|The Walking Dead|
Cover of The Walking Dead No. 1. Art by Tony Moore.
|Publication date||October 2003 – present|
|No. of issues||177|
|Created by||Robert Kirkman|
|Written by||Robert Kirkman|
|Artist(s)||Tony Moore (#1–6)|
Charlie Adlard (#7–present)
|Penciller(s)||Tony Moore (#1–6)|
Charlie Adlard (#7–present)
|Inker(s)||Tony Moore (#1–6)|
Charlie Adlard (#7–present)
Stefano Gaudiano (#115–present)
|Letterer(s)||Robert Kirkman (#1–19)|
Rus Wooton (#20–present)
|Colorist(s)||Tony Moore (#1–5)|
Cliff Rathburn (#6–present)
|Editor(s)||Aubrey Sitterson (#55–70)|
Sina Grace (#67–96)
Sean Mackiewicz (#97–present)
The Walking Dead is an ongoing black-and-white comic book series created by writer Robert Kirkman and artist Tony Moore. It focuses on Rick Grimes, a Georgia deputy who is shot in the line of duty and awakens from a coma in a zombie apocalypse that has resulted in a state-wide quarantine. After joining with other survivors, including his loved ones, he gradually takes on the role of leader of a community as it struggles to survive the zombie apocalypse.
First issued in 2003 by publisher Image Comics, the comic is written by Kirkman with art by Moore (issues No. 1–6) and Charlie Adlard (issue No. 7 onward). Moore continued to do the covers through issue No. 24.
The Walking Dead received the 2007 and 2010 Eisner Award for Best Continuing Series at San Diego Comic-Con International. The series was adapted into the AMC television series The Walking Dead, which premiered in 2010. The television program loosely follows the storyline of the comic book. The franchise has also spawned multiple additional media properties, including video games (such as The Walking Dead video game), a companion television series (Fear the Walking Dead), webisode series (The Walking Dead: Torn Apart, The Walking Dead: Cold Storage, and The Walking Dead: The Oath), and various additional publications, including novels (The Walking Dead: Rise of the Governor).
The original pitch by Kirkman and Moore was for a followup to George A. Romero's Night of the Living Dead, with the series taking place in the 1960s.Image Comics co-founder Jim Valentino suggested using an original concept instead so the creators would own the property outright. The revised pitch became The Walking Dead.
The Walking Dead debuted in 2003, published by Image Comics, with art by Tony Moore for the first six issues and Cliff Rathburn shading the art after issue five. Charlie Adlard took over as artist on issue #7, after he was approached by Kirkman. Moore also did the cover art for the first twenty-four issues and the first four trade paperbacks. The remainder were done by Adlard.
When the television series premiered in October 2010, Image Comics announced The Walking Dead Weekly. The first 52 issues of the series began to be reprinted on January 5, 2011, with one issue per week for a year.
The series is periodically re-published in trade paperbacks which contain six issues each, hardcover books with twelve issues and occasional bonus material, omnibus editions of twenty-four issues, and compendium editions of forty-eight issues.
Volume 1: Days Gone Bye (Issues 1–6)
- Rick Grimes, a sheriff's deputy from Kentucky, is wounded in the line of duty and emerges from a coma to find the world overrun by the undead. He returns home to find his house ransacked and his wife and son gone. Rick travels to a military evacuation zone in Atlanta to find his family, but finds Atlanta has also been overrun. He is rescued by Glenn Rhee, who takes him to his small camp of survivors. Among them are Rick's wife Lori and his son Carl. Zombies (called Walkers, Roamers, and Lurkers in most of the series) eventually attack the group. Following the attack, Shane Walsh, Rick's friend and former police partner, tries to murder Rick because he's become obsessed with Rick's wife Lori. Carl shoots Shane.
Volume 2: Miles Behind Us (Issues 7–12)
- Rick becomes the group's leader. He and the remaining survivors leave Atlanta and travel across hostile territory in search of a safer refuge. The group meets Tyreese, his daughter and her boyfriend. Everyone takes shelter at Wiltshire Estates, a gated community, but are forced to leave when they stumble upon its zombie infestation. The group eventually finds shelter at a small farm after Carl is shot. The farm's owner, Hershel Greene and his family, are in denial about the walkers' nature and have been storing deceased loved ones and neighbors in their barn. Rick's group is asked to leave the farm and stumbles upon an abandoned prison, which they decide to make their home.
Volume 3: Safety Behind Bars (Issues 13–18)
- The group begins to clear the prison yard and one cell block for living quarters. They meet some surviving inmates when they break into the prison's cafeteria. Rick invites Hershel and his family to come live in the prison and they accept. Two of the group members commit suicide and someone begins to murder other group members. This inmate, a convicted serial killer, is eventually captured and killed. Other inmates stage a rebellion.
Volume 4: The Heart's Desire (Issues 19–24)
- The group manages to quell the inmates' rebellion and secure the prison. A katana-wielding woman named Michonne arrives at the prison seeking refuge and causes tension among some of Rick's survivors. When another member is bitten on the leg, Rick attempts to save him by amputating his bitten leg; however, despite receiving medical treatment from Hershel, the man dies. Rick and Tyreese get into a fight and the community decides to have a council with four co-leaders instead of Rick as sole leader.
Volume 5: The Best Defense (Issues 25–30)
- Rick, Michonne and Glenn observe a helicopter crash in the distance and leave the prison to search for it. They find a small town called Woodbury, where a large, well-armed and organized group of survivors has taken refuge. Woodbury's leader is a man called the Governor. The Governor captures Rick's group and interrogates them. He mutilates Rick by cutting off his right hand and rapes and tortures Michonne.
