The Walking Dead recently reached the halfway point of its seventh season and the mid-season finale, 'Hearts Still Beating', concluded with Rick and co. deciding they'd had just about enough of Negan's tyranny and that a rebellion was in order, thus setting up the 'All Out War' arc of the comic series. Although the season premiere achieved record ratings for the AMC network, viewing figures quickly dropped off as some fans struggled to maintain interest in Kirkman's zombie apocalypse drama.
Despite this, both the television adaptation and the original comic series of The Walking Dead are experiencing massive levels of success, all things considered, and there's no sign of either ending any time soon. Some fans, however, have shown concern that the TV series may soon catch up to the source material in terms of narrative timeline. This recently occurred with another mega-popular television property, Game of Thrones, which overtook George R. R. Martin's source novels, forcing producers to develop entirely original plot lines - albeit with the aid of Martin himself.
With this in mind, a fan of The Walking Dead recently contacted Robert Kirkman asking whether there was a risk of the show catching up to the comics and the zombie mastermind duly replied in the comics' Letter Hacks section, stating:
"It took us 6 seasons to get to [issue] 100, it won’t take us 6 years to get to 200 and that will take us to season … TWELVE. And we’ll still be ahead of the show at that point."
Clearly, Kirkman has no concerns about the television adaptation of The Walking Dead overtaking the comic series at any point. The most recently released issue was #161 and the TV series is currently around the #111 mark - exactly fifty issues behind. Considering that the comic series is released on a more regular basis and that the AMC series has rarely been accused of being fast-paced and any concerns that The Walking Dead will go the same way as Game of Thrones should be swiftly put to rest.
Of course, while the comic series is virtually certain to reach its 200th issue, the same can't quite be said for AMC allowing The Walking Dead to run to twelve seasons. The show is, of course, incredibly popular despite its recent ratings dip and has already been commissioned for its eighth outing, but it's a relatively rare occurrence for a TV show of this kind to last over ten seasons. America's longest-running fantasy series, Supernatural, is currently in its twelveth season so if The Walking Dead did last as long as Kirkman is suggesting, it'd be in prestigious company.
Despite recent criticism and loss of viewership, The Walking Dead TV series has plenty of elements to get fans excited about the show's future. Jeffrey Dean Morgan is electric as Negan, the new multiple communities offer plenty of fresh characters and forthcoming baddies The Whisperers are ideal for live-action interpretation. And with such a rich source material to draw from, the chances of The Walking Dead reaching season 12 are probably more likely than not.
The Walking Dead returns February 12th 2017 on AMC.
Source: Robert Kirkman [via Comic Book]