In the letter hacks section of The Walking Dead #181, published July 4, 'Justin from Michigan' thanked Kirkman for creating the foul-mouthed bad guy-turned-anti-hero for inspiring the name of his newborn baby boy.
"I wanted to write in to let ya'll know that my wife and I named our son Negan. He was just born on April 24th at 7 lbs 15 oz," Justin wrote. "He is perfectly healthy and strong. I think Negan is a powerful and unique name. Thanks for the inspiration! I can't believe my wife agreed to it! If only people would realize I named him after this comic and NOT the TV Show..."
"This is the first little baby Negan, as far as I'm aware," wrote The Walking Dead editor Sean Mackiewicz. "Congrats on having an awesome wife, congrats on your new son… maybe keep him away from the Louisville Slugger for as long as possible."
Added Kirkman, "This is the best day of my life. I don't think I've EVER heard of anyone naming their baby Negan! That's awesome... and questionable parenting right out of the gate! I approve!"
Kirkman said in a 2016 episode of live Walking Dead-centric after show Talking Dead he came up with the name "Negan" because it was non-existent and sounded negative.
"I like to make up names that aren't really names. And then I Google them, and I'm like, 'oh yeah, someone does have that name,' which happens from time to time. I just wanted the name to sound negative in some way, so I was calling him 'Nagus' for a long time, which is just a word I thought I pulled from thin air," Kirkman said. "But apparently that's the Ferengi leader in Star Trek: Deep Space 9, so I was like, 'Well, I can't call him Nagus.' So then I was like, 'I don't know, Negan, that sounds fine.'"
"Often times I name a character, and then I go 'No, wait, that's from Star Trek,'" Kirkman joked, "and then I come up with something that's just a little shift away from that."
Earlier this year, Kirkman confirmed Negan is a first name, joking Negan's full name is "Negan A—hole" because he often doesn't bother giving characters full names.