The Walking Dead‘s mid season finale was a whopper. (Didja read our review?) The massive firefight at the prison gates was a moment comic book fans had been anticipating even before the survivors ever looked upon its dank, dirty walls. And with the fallout still to come, showrunner Scott Gimple shares in what state we’ll find Rick and Carl when the series returns. Creator Robert Kirkman, however, is looking even further into the future and teasing when we might see the comic’s current major baddie, Negan, come to TV. (more…)
Robert Kirkman is the creator of The Walking Dead, Invincible, Super Dinosaur, and Thief of Thieves. He recently released the 100th issue of The Walking Dead for Image Comics, and is presently at work on the 3rd season AMC’s The Walking Dead, for which he serves as a writer and an executive producer. He is also developing Thief of Thieves for the network.
While at San Diego Comic Con yesterday morning, our Steven Sautter had a chance to sit down for an exclusive one on one interview with Mr. Kirkman. During the interview they talked about the progress of the Thief of Thieves TV adaptation, the reason why the most beloved characters meet the most brutal of ends in The Walking Dead universe, the future of The Walking Dead, and what Kirkman thinks about non-creator owned comic books and the “corporate entities” behind them.
So Thief of Thieves, congratulations on the pickup — how far away are we from seeing it on the screen?
Robert Kirkman: It’s very much in the early stages right now — we’re in pilot development, which means that we are working on developing the script for a pilot. That is the absolute first stage after something is brought into a network to be developed. Right now I’m working with Chic Eglee and we’re mapping out what the series is going to be and what parts of the comics we’re going to use.
And you’re going to act as a show runner or producer?
Kirkman: Well I’m not a show runner, because that is work and I do not like doing work. No, I’ll be an executive producer and I’ll be writing on the show and all that kind of stuff. Chic Eglee will be the show runner and he’s writing the pilot and it will be his show. You know, in much the same way that Glen Mazzara is the show runner of The Walking Dead. But you know, I’m in the writers room full time and I’m able to say don’t put lasers in the zombies eyes.
At a time when it seems like most landmark comic book issues are merely designed to get to as many printings as is humanly possible, Robert Kirkman, Charlie Adlard, and Image Comics seem to have actually found a way to justify the term with The Walking Dead #100.
Warning! Spoilers and Graphic Cartoon Violence Ahead! I’m not messing around, don’t keep going unless you’ve read the book.
Picking up the day after Abraham died, we immediately see a group of Nagan’s foot soldiers watching Rick lead a small group away from the compound toward the Hilltop in an effort to get re-enforcements. With him is Carl, Heath, Maggie, Glenn, Michonne, and Sophia, leaving Andrea and the others exposed to an attack that Rick thinks is unlikely. Obviously, Rick’s estimation of Negan’s forces is inaccurate and we find out later exactly how true that really is.
The trip to hilltop is supposed to take less than a full day but on the way it seems like Rick and company have gotten lost and will have to camp out overnight in the van. Michonne takes first watch, followed by Rick, who seems to nod off and is then lassoed and pulled off the roof of the van by one of Nagen’s supporters while Nagen hangs back.
Here we get to the meat of issue 100. Ever since our survivors left the prison and aimlessly roamed until they finally found refuge in Alexandria the book has been missing something. Sure this band of survivors has struggled with a return to something approaching normality and that has served as a sort of a villain — their uneasiness and their paranoia wearing on them — but it isn’t nearly as frightening as someone like The Governor was and with Nagen, we have a return to that kind of terror.
Introduced with swagger and with unbelievable, almost unrivaled violence, Nagen rounds up the small group that has accompanied Rick on his mission. There they rest, on their knees by the side of the van while Nagen begins to speak as Rick, his group, and about 50 of Nagen’s believes listen in as Nagen explains the kind of New World Order that is about to fall down around Rick’s head. It is a Warlord’s Symphony, a speech of chilling congeniality and breathtaking threats of violence. (more…)
Cry-Baby Spoilers AHEAD ! ! !
Proceed at your own risk.
The LA Times sat down with some of television’s hottest producers and talked shop. We’ve picked through it and cut out The Walking Dead show runner Glen Mazzara’s answers to some interesting questions and get his answer to why . . .
WON’T CARL STAY IN THE *BLEEP*-ING HOUSE ! ! !
What do you think people are keying into about your shows?
I think what people like about our show is for some odd reason everybody can buy a zombie apocalypse. Like people just get that, you know? Like, and so then they put themselves into the show. Like, oh, I would do that. Or, I would leave that guy there. Or, I would rescue that guy. Like it’s sort of, you know, people are screaming at the TV like when they watch a horror movie.
What considerations go into putting a character in jeopardy, particularly children? On [Glen’s] show, I started watching Season 2, you know, Carl gets shot and then the little girl is a zombie and …
Yeah, kids get shot on the show a lot. … It’s something we talk about because it obviously has a huge impact on the characters. It’s something that has to generate other story. You can’t just do it to be gratuitous or to be a shocking moment. It’s got to be earned. The pain that would be involved with a child being killed or hurt or missing, that pain doesn’t go away. And that becomes ingrained in the characters and then screws them up and makes them make bad decisions in the future and you can find the story that way.
There’s been was a rash of major characters killed off.
We had two big deaths. We had, you know, Shane played by Jon Bernthal. And that was in Robert Kirkman’s comic book. … We were having a lot of discussions about, well, this group is on this farm and is the farm dangerous? And we need people to be killed by zombies. We need to have a mean character because otherwise it’s gonna feel like … you’ve got these scary zombies but nobody’s getting killed by them. They can kill each other, but you need some zombie action there. So we decided to kill Jeff DeMunn’s character, Dale.
What’s the biggest argument you’ve had in the writers’ room?
We had a debate about the young boy, Carl. And everyone wants to know why Carl’s not in the house. Well, it’s boring to sit in a house. And he’s a little boy and he wants to mix it up and stuff. And he’s walking through the woods and finds a zombie trapped in the mud and he starts doing what any Huck Finn would do and starts throwing rocks at the monster. And then later that is the same zombie that pulls itself free and kills Dale. And the writers were very nervous about that, you know? It feels earned, but it’s a risk. Because Dale is a beloved character and if this other character is involved and responsible for that death, is the audience going to now hate Carl? But I thought the story was worth the chance.
This NerdBastard loved the “Why isn’t Carl in the house?” controversy and figures the writers decided to throw Carl under the “Zombie Bus” this season and deal with the negative fan reaction to the character later. In the comic Carl is a pretty bad-ass kid that quickly goes from a helpless child to someone one would want at their side when the zombie shit hits the fan.
Carl’s shooting of Shane might be that turning point, the beginning of the redemption of Carl. One can only hope that season three will let that side of Carl continue to develop and not return to the “Why isn’t Carl in the prison?”
What are your thoughts on Carl, The Walking Dead, and how the show has played out so far?
I think we can safely say we all saw the big surprise at the end of the latest episode of The Walking Dead coming from miles away. We’d been waiting for it since the series began and it had been spoiled multiple times online from multiple sources. So, were you shocked? Were you able to not be spoiled ahead of time?
Even if you knew what was coming, what did you think of it? Sound off in the comments. But I’ll warn you, if you want to remain pure and unspoiled about the finale make sure you jump directly to bottom of the page. Below the cut we’re gonna be dropping more rumors about what’s still to come from The Walking Dead‘s finale. Proceed with caution.