest of the survivors of the zombocalypse, with Kirkman telling a story that is filled with pain, violence, and the chipped tooth beauty of those occasional human moments that make both the Walking Dead comic and the TV show shine.

To celebrate this milestone, Kirkman and his Image Comics based Skybound imprint are teaming up with a marketing company to celebrate Walking Dead #1’s 10th Anniversary during San Diego Comic-Con, with booth based events that will include a makeup station, special guests, and a costume contest.

The event will also feature the debut of the second annual Zombie Survival Machine, though this year, fans at the booth will get the chance to design their own version of the car, a 2013 Hyundai Veloster, which replaces last year’s Hyundai Elantra as the preferred vehicle for zombie killing, assuming you can’t get your hands on an armored truck, which would obviously be better.

According to THR, the fan designs will then be entered into a contest, with the winner announced in October during New York Comic-Con.

Here’s Kirkman on the thrill of designing the survival machine and why he turned it over to the fans.

“I had so much fun designing last year’s Zombie Survival Machine that I wanted to invite fans of The Walking Dead to share that experience and see their vision come to life at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con.”

Skybound is also behind the return of the Walking Dead Escape obstacle course to San Diego and nearby PetCo Park. The Escape goes down on July 19th and July 20th.

So, is anyone surprised that SDCC is now unofficially Kirkman-Fest? The man has returned zombies to the forefront of nerd culture, even elevating them to – like it or not – mainstream status. That’s an amazing accomplishment in a mere decade and despite a few hiccups (Moore’s departure from the book and both Frank Darabont’s and Glen Mazzara’s exit from the show), the twin pillars of Kirkman’s empire seem to still be standing sure in the eyes of his fans, and that’s what SDCC is all about, isn’t it? The fans… and blind, teeth gnashing jealousy over all the fun they’ll have while the rest of us stay home.

The Walking Dead 10th Anniversary festivities kick-off on Wednesday July 17th at SDCC.

Source: THR