Volume 6: This Sorrowful Life (Issues 31–36)
- Rick, Glenn, and Michonne manage to escape from Woodbury with the help of others from the town. Michonne tortures the Governor before she leaves. They arrive back at the prison safely, but find that hordes of zombies have broken in. Rick's survivors fight them off. Rick informs the prison's residents of what took place in Woodbury and tells them to prepare for battle.
Volume 7: The Calm Before (Issues 37–42)
- Life at the prison continues in what passes for normal in this apocalyptic world. Glenn and Maggie marry. Several residents search for supplies and engage in a shootout with men from Woodbury. Lori goes into labor and Judith is born. Dale is out on a mission siphoning gas when he is bitten in the leg. Dale's friends amputate the leg and he survives. Carol commits suicide by allowing a zombie to bite her. The volume ends with the Governor's arrival with his army and a tank.
Volume 8: Made To Suffer (Issues 43–48)
- The arc begins with a flashback which reveals how the Governor recovered and readied Woodbury for battle. The Governor's army attacks the prison but is driven away. Several of Rick's survivors decide to flee the prison in the RV to avoid the Governor's expected retaliation. The prison recovers from his initial assault but The Governor re-attacks. The RV members arrive to reinforce the prison's residents. Despite this, many of Rick's band are killed, including Lori, Judith, and Hershel. The guilt ridden soldier who killed Lori and Judith on the Governor's orders betrays and kills him. With the prison burning and in shambles, Rick's band scatters and flees.
Volume 9: Here We Remain (Issues 49–54)
- After the prison's destruction and his band is separated, Rick and Carl search for shelter in a nearby town and reunite with surviving friends. Rick's physical and mental state begin to unravel, while Carl grows increasingly independent and apathetic. They eventually manage to reunite with their other survivors and end up at Hershel's farm. Three new people, Abraham, Rosita and Eugene, arrive and inform the group that they are on a mission to Washington D.C. to cure the plague. Rick's band decides to join their journey.
Volume 10: What We Become (Issues 55–60)
- Maggie attempts to hang herself on the way to Washington. Rick holds Abraham, who thinks she's dead, at gunpoint and prevents him from shooting her in the head. Rick, Abraham, and Carl head to Rick's hometown to find weapons. They discover Morgan, whom Rick met when he woke up from his coma, and he joins Rick's survivors.
Volume 11: Fear The Hunters (Issues 61–66)
- Rick and company continue their journey to Washington and begin to suspect they are being stalked by someone in the woods. They meet a pastor and join him at his church. Dale is kidnapped from the church during the night by a band of cannibals. Dale is reunited with his friends before he dies. Rick's group, enraged, hunt down the cannibals and torture them to death.
Volume 12: Life Among Them (Issues 67–72)
- The group continue to Washington, during which they discover that Eugene was lying about having a cure to stop the outbreak. They run across a friendly man named Aaron who claims he is trustworthy and can escort them to a large, walled-off community of survivors called the Alexandria Safe-Zone. Alexandria Safe Zone is a walled community led by a man named Douglas Monroe. Rick's weary band finds Alexandria's stability a welcome change although they remain suspicious.
Volume 13: Too Far Gone (Issues 73–78)
- Rick's group settles into the Alexandria Safe-Zone and take jobs in the community. Rick, as constable, tries to increase safety and stability when he stops a dangerous man inside the community. Scavengers arrive and threaten the community. Alexandria wins the battle but alert a massive herd of hundreds of zombies to their presence. Rick takes command of the community.
Volume 14: No Way Out (Issues 79–84)
- Rick and company step up as community leaders despite objections from some of its residents. Alexandria's citizens discover they have bigger problems when they discover the zombie horde breaking down the fence. Walkers breach Alexandria's walls and begin to overrun the community. During the battle Douglas is killed after accidentally shooting Carl in the eye. Alexandria's residents face down the horde and save their town.
Volume 15: We Find Ourselves (Issues 85–90)
- The Alexandria Safe-Zone recuperates from the herd's attack and Rick makes decisions that will lead to Alexandria's long-term sustainability. Carl is in a coma following his injury and his survival is unclear. Some residents question the bold choices Rick makes for their community and attempt to seize control of Alexandria. Rick quashes the rebellion. Carl awakens with amnesia.
Volume 16: A Larger World (Issues 91–96)
- Alexandrians encounter a man named Paul Monroe while searching the wastes for supplies. Monroe claims he is a recruiter for a nearby band of 200 or more people called the Hilltop Colony. Rick and others go to the Hilltop Colony and find its appearance seems to be even safer than that of Alexandria, although it has a dangerous enemy called The Saviors. The Saviors demand half of the colony's food and supplies, in exchange for killing nearby walkers.
Volume 17: Something To Fear (Issues 97–102)
- Rick and crew confront the Hilltop Colony's enemy, the Saviors. The Saviors are a brutal gang led by a man named Negan. Rick underestimates the Saviors and dismisses their threat level until his best friends, including Glenn and Abraham, are brutally killed. Alexandria is forced to begin paying tribute – half of their supplies – to the Saviors. Enraged, Rick vows to kill Negan.
Volume 18: What Comes After (Issues 103–108)
- Rick's band learns what living under Negan's rules really means. Rick devises a new strategy to deal with the Saviors, but a member of his group disappears after the Saviors collect their payment from Alexandria. Rick is forced to halt his plan. Paul takes Rick to request help from an exotic man named Ezekiel, leader of a community called the Kingdom. The Kingdom is based in Washington, D.C., where one of the Saviors makes an independent offer to help battle Negan.
