AMC's "The Walking Dead" just concluded its sixth season. The season finale cliffhanger set up a huge storyline for season seven, including the introduction of Negan -- which is an intro that comic book fans have been all too excited to see play out on screen for years.
Now that the show has crossed six season and completed 83 episodes, a lot of fans and readers have been wondering if the show will ever outpace the books. Will "The Walking Dead" end up like "Game of Thrones," where the show has to write its own ending for the characters, as opposed to letting the comics write the ending for the show?
Series executive producer and creator of "The Walking Dead," Robert Kirkman recently addressed these questions in the Letter Hacks section of the newest "Walking Dead" issue. He discussed just how long it took the show to even cover 100 issues of the comic, which it finally got to in episode 83, this season's final episode. "Yeah, look at it this way, it took us 6 seasons to get to 100. It won't take us [another] 6 years to get to 200 and that will take us to season TWELVE. And we'll still be ahead of the show at that point."
The most recent "Walking Dead" comic book issue released was #154. That means the books are currently 54 issues ahead of the show. Even if the show skips past some story lines in those issues, as it did by skipping issues #75 - #100 with the introduction of Negan, the books would still be ahead of the show.
Kirkman addressed the fear of the show skipping too many comic book issues by saying, "I can see how going from #75 to #100 in eight episodes may cause some concern. But the show does double back on the comic from time to time, like presenting the Billy and Ben plot in a new way."
It seems that ultimately Kirkman is not worried about the show catching up to or even surpassing the comics anytime soon. This is not a "Game of Thrones" type situation where the show is already caught up to the last book."If the show is still going strong at season 12 ... well, that would be about the most amazing thing ever ... so we'll all be too busy celebrating to worry about anything."