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Wizard World Chicago: Robert Kirkman Spotlight

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Kirkman opened with a discussion of moustaches being sported by Brain Azzarello and Marc Silvestri. He admitted he didn’t have any program and didn’t have any announcements to make so he didn’t know what he was going to talk about. A fan in the back called out "Question and Answer".

The first questioner asked Kirkman to sign his books. He then asked if anyone else had books and several raised their hands.

Q: Is Marvel Zombies supposed to take place in the What If universe where Captain America became president? Kirkman expressed that he didn’t recall exactly what he had been thinking. He thought that it was more referencing the old story arc where Cap ran for president. A second question asked about his inspiration for the Governor in The Walking Dead. Kirkman said that he simply wanted to make him "bad" so he tried to think of ways to end scenes to show the character as bad. He went on to say that he was aware of the parallels between the Governor and Rick and those were deliberate.

Q: Are we ever going to see Morgan and Dwayne again (The Walking Dead) and will he flash forward in the story? Kirkman said no, he does not like flash forwards. Kirkman said that he keeps meaning to go back to Moran and Dwayne but it’s hard to get them back in the book and doesn’t want to resort to random subplots.

Q: What made you decide to make the Governor’s killer one of his own people? Kirkman thought it would be less predictable and less comic booky. He thought it would be more interesting if the heroes could be disappointed if they didn’t get to do it.

Q: a child asked if Omniman (Invincible) would ever go back to the good side? Kirkman responded that the character kind of did all ready and there is something coming but he doesn’t want to give too much away. #55 will be a prison break story. He thanked the parents for buying the comics.. unless the kid was stealing them

Q: Will The Walking Dead become a movie or TV series? Kirkman responded there was nothing right now & he couldn’t talk about it anyway. Hollywood options properties and the development process takes a long period and most stuff that gets optioned never actually gets made so he tries not to get too excited or pay too much attention to Hollywood optioning.

Q: How is Destroyer coming along? Kirkman responded it was coming along well and is slated for December – although he wasn’t sure he could say that. He considers it one of the best comics he’s ever done.

Q: In The Walking Dead – how far in advance did he plot the death of Rick’s baby? He responded that he knew the baby would die before he even wrote the woman’s pregnancy.

Q: What can fans do to make a Science Dog comic happen? Also, is Shrinking Ray dead? Kirkman replied that, yes, Shrinking Ray was dead; he had been going to bring him back but then thought the scene he had planned wouldn’t work and besides he was bringing back others. As for Science Dog he figures he’ll just do one story every 25 issues or so of Invincible. He doesn’t want to do it without Cory and Cory is busy plus what is the market for a talking dog?

Q: Any plans for Tech Jacket? Kirkman said he would like to do something. The Brit series was a test run for bringing back some of his older series but Brit is not selling well.

Q: Any chance for Invincible action figures? Kirkman explained that Paramount licensing the property for a possible movie meant Paramount also got the rights to any toy-tie ins but now that the license has lapsed from Paramount toys are a possibility.

Q: Was the cover of Invincible #51 supposed to be some kind of tribute or parody of Nightwing and Robin? Kirkman responded no, it was just the colors. It wasn’t done on purpose.

Q: Is the new Invincible costume permanent? Kirkman teased the questioner a bit then said it’s not permanent. He said it will start to grow on fans and eventually he will probably go back to the original costume but not for a while.

Q: Any chance of more Irredeemable Ant-Man? Kirkman said he would love to but the series was not a hit.

Q: What do you think about your characters like Freedom Ring being used by other writers? Kirkman kidded around a bit about it being sad that other writers couldn’t come up with their own stuff but in seriousness said that in reality he loves all his characters and he loves that others use them.

Q: Will we see a zombie Judy (the dead baby from The Walking Dead)? Kirkman responded that no, that would be "lame" and he also went on to say he thought it would be in poor taste to show the dead baby.

Q: Do you plan out your series years in advance or just take things as they come? Kirkman responded that he has a lot of things planned out pretty far in advance. He didn’t always know all the details until it got closer to the time of the actual issues though.

Q: Are sales good on The Astounding Wolfman? Kirkman said that his art partner, Jason Howard just quit his day job to go monthly on the series so yes, sales are good. It sells a hair under Invincible and Wolfman doesn’t even have a trade yet – first trade in July.

Q: Is Mark (Invincible) going to grow a moustache? Kirkman laughed and said the Viltrumite moustache thing is a bit silly and he wrote that scene with Battle Pope in mind but he tries to stay away from too much goofy stuff.

Q: When Michonne (The Walking Dead) was raped I understand you got hate mail – is killing babies more acceptable than rape? Kirkman joked around a bit before confirming that Michonne’s rape did get him some hate mail and no he did not receive any hate mail for killing off the character of Judy.

Q: What was with all the product placement in Irredeemable Ant-Man #10? Kirkman responded that the editor on that series, Aubrey, had contact him about product placement in issue 10 and asked him if he could make some room, just on a billboard or something. He thought it was funny so threw it in everywhere in the issue.

Q: What were your experiences working with Marvel since they tend to switch creative teams often? Kirkman said that it didn’t really happen to him so he can’t speak to it. Most creative teams leave for their own reasons – they are out of stories, are burned out, etc.

Q: Is it odd looking back at The Walking Dead when you started out saying you wanted it to be like 60s cult zombie movies and now it is? Kirkman told the questioner that it’s cool the series has such a following but he doesn’t consider it really a cult comic book series.

Q: Will you be doing more Battle Pope? Kirkman said he will get back to it eventually but he doesn’t feel his art partner Tony Moore wants to work backward and besides that the last trade didn’t sell well so Moore would have to take a pay cut to work on the title.

Q: Any more Invincible spin-offs? Kirkman said yes, September same creative team as Atom Eve.

Q: Is there anything you left undone in Ultimate X-Men? Kirkman said that he didn’t get to do Magneto. He did want to do Ultimate Spider-Man without having to coordinate the multiple titles on the regular Spider-Man titles in the main Marvel universe but Bendis seems content to keep going on Ultimate Spider-Man.

Q: Will there be more character flashbacks in Walking Dead? Kirkman responded that he tries not to do flashbacks very often and if he does he tends to do them so they fall at the start of trades. He makes sure he does them for a reason.

Q: (from a child) Will Mark’s brother Oliver ever have a moustache? Kirkman laughed then said yes.

Q: Any more original characters planned? Kirkman said that he has a lot on his plate right now but he does have some ideas.

Q: Will you get back to the Atlantis storyline in Invincible? Kirkman said yes, eventually.

Q: Any chance for The Walking Dead action figures? Kirkman said maybe, we’ll see, talks are ongoing.

Q: Any other potential movie/TV adaptations of any of his series? Kirkman said there would be an announcement at San Diego

Q: Will there be more with the Reanimen? Kirkman assured that yes, the recent teases seen mean that he will get back to those characters eventually.

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