Robert Kirkman is a pessimist. That much should be should obvious to anyone who has ever read his comic book The Walking Dead. Every step of the way everything is the absolute worst. The world has gone down the crapper, zombies are everywhere, everyone dies, and people lose limbs, loved ones, and sanity. Then things start to get really bad. That’s the whole narrative strategy of the comic: make things terrible, them make them worse.
Turns out that Kirkman is as surprised as anyone, not only that The Walking Dead is a huge hit for AMC, but that it even made it to the screen to begin with. In a new video interview Kirkman details how he doubted that The Walking Dead would happen “every step of the way.”
Despite the fact that he was working with Academy Award winning director Frank Darabount, Kirkman doubted the show would happen. Even though he was talking to Gale Anne Hurd, producer of movies like The Abyss and Terminator, he figured it still wasn’t in the cards. They even had a deal with NBC, but when they asked if they could do the show “without zombies,” he figured that was that.
He even doubted the project when they were filming, and later when the first episode aired. Given the massive success of The Walking Dead, he can’t really be that pessimistic about it these days. Who knew The Walking Dead would be a success, let alone a runaway rating juggernaut, popular with horror fans as well as people who have no vested interest in the genre?
This clip is from Comics In Focus: The Image Revolution, an upcoming documentary about Image Comics, the publishers of The Walking Dead and numerous other titles.