What is it with chubby guys in comics being absolutely hilarious? Kevin Smith, Eric Powell, Robert Kirkman. There must be something about adult onset diabetes that triggers some kind of latent humor gland in comic book fans.
Anyway. Walking Dead creator and Image Comics bigwig Robert Kirkman held an hour-long event last night, discussing his work both on the page and on TV. Instead of wasting any time with some kind of presentation, he jumped right in to an ask-me-anything Q&A with the audience. Hilarity ensued.
Hopefully someone will post a video of the event, as my shorthand paraphrasings don’t really do it justice. Until then, here are as many of the Qs and As as I could get down. Just imagine you’re hearing a Big Bang Theory laughtrack with every third word.
What does Chris Hardwick smell like?
Err… Rainbows. Good start.
Any chance of an Invincible tv series?
Who knows. That’d be cool though.
Will Battle Pope and Wolfeman ever be released in complete hardback editions?
Yeah. Eventually… probably. I actually toyed with the idea of releasing an incomplete Battle Pope hardback, thought that’d be kind of cool.
In the Walking Dead comics, you went… pretty far with what went on. Will the show go as far in the prision as the comic did
I went as far as I could with the comics. It’s hard for the show to go quite that far, especially when it’s not on a cable pay channel like HBO or something.
How did you get started with Thief of Thieves?
From TWD writing room. Writers romms are a coool experience. Writers rooms sometimes let you craft a better story because you can get that instant feedback. They sometimes don’t, either, but hey.
What the hell has been up with t-dawg this season?
What are you talking about?! He’s been around, kinda. He put zombies in the truck or something at one point! T-dog is a favorite with the writers. He didn’t get as much time as we would have liked this season because a lot of our time was spent focusing on Shane.
When you’re writing, do you ever consider audience/reader reactions as you go?
Oh, hell no. No. I mean, I focus on what I think will be the best thing to happen, not on trying to get a reaction from my audience.
Why did you kill Daryll? [The whole convention center groans as if we all just heard a terrible pun involving an old cat lady]
Dammit! What did I just say about spoilers!?! Nooo, false alarm to anybody who hasn’t seen season 2 yet. Everybody’s fiiiine. I promise. It’s good that the show is different from the comic. I hate the idea that adaptions sometimes get tied down to the original material. It’s important to maintain surprise. It’s important to keep true to the comic but not be limited to the comic.
Will Daryll be worked into the comics/graphic novels?
I hate the term graphic novels. When did ‘comic book’ become a lesser phrase? I can’t really say too much about that, though. Although a new arc is coming up, called “Something to Fear.” Featuring a sleeveless guy with a crossbow. But yeah, no comment.
What was the inspiration for setting up the Invincible storyline?
I wanted to lay the groundwork for a (hopefully) longer superhero story. a lot was planned from the begining. but a lot was made up on the fly.
Any big plans for Invincible?
Issue 100 is coming up somewhat soon. There’s a different Invincible in the costume now. A really cool arc starts in issue 92. Flaxons, dimensions, flashbacks, etc. Corey’s coming back.
[At this point somebody asked for a high five and Kirkman obliged, almost tipping his podium over on the poor guy in the process. “That was almost our fist Walking Dead Panel death!”]
Would you ever do academic panels about zombies?
At the University of Hawaii?
…I don’t look good in a bathing suit.
But it would be for this other big, boringly explained thing that I wanna tell you all abou–
No I said no! Go by the Skybooth panel. Maybe, I dunno. How’s the pay?
I do love Hawaii. Because I watched Lost.
That’s pretty much exactly how the rest of the state is, too.
When you first started writing, what was your focus on?
My first comic was Battle Pope, which was basically Jesus making poop jokes. I honestly don’t put too much thought into things. I do whatever I think would be fun. I don’t care, I just want to do what I think would be cool.
Can we be friends
Are we gonna see Tyrese in the show?
I can’t say. There has been no decision made as to whether or not he won’t be in the show.
Will we see Merle again?
You could google “Michael Rooker at Wondercon” for that one. All I can say is that there’s a good chance you’ll see him again.
What’s your zombie apocalypse plan?
Aww, I get asked this at damn every panel. First, it’s not gonna happen. But if it does, I’ll go jump off a tall building and kill myself. First I’d murder my family. Because I’ve written Walking Dead! I know what happens! Some people are all, you know, “it’d be cool, because then I wouldn’t have to go to work.” No!! You’d be raped! It’d be horrible! It wouldn’t be a fun thing.
Will there be an episode hiatus for season three like there was for season two?
I dunno. I do know there’s gonna be 16 episodes in season three, so if there would be a break, I would assume it’d be eight on either side.
Why is Invincible always so late?
Well, I think what happened — first of all, shut up. We had some issues we fixed them. And it’s not that Ryan’s slow, he’s just unable to compensate for my lack of professionalism.
My apologies to Ryan then.
Nah, he’s still a dick.
In writing Rick in both settings, was there a conscious choice to take the character in different directions?
I think it was more of a slow burn with Rick. We drew out Shane a little bit more, so it took a little bit more of a build up.
How did you come up with Ant-Man?
Marvel wanted a new take on Ant Man, so I thought it’d be funny to make him a peeping tom. And then it just kind of got worse from there. With Ant Man, I wanted to try and come up with a character you didn’t like, and make him really interesting. And it didn’t work, because it got canceled.
How specifically do you write weapons in the walking dead, and what’s your own relationship with your weapons?
I don’t put very much thought into the guns. Handgun, shotgun, assult rifle. I’ve never fired a gun–
[audience gives a big collective “aww!”]
I’m sorry! Just don’t shoot me. People try to get me to go hunting and I’m terrified of guns. And they’re super dissapointed. So a lot of thought goes into the damage, but not the guns themselves.
What about the hatchet?
Oh, I’ve used a hatchet.
Image United. What happened?
I could ask about Infinite instead, maybe
No really, sit down. No, just kidding. Issues four and five are almost done. Maybe four or five pages are left, then issue six. So… 2020.
How do you feel about The Walking Dead being this huge thing and overshadowning your other stuff?
I haaate it. The tv show is like lightning stricking. People don’t ask me about Invincible as much. So Ryan’s pissed. But I don’t care. Backing into a person with my car made me put things into perspective. But you don’t have to read Invincible. I don’t care.
Based on Shane’s death, will we get any insight as to why Rick still likes Lori?
She’s very pretty!
She keeps losing her son.
He’s a little brat!
Will there be a more proactive than reactive dynamic coming up in the show?
Oh yeah. There’ll be a radical shift.
How do I get printed in the letters column as much as Andrew J. Shaw?
Just be a dick. Seriously, I want to get Shaw into a debate panel at SDCC so we can just go back and forth. But negative letters are fun. There’s more things to say in negative mail, I tend to enjoy it more.
Are you gonna do a battlebeast spinoff.
Ehh, I dunno. Maybe someday.
Would you ever do a comic with Riley Rossmo?
Yeah, I like that guy’s stuff.
Will you bring Rick Remender back from the dark side?
I’d love to, but I don’t begrudge him working for the Big Boys. I think Rick is one of the most creative writiers in the industry. It’d be awesome to see him do more creator owned stuff
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