Robert Kirkman shocked the world last week when he revealed that The Walking Dead Issue #193 would be the final issue of the series. In its conclusion, the creator of one of the most famous comic book series penned a letter to fans explaining his decision and thanking them for their years of dedication. We’re giving you a peak at the beginning of the letter here but be sure to pick up the full issue at your local shop (2nd printing should be available at your shop now!) or digitally on Comixology!
This is the end of THE WALKING DEAD. That’s it… it’s over… we’re done.
I’m sure you have a million questions… and I’m sure you feel as emotional about this as we do… if not more so. I’m completely willing to bet some of you are angry over this. I get it… I do. I mean… WHY didn’t we announce this so that fans would have some time to prepare?
Well… personally… I hate knowing what’s coming. As a fan, I hate it when I realize I’m in the third act of a movie and the story is winding down. I hate that I can count commercial breaks and know I’m nearing the end of a TV show. I hate that you can FEEL when you’re getting to the end of a book, or a graphic novel.
Some of the BEST episodes of Game of Thrones are when they’re structured in such a way and paced to perfection so your brain can’t tell if it’s been watching for 15 minutes or 50 minutes… and when the end comes… you’re STUNNED.
I love LONG movies for that very reason. You lose track of time because you went in convinced that you’re going to be there for a long time, but the story moves at such an entertaining and engaging pace that by the time the movie’s wrapping up… you can’t believe it’s already over. SURPRISE, it’s over!
All I’ve ever done, all a creator can really do… is tailor-make stories to entertain themselves, and hope the audience feels the same way. That’s all I’ve ever been doing… and it seems to work most of the time.
THE WALKING DEAD has always been built on surprise. Not knowing what’s going to happen when you turn the page, who’s going to die, how they’re going to die… it’s been ESSENTIAL to the success of this series. It’s been the lifeblood that’s been keeping it going all these years, keeping people engaged.
It just felt WRONG and against the very nature of this series not to make the actual end as surprising as all the big deaths… from Shane all the way to Rick.
To be honest… it seemed like a really good idea at the time, but now that we’re here and the series is over, I’m having second thoughts. Not so much so that I’m changing course… that would be kind of impossible to do anyway. But… it’s possible, as much as I hate to admit it, that I’m genuinely feeling a sense of regret over this whole crazy plan.
I want you to see what went into this though, I want you to understand why, if that’s possible. I feel like you all deserve at least that. So let’s pull the curtain back in a way… well, I usually try not to do. When it comes to the end of this series… here’s how the sausage got made.
Catch the rest of the letter in Issue 193!