NYCC 2013: ‘The Walking Dead’ 10th Anniversary Panel

Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard walked out to loud applause at the opening of The Walking Dead 10th Anniversary Panel at New York Comic-Con 2013. The panel began with screen shots of the covers for their newest 12-issue story arc titled “All Out War.” Robert Kirkman went on to explain that the first issue in the series – number 115 – came out this past Wednesday. They had 352,000 copies printed and it sold out within the first few days, making it the highest selling single-issue comic so far. The second printing will have four issues.

Adlard, who has been drawing the series since the beginning of its run, did a special cover that included major scenes from the past 10 years. The panelists proceeded to show some artwork from the new issue, the first being a panel in which Rick is leading a small army – gun pointed forward – to fight adversary Negan. Adlard began to talk about the inking process saying, “In the past 20 years, I have never ever not inked myself. Stefano is the new inker – he is proving us right and doing a bang up job. I hope the pencils are living up to the inks.”

Kirkman went on to talk about the covers again – showing all of the covers for “All Out War” on the screen – stating that the “covers are colored by Dave Stewart, who has done award-winning work on Hellboy.”

The two began to talk about other Walking Dead related material coming out this year. A “first” for the comic is that issue number one is being re-released in full color for the first time. Kirkman and his team are also excited about releasing the series in Spanish in the U.S. Adlard is coming out with a book called The Art of Charlie Adlard in which he describes as “a book to show that I don’t just draw zombies,” which garnered a lot of laughter from the crowd. Kirkman quipped, “it shows you can draw an astronaut with a zombie head.”

The Q&A session revealed some unique insights from Kirkman and Adlard. In reference to antagonist Negan, an audience member asked where Kirkman was able to find a character even scarier than the governor. “It’s fun to write good characters,” Kirkman said. “But it’s so much more fun to write scary, crazy characters like Negan.” After a fan asked about the decision to stick with the black and white medium, Kirkman noted, “When I started The Walking Dead, I thought it was going to get canceled by issue 12, so I thought if I did it in black and white, it would make it to issue 15.” Adlard noted that many artists he admires work in black and white. “One of my heroes is Saul Vass; he works in color, but he uses a limited color palate. For me, it’s the perfect medium,” Adlard said.

Giving the audience a view into Kirkman’s perspective, the author said that at first, he based Carl on himself and Rick on his father. “When I started having kids, it changed and I suddenly became Rick, with my kids in Carl’s shoes,” Kirkman said.

Fans can look forward to The Walking Dead panel tomorrow featuring the cast of the show, where Kirkman let out a possible surprise might take place. “You may get a hint of the newest character to be introduced to the show at tomorrow’s panel,” Kirkman said. “Not sure if I was supposed to say that.”

Last of all, when asked about the spinoff show, Kirkman cheekily joked that it will be called, “The Dixons” and will feature five Dixon brothers: Merle, Daryl, and triplets all played by Norman Reedus. “There’s even a full banjo episode,” he said. “I could do this all day.”

Panel Photos

[Photo credit: Sarah Pfeffer for Geeks Of Doom.]

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