Robert Kirkman teases the end of The Walking Dead at SDCC

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All good things must come to an end, right? While it has been an open-ended ongoing series, and is just as popular, if not moreso now than ever, Robert Kirkman revealed that's true for The Walking Dead, his seminal zombie comic from Skybound at Image Comics, during his spotlight panel at San Diego Comic-Con Thursday.

The writer took to the stage solo so he could interact more directly with the fans, and conducted a fan Q&A for the vast majority of the panel. That meant a lot of questions about The Walking Dead, which he answered very candidly.

Now, to be fair, this is the second ending to the series that he's had in the works.

"There was an ending I had in mind that I was thinking, 'Oh, this would be kind of a cool ending.' I got to a point where it should've happened and I was like, 'I'm not done yet,'" Kirkman revealed. That happened before the TV series, which means it was fairly early in the comics.

A couple of years ago, however, Kirkman came upon what he thinks is "the definitive ending," and since then, he's "been working towards that." The good news for The Walking Dead fans is that while the end is in sight, the writer promises it's "a very long way off," and he has much more he wants to accomplish before he gets there.

Kirkman also revealed two things that ending won't include. First, he has no plans to reveal the true cause of the outbreak.

"I know what caused the virus in The Walking Dead, but it's dumb," he said self-deprecatingly. "I'll never tell anyone."

Meanwhile, one character who's been a stalwart of the series sounds like they won't be seeing that definitive ending. Major Spoiler alert, so keep that in mind! Click the text to reveal.

Open eye Show Spoiler "Rick will not make it to the end of The Walking Dead," Kirkman said definitively. So you can take that as you will.

On the multimedia side, Kirkman doesn't expect Clementine from the acclaimed The Walking Dead video game by Telltale ever to appear in the comics or show, though he said with a chuckle that "you're welcome to write fan fiction." Likewise, as of right now Fear the Walking Dead and The Walking Dead simply can't cross over because they're at such different points in the story -- literally years apart. He did say the magic words "for now," though, when saying they couldn't meet.

As for that other long-running Kirkman comic, Invincible, the film from writers/EPs Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, who handle the Preacher TV adaptation, continues work, and Kirkman says he talks to them "daily" about the project.

You can expect much more news from Robert Kirkman and The Walking Dead in the coming days, as there's still a Skybound panel on the way on the comics side, plus panels for both TWD TV series back to back Friday in Hall H at SDCC.