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WALKING DEAD's Surprise Ending Worked: More Copies Being Printed

Walking Dead Final Issue Art Cover

Warning: SPOILERS for The Walking Dead final issue

The minds behind The Walking Dead knew just what they were doing when plotting to end the series with no warning, delivering a surprise, super-sized final issue. Predictably, now that fans of the comic and TV show have found them out, the final issue of The Walking Dead #193 is heading back for a second printing.

There was no doubt that the final issues of The Walking Dead would be hot sellers, no matter when Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard decided to call it quits. But following the shocking death of hero Rick Grimes, fans were forced to accept that the series they knew would never be the same again. Even that couldn't prepare them for The Walking Dead's official ending, leaping forward in time to actually give Rick's son, Carl, the happy ending few ever thought possible.

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Image Comics and Skybound have confirmed that the final issue of the series will have a second printing ordered almost immediately, due in stores for July 31st.

Skybound is pleased to announce that THE WALKING DEAD #193 by Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard—which hit shelves today and concluded the long-running comic book series—is being rushed back to print in order to keep up with customer demand as the news of the book’s contents goes viral. This final chapter in the bestselling zombie saga was hinted at by the events of issue THE WALKING DEAD #192—but kept secret and surprise-dropped with fans today. THE WALKING DEAD #193 2nd printing will hit stores on Wednesday, July 31. The final order cutoff for comic shop retailers to get their orders in to restock this 80-page issue is Monday, July 8.

Walking Dead Comic Final Issue Cover

It's safe to assume that even those who casually read The Walking Dead along the way will want to have a copy of the final issue in their collection, so it will be interesting to see how sales continue, now that retailers and customers know exactly what they're ordering, and purchasing. There's no word yet on whether or not the second run of Issue #193 will feature a new cover image--perhaps even one of Adlard's cover images sent to solicitations as placeholders, intended to keep the surprise ending from being leaked. As Kirkman explains in the final letters page of the issue:

They were used for solicitation so that the book would continue to appear in the distributor catalogue to hid the fact that the series was ending. As a gag, they kind of tell the story of Carl dying... that's not really anything that was intended to happen, I just thought it would be a fun thing to explore on the covers in a way that wouldn't reveal anything. It was very difficult to do covers that didn't telegraph Rick's death, or the time jump for this final issue.

So there you have it, Walking Dead fans. Time to mark your calendars, and call your local comic book shop to have a copy of The Walking #193 reserved for this second chance at zombie--er, walker history.

MORE: The Biggest Questions About Rick Departure From Walking Dead

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