Interview with Robert Kirkman

Robert Kirkman is the creator of the comic book series “The Walking Dead”.  He has also worked on other comic series such as “Invincible” and “Marvel Zombie” series.  “The Walking Dead” is currently heading to the screen screen on AMC, Kirkman is serving as writer on the show.  Movie Mikes had a chance to talk with Robert and discuss his work on “Walking Dead” and his find out what his favorite comic series is.

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Mike Gencarelli: Tell us about the process of bringing “The Walking Dead” from comic book to the small screen?
Robert Kirkman: From my point of view it’s really quite simple.  You find a great network like AMC and an excellent director like Frank Darabont, a great producer like Gale Anne Hurd, add a great writing team and go from there.  To be honest I really haven’t had to do all that much, which is awesome because everybody involved are top of the line. Knowing that it’s going to be on TV. is pretty crazy, because there is some cool stuff that happens that you wouldn’t expect to see on television.  I’m pretty excited about that.  It’s been an amazing experience.

MG: Do you feel that because it is on television, and not a feature film, that it is better or worse?
RK: It’s better because with a movie you’re not trying to cram 77 issues of a comic book into a two hour movie.  I think that everyone involved….Frank, the actors, AMC…are thinking that this project is going to be very long term.  They plan for the show to run for a good long time.  Because of that the first six episodes really doesn’t cover all that much.  We’re allowed to take our time with it, not cram too much in, and that’s great.  Another thing I’m excited about is that the show isn’t following the comic too closely.  I mean, there are a lot of big moments in the comic that people will expect to make it to the TV show, but you don’t want the show to be boring.  Part of the joy to fans of the comic book is that they never know what to expect.  Anyone can die at any moment.  There is really a shock value to the whole thing where you really don’t expect certain things to happen.  I think for the television show to run along the same story line as the comic, for the fans of the comic I think that would really be boring.  Because they would know what happens next. I think it’s great that the writers have taken liberties with the story line and followed some new paths that I may have glossed over.  Frank and the writers have gone in and expected things that I covered very quickly.  They’ve added new characters and, therefore, new story lines for those characters.  There is going to be a lot of stuff that the comic book fans
aren’t going to expect.  I think it will be a real cool experience for all involved.

MG: Do you ever see an end for the comic series in sight?
RK: Every story has to end at some point…I don’t plan on living forever (laughs).  I won’t be writing this book until the day I die so I will have to end it sometime.  But not in the near future….not in the far future….if I have my way.  It’s the zombie movie that never ends, so to fulfill that I think it needs to go on for a long time.  I’m still as excited writing issue #80 as I was writing issue #1.  And as long as it’s like that I’m going to keep going forever and ever!  I can see it reaching issue #300…I can see it reaching issue #400.  I definitely plan for it to go for a good long time.

MG: Do you have any other comics that you would like to adapt as well?
RK: I would love to see ALL of my comics adapted to this format.  Television is a perfect format for comic books.  Comics tell a long form narrative that continues from month to month.  And I think more people will be by passing movies and turning comics into television shows because it’s a much more natural fit.  You get the same kind of experience from a television series as you do from a comic book.  I think “The Walking Dead” will show people how well that translates.

MG: Besides, “The Walking Dead”, what is your favorite comic series you have worked on?
RK: I have a superhero series called “Invincible” that I have a lot of fun with.  It’s been running as long as “The Walking Dead.”  I’d love to see that turned into a television series.

MG: Now for a hard one: what is your favorite comic series of all time?
RK: That’s surprisingly an easy one.  My favorite comic book of all time is “The Savage Dragon.”  A series that started publishing in 1992.  It was my favorite comic when I was younger and it’s really everything you could ever want out of a comic book.  There’s a lot of drama…a lot of emotional stories…great character bits.  And on top of that there’s the kind
of action you can only get out of a comic.  There are things that really can’t exist in any other art form in that comic. I highly recommend to anyone to go out there and pick it up.  They won’t be disappointed.

Click here to purchase “The Walking Dead” merchandise

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