Volume 19: March To War (Issues 109–114)
- Rick, Paul, and Ezekiel decide to trust the Savior, Dwight, and launch their attempt to end the Saviors' reign. The three communities band together to formulate an assault, but Negan shows up early to collect his tribute from Alexandria. The alliance seizes the opportunity to assassinate Negan, but Negan retreats and declares war.
Volume 20: All Out War – Part One (Issues 115–120)
- Rick leads his united army, with the Hilltop and the Kingdom, in an attack against the Sanctuary, the Saviors base. Rick's forces seize an early advantage and manage to trap Negan inside the Sanctuary, but their attack on Negan's outposts falters as many of Rick's closest friends fall. They wonder if their initial victory was simple luck. Negan mounts an eventual counterattack on Alexandria and its situation goes from bad to worse.
Volume 21: All Out War – Part Two (Issues 121–126)
- With the war at its peak, Negan attacks Alexandria and the Hilltop and destroys the former's defenses. On the brink of defeat, Rick offers Negan a truce as a trap. Negan falls for Rick's ruse. Rick slashes Negan's throat and demands that war cease. Negan survives the attack as Rick's prisoner.
Volume 22: A New Beginning (Issues 127–132)
- Two years have passed since the war with Negan. Civilization has been rebuilt and the communities have established a successful trade network. Carl moves to Hilltop. A new group arrives in Alexandria, and meet the imprisoned Negan.
Volume 23: Whispers Into Screams (Issues 133–138)
- A new threat emerges as living people disguised as walkers attack, calling themselves The Whisperers. Tensions arise within Hilltop after Carl loses his temper. Some residents question both him and their leader. Meanwhile, Paul has captured a member of the Whisperers and discovers the full implications of this new threat to Hilltop.
Volume 24: Life And Death (Issues 139–144)
- Carl continues to learn more about The Whisperers and a survivor's fate is decided while another steps down. Blunders are made and a deadly promise given that is all too real. Lines are crossed that will affect everyone.
Volume 25: No Turning Back (Issues 145–150)
- Rick reveals the survivors who died at the hands of Alpha and the Whisperers. Residents of the communities demand retaliation and some question Rick's leadership. Rick declares war on the Whisperers and must use a former enemy as a last resort.
Volume 26: Call To Arms (Issues 151–156)
- With the conflict against the Whisperers closing in, Rick must ensure the readiness of the community's newly formed militia while also dealing with various conflicts within the walls of each community, including the escape of a dangerous prisoner.
Volume 27: The Whisperer War (Issues 157–162)
- The Militia engages in war with the Whisperers, with both sides having huge casualties. Meanwhile, the Whisperers attack one of the communities and destroy its defenses. With one last trump card, the Whisperers leads an ocean of walkers towards Alexandria.
Volume 28: A Certain Doom (Issues 163–168)
- The horde of walkers reaches Alexandria so Rick and his community must survive while others try to steer the horde to the sea. The opportunistic Saviors make their move on an overwhelmed community.
Volume 29: Lines We Cross (Issues 169–174)
- Recent events have thrown Alexandria into turmoil, and now Rick, Dwight, Eugene and Negan all have something to prove.
Michonne Special (March 16, 2012)
- Michonne in the early days of the outbreak, also revealing the identity of her two pet walkers.
The Governor Special (February 13, 2013)
- The Governor in his early days as the leader of Woodbury, as well as the fate of Scott Moon.
Free Comic Book Day Special (May 4, 2013)
- Collection of Morgan's, Michonne's, The Governor's and Tyreese's Specials.
Morgan Special (May 5, 2013)
- The Morgan Special is a brief story consisting of six pages, featuring Morgan during the winter of the apocalypse.
Tyreese Special (October 9, 2013)
- Tyreese, along with his daughter, Julie and her boyfriend, Chris, in the early days of the outbreak.
The Walking Dead: The Alien (April 20, 2016)
- The Walking Dead: The Alien is a brief story consisting of 32 pages, featuring Jeffrey Grimes as he deals with the outbreak in Barcelona, Spain
Here's Negan (April 27, 2016 – July 26, 2017, October 4, 2017 (Hardcover))
- Here's Negan is a stand-alone volume of Image Comics' The Walking Dead, featuring the backstory of Negan. The volume was initially separated and released into chapters consisting of four pages each, published monthly from April 27, 2016.
List of characters
Main article: List of The Walking Dead characters
Rick Grimes is the main character, a deputy who is comatose when the zombie apocalypse begins. With his wife Lori and son Carl, he joins with groups other survivors. He is joined by former best friend Shane, who secretly has a sexual relationship with Lori. The group consists of firm clerk and college graduate Andrea and her sister Amy, a mechanic named Jim, car salesman Dale, shoe salesman Allen and his wife, Donna as well as their children, Ben and Billy. Lori and Carl form friendships with other survivors such as Carol and Sophia.
After leaving the camp, Rick gains a right-hand man and close friendship in Tyreese, who is accompanied by his daughter and her boyfriend. They soon find a farm run by Hershel Greene. Among Hershel's seven children is Maggie Greene, who forms a relationship with Glenn. As the group settle at a prison, they become conflicted with a group of surviving prisoners. Otis meets a katana-wielding survivor named Michonne, who is brought into the group, but struggles to acclimate, facing her own demons. Michonne, Rick and Glenn are later held in captivity by The Governor, a leader of a town called Woodbury who plan to take over the prison. Other Woodbury residents include Alice Warren, who changes sides to Rick's group and delivers Lori's baby, Bob Stookey, an army medic responsible for saving The Governor's life and Lilly, one of The Governor's soldiers.
