In the opening salvo of the Q&A panel, a young boy in a Carl cowboy hat strides confidently to the microphone and asks: “Do you regret killing Glenn?” Kirkman seems taken aback by the abruptness of the question, but without more than a second passing says, “In the event that Stephen Yuen sees this, I want to say for the record, not even a little bit.” Though perhaps that’s not entirely true. Discussing his reaction while watching it with an audience, Kirkman observed, “It’s a bit much.” And the exchange continues:
Robert Kirkman: It was great discussing that gruesome murder with you. How old are you, man?
Carl-hat Kid: 12
RK: What grade are you in?
CHK: Going in to 8th
RK: My son is 11 and he’s going into 6th. Does that mean you’re super smart?
RK: You can sit down now.
Robert Kirkman is as funny as they come, but what would he say if you told him he should do stand-up? “No, cause my stand-up would be, ‘in the next issue of Walking Dead, this guy dies.'” He admits he has a very specific kind of humor for a very specific venue. “Could you imagine me doing something like, ‘Towels, right? You think if you just leave them, they get moldy.’ People who tell me that don’t know how hard stand-up is.”
Kirkman is a man with a lot on his mind. Providing creative guidance on two Walking Dead TV shows, video game projects, and putting a big, shiny bow on his long-running series Invincible. But he has a jovial demeanor and shows a genuine appreciation and respect for his fans.
During the panel, he fielded questions on a wide range of topics, including his ongoing series Outcast (“There’s a really huge new character that gets introduced in Issue 30.”), his collection of original comic art (“It’s a sickness. I don’t really have any advice. Just, try and find an understanding partner. If you don’t have that, you’re gonna have a lot of really weird arguments.”) But predictably the conversation skewed heavily to his flagship zombie franchise (For the record, he thinks that Negan would win in a fight vs. the Governor).
Kirkman Talks Invincible Movie
He did have a lot to say about Invincible, though, especially the film adaptations. “I’m also talking to Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg daily about the Invincible movie.” He exudes enthusiasm for the project. He was, however, a little coy when discussing details. Discussing the original pitch for the film, he said, “Unfortunately it’s a little… early for me to reveal that… but they had a really good take. The movie should be this, this and this, and this should be the tone. When I heard it, I was like, ‘Yeah, that’s exactly what I want, but I didn’t know that I want it.'”
Robert Kirkman: I talk to Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg daily about the #Invincible movie.
— The Walking Dead (@TheWalkingDead) July 20, 2017
Kirkman is concerned about the potential success for Invincible in a crowded superhero market. “For Invincible to succeed it has to be fundamentally different from everything you’ve seen in the superhero space. Hopefully, in a couple of years, we’ll be here showing a trailer.”
Writing: Comics Vs. TV
He’s also not letting the success of his television shows stand in the way of his approach to writing comics. He’s a little bit more careful with throwaway scenes, but that means things he references in an issue may become relevant in the next arc, or the one after that.
And does he think about whether something will be possible or easy to do on the show when writing? “No. I wanted to show how things are stranger and stranger as people are living in the apocalypse. When I wrote [about Shiva, the tiger], and I was putting Ezekiel in the book, I thought, “How are they gonna do a tiger on the show?” And then he realized that he didn’t care, that it mattered for the story, and that he views that kind of thinking as the ultimate sellout. So he put a tiger in the comics, “And now we’re doing a tiger on the show!”
He teased that references to other battle beasts may be relevant later and that the chances for an adaptation of Super Dinosaur are, “Good. I’ll say no more.” He also announced a hardcover collection coming in October that will tell Negan’s story, from the beginning of the apocalypse to the current day.
Death Is Hard, You Guys
All this death, though, does seem to affect him deeply. Speaking about Andrea’s death, he confessed that it was difficult for him to write that. “When you guys feel a gut punch, I feel a gut punch too. And I’m the guy punching myself in the gut.” Unlike many comics, he views death is permanent in The Walking Dead… unless you turn into a zombie. But which of these characters would he bring back if he could?
“I wouldn’t do it. If Tyreese showed up one day, it would be weird… I don’t like to play favorites… but Tyreese. Maybe Glenn, since Stephen Yuen is watching this.”