All good things must come to an end, and so it shall be for The Walking Dead comic that inspired AMC’s long-running hit series. Creator Robert Kirkman has confirmed that issue #193, which arrives this Wednesday (July 3) will be the final issue for the comic series.

In an essay that accompanies the issue, Kirkman writes (per, “This is the end of The Walking Dead. That’s it… it’s over… we’re done. I’m sure you have a million questions… and I’m sure you feel as emotional about all this as we do… if not more so. I’m completely willing to bet some of you are angry over this. I get it… I do. I mean… WHY didn’t we announce this so that fans would have some time to prepare? Well… personally… I hate knowing what’s coming. As a fan, I hate it when I realize I’m in the third act of a movie and the story is winding down. I hate that I can count commercial breaks and know I’m nearing the end of a TV show. I hate that you can FEEL when you’re getting to the end of a book, or a graphic novel.”

He went on to add, “The Walking Dead has always been built on surprise. Not knowing what’s going to happen when you turn the page, who’s going to die, how they’re going to die… it’s been ESSENTIAL to the success of this series. It’s been the lifeblood that’s been keeping it going all these years, keeping people engaged. It just felt WRONG and against the very nature of this series not to make the actual end as surprising as all the big deaths… from Shane all the way to Rick.”

Kirkman reveals in his essay that he plotted out major story points dating back to 2015 and decided that he did not want to pad the story in order to draw out the comic.

“As I worked to come up with ways to expand the story, none of it felt right,” he says. “Everything felt like an unnecessary detour… it was, for lack of a better word, filler. The harder I tried to come up with new places to go, the clearer it was to me that this is what this story needed… it needed to end.” The first Walking Dead comic was introduced back in 2003.

For those who’ve followed the TV series, you’re aware that AMC version has not always been faithful to the comics, especially with the tenuous nature of the some of the characters. So while the comic story may be coming to an end, that doesn’t necessarily mean AMC’s series will follow the same path with the same characters.

The Walking Dead comic issue #193 is available to purchase here.

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