After the prison assault, the remaining group survivors regroup at Hershel's farm, and meet Abraham Ford, Eugene Porter and Rosita Espinosa. The group travel to Washington DC where they are hunted by Chris, encounter Gabriel Stokes, a priest, and are then recruited by Aaron and his boyfriend, Eric to join the Alexandria Safe-Zone, run by congressman, Douglas Monroe. Among the residents are Heath and Dr. Denise Cloyd, who quickly become close allies to the core group, and eventually the conflicted Nicholas. Douglas' son, Spencer tries to form a relationship with Andrea. Rick falls in love with Jessie Anderson, an abused wife. Abraham forms a relationship with Holly, a member of the construction crew. A group of men, known as The Scavengers, tries to conquer Alexandria; the fight attracts a pack of walkers that invades the safe zone, leading to the death of a lot of Alexandrians. Later, the safe zone starts a trading network with the Hilltop Colony, with help from its scout Paul "Jesus" Monroe. However, their safety is again threatened by the psychopathic Negan and his group known as The Saviors who reside in a factory. One of the Saviors, Dwight becomes an ally with the communities. The Hilltop and Alexandria join with The Kingdom run by King Ezekiel in a war against the Saviors.
After the war, newcomers such as Magna and Dante are introduced into the series. Another community out at sea is established, as well as safety perimeters across the DC area, which is violated by the presence of the Whisperers, a tribe of people disguised as the dead who have rejected the notion of re-establishing civilization. The leader, Alpha, antagonizes Rick as her daughter, Lydia, forms a sexual relationship with Carl. When Alpha's second in command, Beta, takes leadership of the group, he declares war against the communities.
The "zombie idea" developed by George Romero does not exist in The Walking Dead alternate universe; hence, of all the myriad terms used to describe the undead by different communities throughout the show, the word "zombie" has been deliberately avoided. While it has been used extremely rarely in the comics, it has never been used in the show.
Rick's group classifies the undead as either walkers, roamers or lurkers, the former being more likely to venture toward a loud noise in search of human prey. Other names have been used by characters in the series, including biters and stinkers. The undead follow and mimic each other, which can result in enormous hordes travelling together, "walking nonstop, following a sound they've all forgotten," as Abraham puts it.
The series received critical acclaim, winning the Eisner Award for Best Continuing Series in 2010 and prompting Eric Sunde of IGN comics to call it "one of the best monthly comics available". Among its fans are author Max Brooks. Because of the popularity of the series, which increased considerably when it was adapted into a television series of the same name, artist Tony Moore's original artwork for the series' early issues has gone up in value; on the March 28, 2013 episode of the VH1 reality television series For What It's Worth, Moore's original artwork for Page 7 of issue #1 was professionally appraised to be worth $20,000.
Main article: The Walking Dead (franchise)
Main article: The Walking Dead (TV series)
See also: Fear the Walking Dead
AMC picked up the rights to produce a show based on the comic in 2009. It ordered a pilot episode on January 21, 2010 and began filming on May 15, 2010. The series premiered on October 31, 2010 with high ratings. On November 8, 2010, after broadcasting two episodes, AMC renewed The Walking Dead for a second season of 13 episodes, which began on October 16, 2011. The TV show is loosely inspired by the comic, introducing new characters and deviating from the comic in certain plot points.
The fifth season premiered on October 12, 2014, with Scott M. Gimple as the show's third showrunner. Gimple has said that he would stay closer in line to the comic book series events "as much as possible", but ultimately remix stories with certain characters, referencing original characters introduced to the show and deceased characters alive in the comic book as a reason for this.Robert Kirkman himself has mentioned that the series will follow much closer to the comic series with Gimple's run.
A companion television series, titled Fear The Walking Dead, debuted on AMC on August 23, 2015. The series features new original characters, and it is set in the city of Los Angeles, California starting prior to the zombie apocalypse. It explores these new characters as the apocalypse begins. The series was created by Robert Kirkman and Dave Erickson, with Erickson serving as showrunner for the series. AMC ordered the series for a two-season commitment, with the first season consisting of six episodes.
AMC released an animated film of the first part of Issue No. 1 of the comic with animation by Juice Films, voice acting by Phil LaMarr and art by Tony Moore.
The Walking Dead: The Game
Main article: The Walking Dead (video game)
On February 18, 2011, Telltale Games announced plans to create an episodic video game based on the series, which was scheduled to debut in fall 2011 and was released worldwide in April 2012. The Walking Dead: The Game consists of five episodes, released between April and November 2012. Additional downloadable content, 400 Days, was released in July 2013. Kirkman has said that, unlike typical zombie games such as Left 4 Dead, "it [focuses] more on characterization and emotion than action".
The first episode of the sequel, The Walking Dead: Season Two, was released in December 2013 with episode 2 being released in March 2014, episode 3 in May 2014, episode 4 in July 2014, and episode 5 in August 2014.
The Walking Dead: The Game received widespread critical acclaim, with reviews giving praise for the emotion, characters, and plot.
The Walking Dead: All Out War
In January 2016, the Kings of War creator Mantic Games announced plans to release a tabletop miniature wargame based on The Walking Dead, named The Walking Dead: All Out War. The miniatures game was funded through the popular crowdfunding site Kickstarter. This product is available for order and first began shipping to backers on 7 November 2016.
