NYCC 2012: KIRKMANIA! Walking Dead, Invincible, More

All things Robert Kirkman were revealed at the New York Comic Con on Sunday afternoon with the Kirkmania panel. Fans swarmed The Walking Dead creator for a question-and-answer session.


Kirkman kicked off the panel by thanking the audience for their support. "I'm doing pretty well, my wife and family have a roof over their heads, and a lot of that has to do with people like you, and people who aren't in this room," he said. "I buy a lot of Transformers, and it's because of you."

The first question was from a fan asking about how Kirkman keeps loose ends from spewing out. Kirkman said he used to keep notes and write everything down, and when he sat down to write, he would compare to those notes. Now he writes his notes down on an iPhone, which makes his life much easier. "There's probably a lot of stories that didn't make it anywhere -- they probably died from poor handwriting," he said.

Another fan asked what kept Kirkman inspired, particularly when he started out. "I like to say that one of the things that made me successful was my stupidity -- I had seven or eight very distinct points in my life where I should have quit," he said. "At one point I sat in the lobby at an warehouse while I was working on Battle Pope… I wound up just leaving. I thought, I couldn't come to this place everyday. It's that drive, that stupidity, that makes you keep going."

Kirkman added that old comics from when he was young – even stuff that isn't great – also helps. Peter David's run on Hulk was a highlight for him. "It takes me back to everything I love about comics… it really excites me, reminds me of why I do what I do."


Will we ever see Daryl Dixon in the comics? Kirkman said, "I think they're really great in the show, but I think that's something really unique to the show… To change the comic and to start pulling elements into the comic, it wouldn't feel normal to me." The TV is a product of hundreds of people, ranging from writers to props people, but the comic needs to be a separate thing, as it was before the show, Kirkman said. "But keep reading, he might show up next issue!" he joked.

A younger fan asked if we would find out how the infection got started. "Absolutely not," Kirkman said, adding that that's usually covered in zombie stories. What's more important is the horrible things people do to one another, Kirkman said.

Has Kirkman wanted to do something in the show from the comic that was considered "too brutal" for television? "It hasn't happened yet, thankfully… AMC lets us push the boundaries. I don't know if you've seen a show called Breaking Bad," Kirkman said. "That's really a good example of, 'yeah, you can do a lot of cool things on AMC.' So we haven't found that barrier yet… but I find that disconcerting. So I've sort of made it my mission to try to find that barrier."


Responding to another fan's question about the different media tie-ins, the video game continuity does tie into the comics continuity -- Lee, for example, does exist somewhere in the Walking Dead comicsverse. As long as you're getting something entertaining on its own right from the video games, then it's not cannibalizing, he said.

When asked about other kinds of zombie stories, Kirkman suggested a New Zealand zombie movie called Undead -- a guy has spurs on his boots, does a flip and latches onto the ceiling to kill a bunch of zombies.

A fan asked about the Thief of Thieves show in development. Kirkman said he's working with Chic Eglee, who will be executive producer and is working on the pilot. They'll then show AMC the script, who will decide whether or not to shoot it, and based on that, they'll decide whether or not to make it a show.


Now that we're through 100 issues of The Walking Dead, which character does Kirkman miss writing the most? "I miss them all… I think Axel and Tyrese," Kirkman said. Another fan asked about the disconcerting Issue #100: "I had fun with it… it was a horrible thing," Kirkman said. "I had known it was coming for years, so it wasn't a big deal for me."

Why the drastic change in look from the Governor between the comics and the show? "We struggled with that -- we could have given David Morrisey a wig and put a mustache on his face, but we thought it would look fake. Some things just don't translate," he said. Kirkman said they are accentuating the politician side of the Governor -- he's a silver-tongued devil, but he will still be terrible, Kirkman said. "He's just like Romney," he said. "Half the room claps, the other half is pissed."

A fan whose mother loves the comic and TV show asked, do you hate your characters, or do you just like to maniacally laugh? "I love my readers, and I know the things I do to my characters are bizarrely entertaining," Kirkman said. "I guess I hate the fake people I torture every month."

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