In what seemed like a very surprising and abrupt move, The Walking Dead comics is coming to an end with issue #193 that hits stores on Wednesday, July 3. The announcement was made in a long goodbye letter from creator Robert Kirkman at the end of the issue, that was leaked on Twitter on Tuesday, July 2. 

Kirkman warned fans on his Twitter page that spoilers would be coming, but no one expected that this would be the last issue of the 16 year comic book series. According to IGN, Kirkman went to great lengths to hide the ending, with covers for issues #194 and #195 already drawn by long time partner, Charlie Adlard.

The Letter

Here are excerpts from Kirkman’s letter, courtesy of IGN, where you can read the full letter.

“This is the end of The Walking Dead. That’s it… it’s over… we’re done. I’m sure you have a million questions… and I’m sure you feel as emotional about all this as we do… if not more so. I’m completely willing to bet some of you are angry over this. I get it…I do. I mean… WHY didn’t we announce this so that fans would have some time to prepare? Well… personally…I hate knowing what’s coming. 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.”

He goes on to say: “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 this series. 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.”

The Walking Dead

The Walking Dead. Vol 1, Issue 1. Courtesy of Image Comics

The Plan

Kirkman explains that he knew how the story would play out and how it would end. He wanted the series to reach 300 issues, but realized it wouldn’t make it that far. He tried to come up with a new plot to extend the story and admits having extended the series once already. Kirkman thanks everyone who helped to make the comic book a success and those who turned it into not one but four television shows. He gives a special thank you to Adlard for “devoting more hours to The Walking Dead than anyone.” Kirkman ends his letter with, “Oh My God…I can’t believe it’s really over.”

The Walking Dead has had it’s share of ups and down in the stories. The fact that it has spawned three television shows, web series, and a set of movies just proves how captivating the story really is. I really hope the show can make it to the end. Thank you Mr. Kirkman and Mr. Adlard for giving us a story that put humanity to the test.

The Walking Dead Issue #193 is available for purchase on Wednesday, July 3.

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Noetta Harjo
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