Comics mogul, Kentucky land baron, and Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman is keeping tight-lipped about his plans for the comic book version of The Walking Dead, according to an interview with Entertainment Weekly. Asked if he has a planned ending for the book, Kirkman responded in the affirmative:
Yeah, I know exactly how it ends, and I’m always taking baby steps toward that point as I’m telling the story. I know what the end point is, and at the end of the day, I want this entire long narrative to be a complete story with a beginning, middle, and end. We’re just spending a lot of time in the middle, so, I kind of have to know what that direction is, and I have to know what that end point is to be able to keep building towards it. I think that’s the only way to keep it alive.
However, though The Walking Dead is a massively successful show for AMC, and relied on by the network to save it from underperforming Q3 financials, Kirkman isn’t sharing anything about his plans for the book:
No, there’s no communication whatsoever. They have no approval over what happens in the comic. Scott Gimple is an avid reader of the comic, and prefers to experience the comic book as a reader, so he gets the advance issues as they’re published, but he doesn’t read scripts. He gets mad at me if I give him any kind of indication as to what’s coming, because he doesn’t like spoilers. So, they’re kind of a hundred percent in the dark, which I guess is pretty remarkable, and I would probably say it’s a testament to the trust that AMC has in me. I mean, I guess to a certain extent, at this point, the comic book is kind of a workshop of future seasons of the show, and it’s fun to think that I can just completely torpedo the story if I wanted to.
The attitude marks a sharp contrast from author George R. R. Martin, creator of the books behind HBO’s popular Game of Thrones show. Martin, who seems to spend his time these days doing just about anything other than completing the final two books in the series, has spilled all of his plans to the show’s creators, allowing them to overtake his story and finish it before he does. Kirkman will have no such thing.
Kirkman’s policy does shed some light on some of Walking Dead showrunner Scott Gimple’s decisions, however. It now makes more sense why Gimple would keep viewers in suspense for an entire off season while waiting to find out who Negan beat to death with his baseball bat. He’s passing along his frustration at being kept in the dark by making viewers feel the same way.