A series of novels based on the comics, written by Robert Kirkman and Jay Bonansinga, were released between 2011 and 2014 focusing on the antagonist "The Governor". Taking place in the initial outbreak, the books chronicle his experiences from surviving in the newly ravaged world to the establishment of himself as leader of Woodbury, and finally tying up the conclusion to the prison arc storyline in the comics.
Following The Walking Dead: The Fall of the Governor, Bonansinga continued the Walking Dead novels as sole author, with Kirkman's name affixed to the title.
The series has so far been assembled into the following collections:
The trade paperbacks collect story arcs of six issues each, but contain only the story and none of the original cover art from the comics. Each paperback follows the convention of having a three-word title. The zombies in the cover art for each paperback form part of a larger image if placed end to end.
Each story arc is re-released in hardcover books containing two, omnibus editions containing four, and compendiums containing eight story arcs.
|Title||ISBN||Release Date||Collected Material||Issues Published||Hardcover Book Number||Omnibus Number||Compendium Number|
|The Walking Dead Vol. 1: Days Gone Bye||1-58240-358-9||May 12, 2004||The Walking Dead #1–6||October 2003 – March 2004||1||1||1|
|The Walking Dead Vol. 2: Miles Behind Us||1-58240-413-5||November 24, 2004||The Walking Dead #7–12||April 2004 – September 2004|
|The Walking Dead Vol. 3: Safety Behind Bars||1-58240-487-9||May 18, 2005||The Walking Dead #13–18||October 2004 – April 2005||2|
|The Walking Dead Vol. 4: The Heart's Desire||1-58240-530-1||November 30, 2005||The Walking Dead #19–24||June 2005 – November 2005|
|The Walking Dead Vol. 5: The Best Defense||1-58240-612-X||September 27, 2006||The Walking Dead #25–30||January 2006 – August 2006||3||2|
|The Walking Dead Vol. 6: This Sorrowful Life||1-58240-684-7||April 11, 2007||The Walking Dead #31–36||September 2006 – March 2007|
|The Walking Dead Vol. 7: The Calm Before||1-58240-828-9||September 26, 2007||The Walking Dead #37–42||April 2007 – September 2007||4|
|The Walking Dead Vol. 8: Made To Suffer||1-58240-883-1||June 25, 2008||The Walking Dead #43–48||October 2007 – April 2008|
|The Walking Dead Vol. 9: Here We Remain||1-60706-022-1||January 21, 2009||The Walking Dead #49–54||May 2008 – November 2008||5||3||2|
|The Walking Dead Vol. 10: What We Become||1-60706-075-2||August 12, 2009||The Walking Dead #55–60||November 2008 – April 2009|
|The Walking Dead Vol. 11: Fear The Hunters||1-60706-122-8||January 6, 2010||The Walking Dead #61–66||May 2009 – October 2009||6|
|The Walking Dead Vol. 12: Life Among Them||1-60706-254-2||August 3, 2010||The Walking Dead #67–72||November 2009 – May 2010|
|The Walking Dead Vol. 13: Too Far Gone||1-60706-329-8||November 23, 2010||The Walking Dead #73–78||June 2010 – October 2010||7||4|
|The Walking Dead Vol. 14: No Way Out||1-60706-392-1||June 22, 2011||The Walking Dead #79–84||November 2010 – April 2011|
|The Walking Dead Vol. 15: We Find Ourselves||1-60706-440-5||December 27, 2011||The Walking Dead #85–90||May 2011 – October 2011||8|
|The Walking Dead Vol. 16: A Larger World||1-60706-559-2||June 6, 2012||The Walking Dead #91–96||November 2011 – April 2012|
|The Walking Dead Vol. 17: Something To Fear||1-60706-615-7||November 21, 2012||The Walking Dead #97–102||May 2012 – September 2012||9||5||3|
|The Walking Dead Vol. 18: What Comes After||1-60706-687-4||June 18, 2013||The Walking Dead #103–108||October 2012 – March 2013|
|The Walking Dead Vol. 19: March To War||1-60706-818-4||November 13, 2013||The Walking Dead #109–114||April 2013 – September 2013||10|
|The Walking Dead Vol. 20: All Out War (Part One)||1-60706-882-6||March 11, 2014||The Walking Dead #115–120||October 2013 – January 2014|
|The Walking Dead Vol. 21: All Out War (Part Two)||1-63215-030-1||July 29, 2014||The Walking Dead #121–126||February 2014 – April 2014||11||6|
|The Walking Dead Vol. 22: A New Beginning||1-63215-041-7||November 5, 2014||The Walking Dead #127–132||May 2014 – October 2014|
|The Walking Dead Vol. 23: Whispers Into Screams||1-63215-258-4||May 12, 2015||The Walking Dead #133–138||October 2014 – March 2015||12|
|The Walking Dead Vol. 24: Life And Death||1-63215-402-1||August 26, 2015||The Walking Dead #139–144||March 2015 – July 2015|
|The Walking Dead Vol. 25: No Turning Back||1-63215-659-8||April 5, 2016||The Walking Dead #145–150||August 2015 – January 2016||13||7||4|
|The Walking Dead Vol. 26: Call To Arms||1-63215-917-1||September 14, 2016||The Walking Dead #151–156||February 2016 – July 2016|
|The Walking Dead Vol. 27: The Whisperer War||1-53430-052-X||March 7, 2017||The Walking Dead #157–162||August 2016 – January 2017||14|
|The Walking Dead Vol. 28: A Certain Doom||1-53430-244-1||October 3, 2017||The Walking Dead #163–168||February 2017 – June 2017|
|The Walking Dead Vol. 29: Lines We Cross||1-53430-497-5||March 13, 2018||The Walking Dead #169–174||July 2017 – December 2017||15||8|
All hardcovers contain the contents of the comics, including the covers, and in some cases bonus material. The books' trim size is larger than the paperbacks. Each hardcover contains two story arcs from the series. Signed versions of the books are available, each limited to 310 pieces.
