It was called Kirkmania and, somehow, I got in. I’ve had a stint of back luck with Robert Kirkman panels, signings, screenings and Q&As at the New York Comic Con over the years until yesterday. The last event I attended at this year’s NYCC was an hour long Question & Answer session with the accomplished creator moderated by the fans in the room. With the Season 3 premier of The Walking Dead on AMC hours away, most of the queries focused on the undead story we are all hooked on.
Kirkman took the stage and, after asking the crowd if we “had any plans tonight”, graciously, gave a big “Thank you!” to everyone in attendance. He said he “appreciates all of the dedication”; that he has “a very good life” and can “buy a lot of Transformers,” thanks to all of his fans.
However, Kirkman claimed he was quickly bored by his own talking and decided to turn the event over to questions from the crowd. The line behind the mic was quite impressive in its length and the speed at which it formed.
While the fans asked about everything from Battle Pope to Kirkman’s soda preference, questions surrounding The Walking Dead franchise dominated the hour. So, if Sunday night’s season premier wasn’t enough for you, here’s some of the discussion on the TWD characters!
The Faces of The Walking Dead
Those of us entwined in the drama in Kirkman’s zombie tale are well aware that it is all about the individual characters left battling for their lives. While it is awesome that The Walking Dead has emerged in so many different types of media – the comic books, television show and now even the video games – each representation of the story focuses on different characters. Many fans would like to see their favorite characters cross-over media lines, or, at the very least, be kept alive in multiple medias.
As the law of our wayward group in The Walking Dead story, Rick is constantly under scrutiny. One fan asked where Kirkman got his inspiration for his protagonist. While he said there was no singular inspiration for the character himself, he offered up the muse of parenting,
A lot of it has come from thoughts that I had. [For example,] I see my son for the first time and think, ‘I would cut someone’s head off right now to make sure this baby is OK.’ And then I’ll put that in the comic… Those of you with kids know what I’m talking about!
Which, with Rick about to be a father of a newborn in addition to Carl, might explain what Kirkman said about where Rick’s going next in The Walking Dead television show.
I don’t think you guys will be wanting for Rick making hard decisions after seeing season 3. We’re going into some pretty interesting and dark places with him.
To be honest with you, after watching the end of the Season 3 opener, it looks like they didn’t want to waste any time in exploring the darker side of Rick!
The fans’ response to Carl was mixed. Right after one fan asked Kirkman to make sure Rick and Lori do a better job of looking after him, the next fan requested that Kirkman kill off the young character! In response to both, Kirkman offered the following,
Coming into Season 3 you will see quite a bit of evolution in Carl as a character and you will no longer be worrying or wondering whether he is in the house or not. You will see that he is out of the house and more than capable of kicking ass and killing zombies.
He further explained that this would be evident by “minute two” of the season 3 premiere. (Having since watched the episode, I can understand what he was talking about!)
Kirkman explained why he had no plans on bringing Daryl Dixon to the comic books even though a large proportion of the audience cheered at the mere mention of it.
To be honest, I really like Daryl and Merle Dixon. I think they’re really great in the show… but I feel like that is something unique to the show.
He continued to explain that moving the characters to the comic “wouldn’t feel normal”, however he suspects that the “guy running around with a crossbow in the comic” is a direct result of working on the show with Daryl’s character!
Clementine & Kenny
While I was personally unfamiliar with both Clementine and Kenny, I soon learned that they are well loved characters from the video game that the gaming fans would love to see on the show. With this question Kirkman stammered out some exciting news for the gaming fans.
Probably not. Just because – uh – there may possibly be more games. That’s all I’m going to say.
As I heard a couple of gamers around me yell and cheer, “Yes!” I think, at least in their eyes, he said enough.
“The Governor” is a character well known to The Walking Dead’s comic book fans (who even has his very own novelization), and has been highly anticipated by the television show’s fans ever since it was announced that David Morrissey was cast to bring that character to the small screen this season. However, David Morrissey ‘s Governor doesn’t look anything like The Governor Charlie Adlar created for the comic.
When asked about the reason for this casting choice after having such an amazing casting record so far, Kirkman admitted that the entire team struggled with it. They wondered whether or not to give Morrissey a wig just to get him to look more like his comic book counterpart. In the end, they decided it was unnecessary. He assured the audience that once we saw him in action, we would understand that Morrissey was “THE guy” for the role, without question. He promised that Morrissey delivers a Governor who is going to be “terrible and even more of a silver tongued devil than in the comic” .
Fans of the television show have only begun to get a taste of who the mysterious Michonne actually is, but readers of The Walking Dead comic books have been enamored with her for years. She is a different kind of survivor than we are used to in the state of zombie apocalypse, so it is no wonder that one fan asked Kirkman where he drew inspiration for this warrior.
I was thinking at that point, with The Walking Dead, that characters had been living outside of the group. [...] While Rick and all of the others were doing all of this interpersonal work and nonsense and really struggling to survive as a group, I thought it would be neat to contribute some other character who had been on her own for awhile and had completely figured out the world. And knew how to survive, and was really good at it, and really capable [...] to try and shake up the book. I thought Michonne would do that.
The fan responded by telling him, “Well, she’s awesome,” which led to an eruption of applause and cheers. Safe to say he thought correctly!
The Rest Of The Kirkmania Event
With over an hour of uncensored fan questions, of course more was discussed than these characters! Kirkman fielded questions about The Walking Dead “end game”, the source of “the infection”, Invincible, his writing process and his feelings about his success(es) so far. So keep your browser on Word of the Nerd (heck! make it your home page!) to make sure you don’t miss any of my posts!
One For You KirkMANIACS Out There…
In the meantime, I’m wondering – given the opportunity yourself, what would you have asked Robert Kirkman if you could’ve stepped up to the mic at Sunday’s Q&A event? Post it in the comments section below, maybe we’ll even get Mr. Kirkman to swing by the site and answer it for you!