The dead walk no more.
The Walking Dead comic series has come to a close with its 193rd issue entitled The Farmhouse, in a previously unannounced ending.
Beginning in 2003 the series has spawned an entire television franchise and launched multiple actors’ careers, but creator Robert Kirkman has revealed it was the right time for the story to end, The Hollywood Reporter revealed.
In the Letter Hacks section ending the issue, Robert Kirkman wrote: “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 the series.”
He added: “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.”
For the devastated fans, Kirkman showed gratitude but pleasure at getting to tell an end to the story.
“I hope you understand. I hope you, dear reader, know how much I appreciate the gift you have given me.
“I got to tell my story exactly how I wanted to, for 193 issues, and end it on my terms, with no interference at all along the way… at any point.
“That’s such a rare thing, and it doesn’t exist without the unyielding support this series got from readers like you. Thank you so much.”
Kirkman spoke further on the surprise aspect, saying: “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.”
The comic series’ final issue follows the shock death of series lead Rick Grimes and the ramifications of their death on the rest of the characters and the world at large.
But where does this leave the series?
Home network AMC said in a statement: “This extraordinary comic created a world that already lives in multiple forms, and in the hearts and minds of millions of fans around the world, and will for many years to come.”
So the show is fine for now.
We will also see the continuation of spin-off series Fear the Walking Dead and a series of spin-off films focusing on former series lead Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln), who departed the main series but was revealed to be alive.
The Walking Dead returns for season 10 in October 2019.