|Title||ISBN||Release Date||Collected Material||Cover Character|
|The Walking Dead: Book One||978-1582406190||July 19, 2006||The Walking Dead #1–12||Rick|
|The Walking Dead: Book Two||978-1582406985||March 7, 2007||The Walking Dead #13–24||Michonne|
|The Walking Dead: Book Three||978-1582408255||December 19, 2007||The Walking Dead #25–36||The Governor|
|The Walking Dead: Book Four||978-1607060000||October 29, 2008||The Walking Dead #37–48||Lori and Judith|
|The Walking Dead: Book Five||978-1607061717||May 5, 2010||The Walking Dead #49–60||Abraham|
|The Walking Dead: Book Six||978-1607063278||October 26, 2010||The Walking Dead #61–72||Carl|
|The Walking Dead: Book Seven||978-1607064398||October 18, 2011||The Walking Dead #73–84||Rick|
|The Walking Dead: Book Eight||978-1607065937||September 26, 2012||The Walking Dead #85–96||Andrea|
|The Walking Dead: Book Nine||978-1607067986||September 17, 2013||The Walking Dead #97–108||Negan|
|The Walking Dead: Book Ten||978-1632150349||September 3, 2014||The Walking Dead #109–120||Ezekiel|
|The Walking Dead: Book Eleven||978-1632152718||February 25, 2015||The Walking Dead #121–132||Paul "Jesus" Monroe|
|The Walking Dead: Book Twelve||978-1632154514||September 30, 2015||The Walking Dead #133–144||Rick|
|The Walking Dead: Book Thirteen||978-1632159168||October 5, 2016||The Walking Dead #145–156||Alpha|
|The Walking Dead: Book Fourteen||978-1534303294||October 11, 2017||The Walking Dead #157–168||Dwight|
Limited omnibus editions collect 24 issues in a slipcase with several extras. The first volume is autographed by Kirkman and Adlard, with 300 copies printed. Subsequent volumes had print runs of 3000 each, along with deluxe limited editions (signed by Kirkman/Adlard) of 300 copies.
|Title||ISBN||Release Date||Collected Material|
|The Walking Dead: Volume 1 Deluxe HC||1-58240-511-5||December 14, 2005||Collects #1–24|
|The Walking Dead: Volume 2 Deluxe HC||1-60706-029-9||February 17, 2009||Collects #25–48|
|The Walking Dead: Volume 3 Deluxe HC||1-60706-330-1||February 2, 2011||Collects #49–72|
|The Walking Dead: Volume 4 Deluxe HC||1-60706-616-5||December 12, 2012||Collects #73–96|
|The Walking Dead: Volume 5 Deluxe HC||1-63215-042-5||November 19, 2014||Collects #97–120|
|The Walking Dead: Volume 6 Deluxe HC||1-63215-521-4||December 2, 2015||Collects #121–144|
|The Walking Dead: Volume 7 Deluxe HC||1-53430-335-9||November 7, 2017||Collects #145–168|
Softcover compendium editions collect 48 comic issues each. They are also available as limited hardcover editions (Red Foil Version for Compendium 1, Gold Foil Version for Compendium 2, and Gold Foil Version for Compendium 3).
|Title||ISBN||Release Date||Collected Material|
|The Walking Dead: Compendium One||1-60706-076-0||May 6, 2009||Collects #1–48|
|The Walking Dead: Compendium Two||1-60706-596-7||October 3, 2012||Collects #49–96|
|The Walking Dead: Compendium Three||1-63215-456-0||October 13, 2015||Collects #97–144|
Several ancillary books and a special edition have also been published:
|The Walking Dead Survivors' Guide||1-60706-458-8||November 1, 2011||A detailed guide to every character featured in the comics as of its publication|
|The Walking Dead 100 Project (hardcover)||1-60706-801-X||September 25, 2013||One hundred covers sketched by various artists commemorating issue #100|
|The Walking Dead 100 Project (paperback)||1-60706-799-4||October 8, 2013|
|The Walking Dead: The Covers – Volume 1||1-60706-002-7||October 6, 2010||Collection of the cover art for The Walking Dead #1–50 (Vol. 1) and #51–100 (Vol. 2)|
|The Walking Dead: The Covers – Volume 2||1-60706-595-9||July 9, 2013|
|The Walking Dead: All Out War Artist's Proof Edition||1-63215-038-7||October 1, 2014||All Out War parts 1 and 2, The Walking Dead #115–126, with its original pencil artwork; cover art features Rick and Negan|
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- ^"Amoeba & John Azarian". For What It's Worth. Episode 6, VH1. March 28, 2013.
- ^Andreeva, Nellie (August 12, 2009). "The Walking Dead Comes to Television". Geekadelphia. Retrieved August 25, 2009.
- ^"Kirkman Talks 'Walking Dead' TV". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved September 4, 2009.
- ^"Zombies Invade AMC as The Walking Dead Moves to Pilot". AMC. Archived from the original on January 25, 2010. Retrieved January 21, 2010.
