The show is obviously influenced by the comic, but Kirkman revealed that the door swings both ways, now that the show is so successful. During a panel at Emerald City Comicon, the author revealed just how the show has affected his storytelling.
“A lot of the things that are adapted into the show now are things that happened to come in after the existence of the show, and I can’t help but notice that there is some kind of difference,” Kirkman said. “Now you’ve got Ezekiel walking around, acting like a lunatic. Negan’s walking around — in the comic, he’s dropping the f-word every two seconds, and that’s something you can’t do on the show. We’ve got a freakin’ tiger that’s in the show now.”
“That was clearly me going, ‘They’re never going to get to this stuff, and if they do get to this stuff, they’re never going to be able to adapt it, so I’m just going hog wild,'” he continued. “I had to prove to myself internally that I was not changing what I was planning to do with a mind towards how we were going to adapt it when we got there on the show. I went so overboard that I think it did change in the comic in some way — but I feel like it made it more awesome.”
So, by trying to not let the show affect the comic, Kirkman did just that. The creator also revealed that the way he writes the books has been affected over the years, but by a very different factor.
“When I first started writing the book, I would write the Carl and Rick dynamic using my experiences with my father, where I’m writing from the son’s perspective, or imagining how Rick would feel based on how my father, I assume, would have felt about me as a child,” Kirkman told the crowd. “As the series progresses, I have my son, I have my daughter, and then I start to write from the perspective of, “I have children, and I know what it’s like to have children, and I know what it’s like to worry about them.”
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