The Walking Dead Creator Robert Kirkman Has No Plans for Negan Spinoff

The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman has no plans to extend his recently concluded comic book with a spinoff centered around reclusive former villain Negan, who Kirkman confirmed was still alive after a multi-year time jump revealed in issue #193, the series' final issue.

"I think that's a really cool tidbit. Theoretically living in that farmhouse. Theoretically there might be a story to be told there; it's possible that's my escape hatch if my career ever takes a hard nosedive, just roll out a Negan comic," Kirkman said when appearing at San Diego Comic-Con Thursday for his Skybound Presents: In Conversation with Robert Kirkman panel.

"There's no plans as of yet, but there's an option there, sure."

Then, he joked, "I've clearly said too much, I regret answering your question."

Following the death of longtime protagonist Rick Grimes in issue #192, Kirkman hinted the long-missing Negan — who hadn't made an appearance in the book since issue #174 in December 2017, where he retired to solitude in a farmhouse — would become the focus of the series.

It was later learned this was part of Kirkman's planned deception to maintain the surprise of The Walking Dead's unannounced ending. The ploy also involved fake solicits and covers for upcoming issues.

Because the book "has always been built on surprise," and Kirkman himself hates "knowing what's coming," Kirkman opted to surprise conclude the book.

"It just felt wrong and against the very nature of this series not to make the actual end as surprising as all the big deaths... from Shane all the way to Rick," Kirkman wrote in a lengthy letter ending the final issue of his book launched in 2003.

"I'm upset, too. I'm going to miss it as much as you will, if not more so. It breaks my heart that I had to end it, and we have to move on... but I just love this world too much to stretch things out until it doesn't live up to what I want it to be. I got to tell my story exactly how I wanted to, for 193 issues, and end it on my terms, with no interference at all along the way... at any point. That's such a rare thing, and it doesn't exist without the unyielding support this series got from readers like you."

Kirkman is now developing the Walking Dead movie trilogy centered on Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) alongside TWD chief content officer Scott Gimple.