Fans of Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead comic book are in for a big surprise tomorrow. Despite the fact that cover art has already been produced for issues 194 and 195, it looks like Kirkman and his creative team had secretly decided to wrap up the series with tomorrow’s release of issue #193. Here’s the note he left for fans in the back pages of the book:

“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. Some of the best episodes of Game of Thrones are when they’re structured in such a way and paced to perfection so your brain can’t tell if it’s been watching for 15 minutes or 50 minutes … and when the end comes … you’re stunned.

“I love long movies for that very reason. You lose track of time because you went in convinced that you’re going to be there for a long time, but the story moves at such an entertaining and engaging pace that by the time the movie’s wrapping up … you can’t believe it’s already over. Surprise, it’s over! All I’ve ever done, all a creator can really do … is tailor-make stories to entertain themselves, and hope the audience feels the same way. That’s all I’ve ever been doing … and it seems to work most of the time.” “

In recent issues Rick Grimes was killed off and many people were starting to wonder where the comic book had left to go. It sounds like a smart move on Kirkman’s part to go out while people still cared what happened to the survivors. Meanwhile, the Walking Dead universe is going strong on AMC with at least two ongoing series and multiple TV movies in development. At this rate, we’ll be knee-deep in Walking Dead until the actual zombie apocalypse.

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