Robert Kirkman, writer and creator of "The Walking Dead," has created his share of blood and gore. But can it change a story or a character's fate when a comic book comes to life? In this exclusive preview from "The Walking Dead, The Official Magazine," Kirkman discusses seeing his characters jump from comic book to TV screen, killing off major characters and the main storylines in season 3 of the AMC show "The Walking Dead."
Warning: major spoilers ahead!
The Walking Dead, The Official Magazine: Let's start with the build-up to season three of the TV show. When was it decided that the prison storyline was going to be the foundation for this year's narrative arc?
Robert Kirkman: When we were wrapping the script for the season finale of season two, it was Glen Mazzara who wanted to end on the shot of the prison. He very much moved that prison storyline up.
Season three also features two iconic comic characters, Michonne (Danai Gurira) and The Governor (David Morrissey), whom fans have been itching to see in the show.
There really is a sense we are finally getting to the good stuff. We're finally getting to the Governor and finally getting to Michonne. We're going to see these really cool and really exciting characters, which took the comics world by storm, in the TV show.
As the creator of these characters on the page, has it been surreal going through the process of casting them in the 'real world'?
Being in the casting sessions for Michonne and The Governor has been a very surreal experience. Seeing them on set and in wardrobe, and acting out the scenes is something I will never actually get used to. Seeing characters come to life by living, breathing people that I can shake hands with and have conversations with is an indescribable experience.
Shifting over to the comic, let's talk about issue 100 and the death of one of the major characters.
From the very beginning, I knew I was working towards Rick and his group forming a pocket of civilization, encountering other pockets and being friendly, or enemies, with them… But the most important thing about all deaths in "The Walking Dead" is how it affects everyone else. Maggie and Sophia are now living at the Hilltop, so they're not with Rick and the others anymore. They have completely abandoned them, they are existing in a different pocket of civilization, dealing with different people, and that will be a very interesting storyline.
After close to a decade writing the comic book without the TV show, now that there are actual people playing these characters who might be affected by your comic book arcs, is it harder to keep those two worlds creatively separate?
Here's the strange thing, when I wrote Glenn's death in issue 100 it was the first time I had ever written the demise of a character in the comic books who was currently being portrayed in the TV show. I wrote a six-page sequence of a guy getting his head bashed in with a baseball bat and that's now a guy I know… I wondered when Steven is going to think I am a weirdo.
Finally, with Skybound expanding, what are you hoping to do in terms of fostering talent?
We're trying to show the power of the comic book medium by bringing in different kinds of ideas that you might not expect in comics. We're all about the new.
Check out the rest of this interview with "The Walking Dead" writer and creator, Robert Kirkman in issue #1 of "The Walking Dead, The Official Magazine," available on newsstands and comic book stores in the U.S. on October 23, in the U.K. on November 8 and Australia & New Zealand on December 18. Digital editions will be available globally on the iPad, Nook and Kindle Fire from October 23.
For more on The Walking Dead, The Official Magazine visit the magazine website, www.TitanMagazines.com/WalkingDead.
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