WATCH: Robert Kirkman on starting in comics, working for Image, The Walking Dead, and more

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Dec 18, 2017, 1:22 PM EST (Updated)

There’s no doubt Robert Kirkman is a huge name in geekdom, thanks to his comics -- like The Walking Dead and Invincible -- as well as AMC TV series The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead.

Kirkman recently sat down with SYFY WIRE to talk about his love of comic books, working with Image Comics, and, of course, The Walking Dead.


Kirkman’s early days as a comic book fan was spent buying ratty comics at a Walmart in a small Kentucky town, until he discovered the joys of comic stores in Lexington. This was where he was first introduced to Image Comics and found out that Marc Silvestri, Jim Valentino, Whilce Portacio, Jim Lee, Erik Larsen, Rob Liefeld, and Todd McFarlane had joined together to create the new comic company. Kirkman tells us how having a pulled folder of every title from Image Comics at the store became a life-changing experience for him.

While speaking about working with Liefeld on Image’s The Infinite, Kirkman had this to say: “Rob and I collaborated on The Infinite, and it was an amazing experience. I wish we would have been able to do more issues. But a comic book writer’s job, essentially, is to tell the artist what to draw and to be able to write things down, and then Rob Liefeld turns them into comic book pages; it was an amazing experience.”

But what’s an interview with Kirkman without chatting about Invincible and The Walking Dead? “Invincible was my marquee book,” said Kirkman. “Invincible launched in January 2003, Walking Dead didn’t come out until October 2003. And it’s funny, because I feel like having those two books working in tandem really kind of built the foundation of my career. Because you were able, as a reader, to be like, ‘This guy does this and this? Like, what’s going on, these things are so different.’ But, you know, there were shocks and surprises and all kinds of cool stuff in there that I think helped me build a fan base.

Invincible almost got canceled very early on, because our book debut was very strong but our sales kinda dwindled to the point where there was a time when I was writing Issue 9 or 10, where I thought 13 was going to be the last issue. I think that Walking Dead coming out when it did and kinda rising in sales the way it did really helped Invincible kinda chug along and kept it going to find the legs where it kinda took off.” 

There’s a lot more Kirkman revealed in our interview above, and even more about Invincible below. Check it out, then let us know why you love Kirkman's stuff in the comments below. 



Additional material by Nathalie Caron.