Despite the recent surprise ending to The Walking Dead comic book, creator Robert Kirkman assures fans the show isn't going away anytime soon. Readers of the long-running comic series were absolutely stunned by the sudden conclusion that arrived with issue #193, just one issue after the comic had killed off franchise protagonist Rick Grimes. With the print version of The Walking Dead now finished, this had led many viewers of the TV adaptation to wonder if it'll be wrapping up anytime soon.
At first glance, the idea of The Walking Dead ending its AMC run this early seems like a nonstarter, as the network has made clear several times just how many plans it has to keep the zombie franchise running for at least another decade. This includes adding another spinoff to the AMC roster, as well as continuing the story of Rick Grimes in movie form after the departure of Andrew Lincoln from the main Walking Dead TV series during season 9. Still, nobody expected the comic to end now either, so the question remained open.
Thankfully for those still keeping up with The Walking Dead's ongoing small screen adventures, Kirkman made it clear during today's San Diego Comic-Con Hall H panel for the still quite popular series that he considers the comic and the TV show separate stories, and the end of the comic won't have any affect on its TV counterpart. Check out his quote on the subject below.
The comic book is something very special to me... it was Rick Grimes’ story. And it had a natural conclusion... This show is about the world.
Based on his sentiments above, Kirkman saw his Walking Dead comic book as Rick Grimes' story, and once Rick died, he felt ending things made sense. Clearly, he doesn't feel the same regarding the AMC series, and sees that as being more about the post-apocalyptic, zombie-infested world as a whole. It would be easy for the cynical to assume he's only saying that because he stands to make big bucks the longer the show is on the air, but at this point, Kirkman likely already has more money in the bank than he could ever really need. As much as he enjoys trolling fans sometimes, there's no real reason to believe he wouldn't suggest ending The Walking Dead's TV run if he thought the enterprise had truly run out of steam.
Of course, this fall's The Walking Dead season 10 will not only have to keep marching on without Rick, it'll also say goodbye to Michonne at some point, and it's still unclear what role Lauren Cohan's Maggie might play after the actress departed last season to go star in the short-lived Whiskey Cavalier. If The Walking Dead TV series truly is about the world, as Kirkman believes, it should be able to weather the loss of more and more major characters without suffering too heavily. Only time will tell if he's right.
The Walking Dead season 10 premieres October 6 on AMC.