Robert Kirkman thinks The Walking Dead cast knows his characters better than he does

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Sep 3, 2019, 8:16 AM EDT (Updated)

At this point, Robert Kirkman's been writing The Walking Dead for 14 years, and he's delivered nearly 200 issues of one of the most successful creator-owned comics of all time. In that time he's run through a lot of stories, a lot of characters, and a lot of zombies. That means not only that he's well-versed in his post-apocalyptic world, but that he sometimes forgets a few things.

Kirkman was on Late Night With Seth Meyers Tuesday to promote his new comic Oblivion Song, but naturally The Walking Dead came up during the discussion. Kirkman, while writing the comic, is also intimately involved with the AMC TV series based on his creation, and according to him the cast sometimes comes to him with questions referencing the books that he actually doesn't have answers for.

"I've written this comic book for 170 issues, and so you would think, like, 'Oh, I know every character. I know the ins and outs of every character.' I don't," Kirkman said. "And when you're an actor, you know, you get cast as a character, you want to read their backstory, you want to know every little thing about them. And they actually know all of these characters way better than I ever could."

So the commitment of The Walking Dead cast has, as Kirkman recalled, sometimes led to moments when an actor will bring up a single line on a single page of a comic he wrote years ago, and he doesn't actually have the insight they're looking for.

"I just make stuff up, because I never remember the scene they're talking about ... because you don't want them to know that you've forgotten," he said.

Even one of the most successful comic book writers of his generation can't keep everything in his head, especially after more than a decade of zombie madness. Check out the full interview with Meyers above.