Robert Kirkman apologizes for that shocking death in the Walking Dead comic

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May 8, 2017, 1:02 PM EDT (Updated)

If you’ve been reading The Walking Dead comic, you know the latest issue included one heck of a shocker. Well, Robert Kirkman is sorry for kicking your heart in the face.

Spoilers ahead for The Walking Dead Issue #167!

The latest issue of The Walking Dead killed off Rick’s longtime girlfriend Andrea, who is (in case it isn’t obvious) completely different in the comics compared to the TV series. In the comics, Rick and Andrea grew close and have practically been married for a while now. But their post-apocalypse bliss came to an end when she was bitten by a walker after saving Eugene from a herd of the undead. The latest issue featured farewells from her friends, and closed with Rick putting a knife through her skull due to the turn.

It was brutal, and Kirkman knows it. So he included an apology within the issue’s letters page. Here’s an excerpt:

"I’m sorry. I’m sorry to my fans and to myself and to Andrea. I feel like I killed a close friend. The deaths in this series are never taken lightly, they’re never done with a sense of glee. They weigh on me the same way they weigh on you. These characters are very real to me, and their deaths are upsetting even to me. I plotted this issue out during a plane ride a few months ago. I plot my stories down with a pencil and paper, and there I was in my seat, blocking out scenes and writing dialogue notes, surrounded by strangers who probably thought I was jotting down a shopping list. As I was writing some of the moments from this issue, I started crying. I found myself glancing around, wiping my eyes, hoping no one would notice. I’ve been living with this death for months now... and I don’t like it.

I had plenty of time to change my mind. I had plenty of time to just not do it. I am in control of this story after all. But honestly, sometimes it feels like I’m not. This was one of those times. I don’t like this. I don’t want this. I want Andrea to live. I want to write more stories with her. I want to see her and Rick grow old together, watching Carl grow up and have kids of his own. I want that kind of happiness for these characters. And yet, here we are. Andrea is dead and the story moves on. I don’t know why this had to happen... but I know it did. I know this is another important turning point in the life of this series. I know Andrea’s death will mean something, that it will resonate in the stories moving forward for years to come. But I still don’t like it. It still upsets me. I loved Andrea and I will truly miss her.”

If nothing else, it obviously hurts Kirkman as much as (or more than) it does fans who have been keeping up with the series for the past decade. R.I.P. Andrea.

What did you think of the twist? Did Kirkman make the right call?

(Via Comic Book)

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