NYCC EXCLUSIVE: Kirkman on "Walking Dead" Novels, "Image United" Future

Fresh off of a last minute trip to France, then back to his home in Kentucky, then a flight not two days later straight to New York City, Robert Kirkman is an understandably tired fellow. He's also a very fortunate fellow, of course, as the AMC adaptation of his critically acclaimed comic book series "The Walking Dead" is set to latch its jaws on television screens worldwide at the end of October. But television isn't the only new medium where fans can enjoy Kirkman's zombie series, as a new prose novel series was just announced earlier this week.

At New York Comic-Con, Kirkman dropped by the CBR Tiki Room to discuss a variety of his current and future projects with executive producer Jonah Weiland. Regarding the prose novels, Kirkman said that he'll be writing outlines and plots, but horror novelist Jay Bonansinga ("Perfect Victim") will be writing the novels themselves.

"It's all comic book continuity," Kirkman said of the novels. "It'll basically be about characters that aren't in the series anymore, so it won't really effect continuity in the comic book series; it'll be little snippets of the past, really interesting nuggets."

Kirkman told CBR that the first novel will focus on "one very popular character who is no longer in the series anymore, and it shows how he came to the place that he ends up in the comic book series."

"It's a very cool thing to be able to go back and expand everything," he said. "The way it's going to work is that it'll be a standalone novel that you can just get and read. It'll just be a cool book about this person. You don't have to read the comic book series to enjoy it, but if you've read both, there will be things where you're like, 'Oh, so that's how that happened.'"

The writer also touched on "Image United," the six-issue series featuring artwork from Image Comics founders Todd McFarlane, Whilce Portacio, Marc Silvestri, Erik Larsen, Jim Valentino and Rob Liefeld. The third issue of "Image United" hit comic book stores this past summer after a several month hiatus, leading many fans to wonder about the future of the series.

When asked when "Image United" will conclude, Kirkman responded, "It'll definitely finish within the next five years, and I can say that with a straight face. The next five months? Eh. But it'll finish. Everyone is hard at work on it, very slowly."

Earlier this year, McFarlane told CBR that his own hectic schedule was largely responsible for the "Image United" delays. But Kirkman defended the artist, saying, "Todd, I think, has done the most work on issue #4 out of anybody, so I can't really blame him on this one unless he still has all of the pages on his desk. I'm pretty sure he's working on it."

"Issue #4 will hopefully be out before the end of the year and I can almost guarantee that five and six will hopefully be done before summer," Kirkman said of the book's future publishing schedule.

Check back with CBR News in the coming days for more from Kirkman's video interview.

Old Man Quill Establishes a New Guardians of the Galaxy

More in Comics