With the television adaptation debuting in just five days, Image Comics announced this morning that it will reprint every issue of The Walking Dead, releasing one a week for a year beginning in January.
Called, appropriately enough, The Walking Dead Weekly, the $2.99 reprints are obviously designed to appeal to fans who discover the comic through the new TV drama, which begins its six-episode first season Sunday night on AMC.
"I think it'll drive people into comic book retail stores, and I think that's cool," creator Robert Kirkman tells Techland. "The other thing about The Walking Dead is that it's been going for almost eight years at this point, and I'm continually trying to think of ways to get new readers on board, and I was thinking, with [people coming in from watching] this television show, buying thirteen trade paperbacks for x amount of dollars is kind of a pain, but buying one three dollar comic book every week for a year may seem like an easier pill to swallow, and a good way to get in on the ground floor, read it in its original format."
Kirkman says he isn't concerned the weekly reprints might eat into demand the series' collected editions, which are perennial bestsellers. (The six-year-old first volume, for instance, was No. 6 on ICv2.com's Top 300 graphic novels for September).
"I think there are a lot of different people buying comics books right now, and I think there're a lot of people out there who really don't prefer trade paperbacks," Kirkman tells the Time magazine blog. "I've talked to a lot of people who tell me that they prefer reading comics in single-issue form. There are people out there who prefer to read comics in trade paperback form. I think it's important to service all of those audiences. You know, it's good to finally come back around and service those fans who really like single issues. If you were to go back and buy all of our single issues now, it would be extremely expensive and difficult, but this is a way that you can get the comic book in single issue form and not have to sell your house."
On a related note, the Louisville, Kentucky, Courier-Journal has a longish profile of Lexington-based Kirkman, focusing on the Image series, the TV adaptation and comics in general.
Read the press release after the break.
THE DEAD WALK EACH WEEK IN 2011Image Comics announces THE WALKING DEAD WEEKLY and new Omnibus
Are you excited about THE WALKING DEAD on AMC, but you've never had the chance to read the hit comic book series that inspired it? Starting in January 2011, Image Comics will be reprinting the single issues of the hit series -- shipping one issue per week all year long!
"Keeping a series like this going year after year is all about creating good jumping-on-points for new readers," says series creator and writer Robert Kirkman. "And what better way to jump on than with the very first issue? Making this series available in single issue form will make it easier for new fans to jump on board and for old fans to fill in any gaps in their collection."
January will see the release of the following issues:
THE WALKING DEAD WEEKLY #1January 5Starting in this issue, Rick Grimes awakens to a world he's not prepared for. This small town cop must now fight the forces of the undead while he searches for his missing wife and son. This is the issue that started it all!
THE WALKING DEAD WEEKLY #2January 12Rick Grime's horrific adventure continues. Everything he knew is gone, and the search for his family begins. Rick sets out for Atlanta, the last known location of his wife and son.
THE WALKING DEAD WEEKLY #3January 19Now reunited with his family, Rick Grime's focus shifts from survival to protection. It's one thing to know that you have to watch your back every second of every day. It's another thing entirely to have to worry about losing your family in the blink of an eye.
THE WALKING DEAD WEEKLY #4January 26It is decided that in order to survive... every person at the camp should have guns. As it is, they don't have enough to go around and the only place to get more guns is the city, but it means certain death to go into the city. Is Rick crazy enough to risk his life for the good of the camp?
You will also be able to pick up THE WALKING DEAD OMNIBUS, VOL. 3 in January 2011. Collecting issues #49-72, the OMNIBUS is a deluxe oversized and slipcased hardcover. It's perfect for long time fans, new readers and anyone needing a heavy object with which to fend off the walking dead. The omnibus is strictly limited to a print run of 3000.
THE WALKING DEAD WEEKLIES (#1: NOV100410; #2: NOV100411; #3: NOV100412; #4: NOV100413), each a 32-page black-and-white comic book for $2.99, will be in stores each Wednesday of January 2011. THE WALKING DEAD OMNIBUS, VOL. 3 (regular edition: NOV100442, $100; signed and numbered edition: NOV100443, $150), a 560-page oversized slipcased hardcover, will be in stores January 5, 2011.