Robert Kirkman has, by any measure, had a pretty great career. He launched a successful creator-owned comic with The Walking Dead 15 years ago, and it's since expanded into a media empire that includes two hit TV shows, his own Image Comics imprint, additional TV and movie deals, and more to come. That means Kirkman now has plenty of fans ready to talk to him about his creations at the drop of a hat, and while he appreciates that, there is one thing he's sick of hearing.
No, it's not the "Rick is still in a coma" fan theory (though he apparently still does get that a lot), but during a "genre roundtable" with The Hollywood Reporter recently, Kirkman — alongside fellow creators Shawn Levy (Stranger Things), Jason Blum (The First Purge), Melissa Rosenberg (Jessica Jones), Salim Akil (Black Lightning), Simon Kinberg (X-Men: Dark Phoenix), and Jonathan Nolan (Westworld) — was asked if there's any question he's tired of after years of fan interaction.
Kirkman began by saying "I love the fans. But..." and then launched into a description of something that, while not technically a question, does get on his nerves.
"They'll come up to me and they'll say 'I've got this great idea for a character!' And they'll go into this like huge description of all the ins and outs of this character, and like five minutes into it I start noticing that they're, you know, describing themself, and attributes that they clearly have. And then at the end of it they always say 'And...I would be perfect for this character.'
"And I'm talking, like, conventions, sometimes on Twitter. Like, people that are not actors, that have never acted before in their lives. It's just...why do they do that? I don't know, but that one I wish would stop, because so many people do it. It's crazy."
One of the charms of The Walking Dead as a franchise is that it's always been the story of ordinary people in an extraordinary situation. In that world you can be a loner with a mysterious past, a former sheriff trying to protect his family, a housewife who finds strength she never knew she had, or a thousand other things. So, fans see themselves in the characters. That's natural, but while the vast ensemble of the show is constantly changing, that doesn't mean Kirkman is trolling for new members of the cast at comic conventions. That's what casting departments are for.
The Walking Dead returns for its ninth season this fall.