- ^"Start Date Set for The Walking Dead Pilot". Dread Central. Retrieved October 24, 2014.
- ^"Walking Dead Premiere Attracts 5.3 Million Viewers". AMC. Retrieved January 21, 2010.
- ^Moorhouse, Drusilla. "The Zombies Live! AMC Gives The Walking Dead a Second Season", E!, November 8, 2010
- ^"AMC FEARFEST Kicks Off With Season 2 Premiere of The Walking Dead This Sunday". amctv blogs. AMC Network Entertainment LLC. Retrieved 2 March 2015.
- ^"'The Walking Dead' Season 5 Spoilers: Will New Season Follow Comics? Scott Gimple Dishes on 'Emotional' End-Game and Spinof : Entertainment : Headlines & Global News". Hngn.com. 2014-06-30. Retrieved 2015-09-01.
- ^"The Walking Dead Spoilers: Season 5 Follows Comics "Closer Than We Ever Have Before" — So What Happens? | Wetpaint, Inc. | Wetpaint, Inc". Wetpaint.com. 2014-10-08. Retrieved 2015-09-01.
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- ^Schram, Kevin. "The Walking Dead Video Game Coming From Telltale Games [Adventure Game Makers Announce Zombie Adventure Game, Have Big Day Today In All]"Archived March 18, 2012, at the Wayback Machine., TFTS, February 18, 2011
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Nearly ten years ago, Robert Kirkman recorded a manifesto. In a video entitled “Mission Statement by Robert Kirkman,” the writer and creator of Image Comics’ The Walking Dead — at the time just a comic book — spoke about why he would no longer work for the so-called “Big Two” publishers, Marvel and DC.* His plan was to only make comics that would allow him to own the underlying intellectual property, rather than let his destiny be controlled by corporate behemoths. It proved to be a turning point in the recent history of sequential art, inspiring other creators to also take control in an industry that has long sucked up ideas generated through cheap labor.
The historical injustice done to comics writers and artists is one of the main focuses of Robert Kirkman’s Secret History of Comics, a documentary series that debuts Monday night on AMC. It’s a collection of stand-alone docs, overseen by Kirkman, about salient tales from the industry’s past. The first round of episodes tackles stories ranging from writer-artist Jack Kirby’s battle for co-creating much of the Marvel universe, to the rise and fall of diversity-oriented Milestone Media, and the saga of Kirkman’s own beloved Image Comics. We caught up with him to talk about how 9/11 affected superhero fiction, what potential topics didn’t make the cut, and finding out that actor Michelle Rodriguez is a huge geek. (Note: This interview was conducted before the comics industry was rocked by news that DC editor Eddie Berganza had been accused of sexual misconduct, which led to his suspension by the company.)
What were the origins of this show?
Well, AMC recognized how successful Preacher and The Walking Dead and various comic-book-related things have done on their network. Also, outside of their network, comics are very popular on TV. So, they came to us and they said, “Would you guys be interested in doing some kind of comic-book-focused docuseries? We don’t really know what the subject matter would be, but we really wanna explore this material in a little bit more depth.” So I started thinking about all the stories that comic-book creators tell after-hours about the history of comics, or things that they’ve hear from a friend, or that happened to them, or different creator stories, and it’s all quite fascinating. Some of it not quite appropriate to put on TV, to be completely honest. There’s a wealth of stories out there that are completely untold, and they all intertwine with these characters and stories and events that have kind of taken over pop culture. It was a really great opportunity to peel the curtain back, and show how much hard work and dedication have been put into these stories and the medium for many, many decades, and how that has resulted in this pop-culture goldmine that is driving the entire entertainment industry today.
What was your exact role with the show? Each episode has a different director, so I’m curious about what your influence was.
I worked with the directors and some of our research teams to try and figure out exactly which subjects would be the best to tackle and what angles that we would explore within those stories. I really just kinda oversaw the project. I kinda consider myself, maybe, the comic-book ambassador. I knew that, because my name was gonna be on this, and because I’m a very entrenched member of the comic community, it’s on me to make sure that this is accurate as possible. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been watching a History Channel show on comics, and I’m like, “That’s not how that happened.” Or, “That’s not what happened there.” Or, “That’s totally wrong there.” So it would be embarrassing if that were to happen here. With that said, I’m sure that there’s gonna be some aspect of one of these episodes that I slipped up on.
Yeah, I mean, I had my share of nitpicks.
You’re gonna have to me send me a list of the things we got wrong.
I mean, for example, the Jack Kirby and Stan Lee episode had them making up at the end of Jack’s life. I wrote a profile of Stan last year and it seemed pretty clear to me that they still weren’t on great terms back then. But we’ll leave that aside for the moment. Was it hard to get DC and Marvel to play ball, given that a lot of the episodes are pretty critical of them?
A little bit. DC seemed to cooperate a little more than Marvel did. We got access to [DC co-publisher] Jim Lee for the Image episode, which we’re very grateful for. They were very involved in the Milestone episode because they’re doing a Milestone relaunch. But, y’know, I think that a lot of the worst things that Marvel and DC have done in their history, hopefully, are behind them. I think that it’s different people at the helm at this point, and I think they recognize that. So, it wasn’t too terribly difficult. And it’s not like the people that work at DC don’t think that [Superman co-creators Jerry] Siegel and [Joe] Shuster were given the short end of the stick.
Along those lines, why do you think the comics industry has broken the hearts of so many creators?
