Robert Kirkman on navigating the Walking Dead comic in Season 6 of the series

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Sep 15, 2015, 11:02 AM EDT

As the man behind both the comic and television versions of The Walking Dead, Robert Kirkman has a tricky tightrope to walk. As they dig deeper into the mythos, that tightrope is only getting tighter.

The new season will be kicking off the Alexandria era in earnest, bringing the comic to the same setting that persists in the comic version (albeit a good while behind), which presents a whole new set of challenges for the writers’ room. Kirkman told Entertainment Weekly he’ll be taking advantage of his built-in catalysts, namely Daryl Dixon (who doesn’t exist in the comics) and Carol (who is terrible and long-dead in the comics), to keep the story fresh as they weave in and out of comic arcs.

Check out an excerpt from his comments below:

“I can’t tell you how closely Season 6 will follow the comics! We have to keep people guessing. If you’re paying attention, the material around volume 13 or so of the comic series has been getting adapted into the show most recently, but we always reserve the right to stray from the source or even jump back or ahead and do things out of order. All that said, the biggest differences we’ll see revolve around Daryl, who was never in the comic, and Carol, who was long dead and never as cool as the TV version by this point. 

In addition to that, we have Lennie James’ Morgan, who is also very different (and cooler) than his comics counterpart. Having Lennie, who was such a huge part of season 1 and amazing every time we had him back, finally a regular part of this show is really going to energize this show for the coming season. And I would argue this show wasn’t really in need of reenergizing, so it’s just going to be that much better…

I’m in the enviable position of constantly seeing Scott [Gimple] and the rest of the writers dig up morsels from my work and doing things with them I never could have imagined. All I’ll say is that a few of the things coming deal with very cool, very beloved parts of the comic series and expand them in ways that die-hard fans are going to love. Oftentimes we do things that are cool, but risky, and I know some people will love it, but there’s a potential for some people not to like the changes we’re making or things we’re adding. This is not one of those times. This stuff is awesome.”

It’s nice to hear Kirkman’s confidence in the story they’ll be telling this fall, and though it feels like hyperbole, he’s put together one heck of a solid resume over the first five seasons (a few lulls notwithstanding).

What do you want to see from the new season of The Walking Dead? What arcs do you want (and not want) to see?


(Via Entertainment Weekly)