Skybound and Image Comics will celebrate the 15th anniversary of The Walking Dead #1 with the first-ever global Walking Dead Day Saturday, October 13, Skybound announced Wednesday.
Exclusive merchandise will be available to commemorate the occasion at participating comic shops, including a variant of The Walking Dead #1 by series artist Charlie Adlard.
This variant first issue re-imagines the original first issue of The Walking Dead #1 with art by franchise co-creator Tony Moore, the books’ original artist who drew its first six issues and its first 24 covers.
Seen on the new cover is longtime survivor Rick Grimes alongside recognizable Skybound comic book titles Invincible, Oblivion Song, Outcast, Extremity, and Manifest Destiny, as well as a shout out to Captain America’s iconic star-spangled shield.
The original The Walking Dead #1 can be seen on the left below, with the re-imagined 15th anniversary variant on the right.
Select participating comic shops will receive the unique opportunity of having Adlard draw their store’s name and logo onto the cover to showcase walkers invading comic book shops worldwide.
The Walking Dead #1 15th anniversary variant is just the first of many collectible Walking Dead Day items to be available to fans this fall, with other promotional swag to be announced at a later date.
The Walking Dead launched October 8, 2003, under Moore and co-creator Robert Kirkman, who continues to author the ongoing. The book releases issue #180 on June 6.
After 15 consecutive years of scripting the zombie series, Kirkman said in March he hopes to deliver readers a “satisfying conclusion” to the sprawling drama — one that won’t come until “far away off” in the future.
“The Walking Dead isn't gonna last forever. It might go on for many, many, many more years, but I think that for anyone that's been on that journey for that long, they deserve a satisfying end,” Kirkman told SJ News.
“They deserve to know that the time that they invested in this thing was all working towards something, and was building to some kind of reward, and so I think to not have any kind of end goal in mind and not have a plan would be terrible.”
Kirkman, who had then just wrapped up superhero series Invincible after 15 years, said “there is a plan, I do have an endpoint in mind” for The Walking Dead.
“It is far away off so don’t worry, but we’re building to that,” Kirkman explained. “So each and every piece of the story is designed to get us, hopefully, to a satisfying conclusion.”
The Walking Dead's live-action counterpart is expected to return with its ninth season this October on AMC.