I don’t know. If you go all the way back to vaudeville, the entertainment industry, as a whole, is absolutely brutal. I’m sure you could find some horrible stories in the world of book publishing. It’s just such a profit-driven endeavor that people tend to get steamrolled until there’s an awareness in the creative community that builds up that can prevent that. I think that things are on a much better footing in modern times, in the history of comic books, you can see that it was a really, really ugly business.
Yeah, I was gonna ask: What do you think the comics industry needs to do better these days?
I think the main problem is that when Marvel and DC Comics first started and everybody was creating all of these characters, there were not set work-for-hire rules, there were a lot of verbal contracts, and there was not a clear understanding as to what these creators were actually doing. So, some creators understood that they were collecting a paycheck, other creators did not quite have that understanding, and that led to some very ugly business. I think that, nowadays, there aren’t creators that work for Marvel and DC and create new characters for them without being fully aware that that’s completely work for hire, and those characters are going to be owned by those companies. That’s why you see so few new characters coming out of Marvel and DC, because people are aware of how it works and it just doesn’t happen. But I think there are companies like Image Comics that offer great alternatives to the larger publishers that retain rights. And so, at the very least, there are options in the industry now that weren’t present before. So I feel like we’re at a pretty good place.
One of the true delights of the series is the fact that Michelle Rodriguez keeps popping up. How’d that happen?
You never know when you bring people in, how they’re going to play, but she had such an enthusiasm, and was very knowledgeable, and was definitely into all of this stuff. We started realizing, “Oh, she’s got a lot to say about a lot of different subject matter.” And so, that’s why she got more and more prevalent in the episodes.
For the Wonder Woman episode, did you guys reach out to Jill Lepore, who wrote the big book about the character? I was surprised to not see her in the piece.
You know, I honestly don’t recall. I’d have to check with the director.
Why did you decide to do an episode about 9/11 and the war on terror? That one came out of left field for me.
We were just trying to think of moments in history where the comic industry had a pivot point. I think that’s something that anyone watching the episode can relate to because we all know where we were during 9/11. It’s a big part of all of our lives, but we also are all pretty familiar with how the world changed as a result of that, and how our perception of the world changed. It’s interesting to explore how that affected the comics world, and how the comics world changed the kind of stories that were being told, and all the different aspects of that. So just to see how something that we’re all so familiar with affected this medium that a lot of people aren’t quite familiar with. It seemed like an interesting episode.
How did the episode on Milestone come together? That was the highlight for me. It’s a story that hasn’t been told nearly as much as the others. Why did you choose to do it?
One, race is such a huge issue and has been for a long time, which I think is one of the themes of the episode. And it’s such an important story. We didn’t want everything to be about the ’30s, ’40s, ’50s, or ’60s. We didn’t want it to be all the early days of Marvel and the early days of DC. We already had a Wonder Woman episode, a Superman episode, and the Marvel episode, and so we wanted to try and make sure we were covering a lot of different eras in time. The Milestone story is just an absolutely great story. I mean, the story of those guys getting together and doing this — Denys Cowan and his childhood friend [Derek T. Dingle] — it’s pretty remarkable. So as we sat down to figure out what stories we would tackle, there was a point where we had 15 different episode ideas, and as we were narrowing things down and cutting things out, the Milestone episode just kept rising to the top. It became pretty clear early on that it was an episode we were gonna have to do.
What were some ideas that landed on the cutting room floor?
Well, I would have loved to do an episode about [writer-artist] Frank Miller. I think that his life story, especially his story with comics, is something that is really very important. I’d love to do an episode focusing on [writer] Alan Moore. One of my big ones was [writer-artist and Spider-Man co-creator] Steve Ditko, and we really struggled with Steve Ditko ’cause I wanted to put that in the first batch of episodes, but he’s so press shy, and there’s been so little done with him over the last few decades that it’s hard to do something that isn’t a direct copy of the thing that Jonathan Ross did for the BBC. So that was a difficult one, but I’m hoping that we can figure out a good angle and do it, because I think that Steve Ditko, sadly, is becoming kind of a forgotten architect of the comic-book industry at this point.
I wrote a profile of Ditko last year and managed to get him to open his office door for me. Before I could even finish saying “Mr. Ditko,” he closed it.
At least he opened it.
What did the show teach you about the comics industry? What did you learn that you didn’t know?
Jeez, man, gosh, that’s a tough question. I’m hoping that I knew a lot of things going into this, because if I didn’t, I never should’ve done it, but I don’t know. It is a tough business, and if anything, I think the best lesson for me to take from this is that, no matter how popular The Walking Dead gets, it’s just gonna be a … I could definitely be a forgotten creator at some point, or just be an interesting story some person tells. It’s interesting seeing the cycle of popularity, seeing just how long the time span of these characters actually is. I’m aware that Superman’s been around since the ’30s, but when you really get into it and you start studying the story of Siegel and Shuster, it really kinda shows you … The Walking Dead, as cool as it is being at the center of it as I am, it’s really just a drop in the bucket in the history of comics. And so I’ll be lucky if it ends up being more than a blip. I think it’s a little bit more than a blip. I mean, one of the things that you really come away with is what we were talking about earlier, which is that creator rights are in a different place now than they were, and The Walking Dead was a real turning point for that. You being able to control your own destiny with that.
Would you ever do an episode that’s just about making The Walking Dead?
I mean, I don’t know. I would prefer someone else do that one.
This interview has been edited and condensed. It has also been updated to reflect that Kirkman is the creator, not the co-creator, of The Walking Dead.