Asked during a Q&A session if he could change one storyline and why, Kirkman was quick to answer: "Kill Carl twice," Kirkman joked.
Shocked laughter and boos from the crowd. Kirkman, leaning into the persona of a wrestling heel, threatened to end the session and cancel season 9.
Answering the question, Kirkman offered a nonchalant response: "I wanna cut Rick's hand off."
Kirkman appeared alongside stars Norman Reedus and Jeffrey Dean Morgan aboard the booze-filled Walker Stalker Cruise, fielding questions about the hit comic book and television series.
Rick lost his hand to the villainous Governor in issue #28 of Kirkman's long-running comic book series, following a tense interrogation.
Pressing the trio about the location of their living quarters — and receiving only lies — the Governor used his blade to chop off Rick's right hand.
Kirkman, who serves as executive producer and sometimes-writer on the show, once said in a 2014 Reddit Q&A cutting off Rick's hand in the television series would have caused unnecessary complications.
"I think cutting Rick's hand off when we did was great for the comic. It's just that in another medium it would be harder to pull off," Kirkman wrote. "We cheat in the comic because things aren't moving. You can't do that on the show. You'd see Rick not being able to reload his gun and things like that."
He added, "The CGI of cutting off Rick's hand would be expensive, but we did it with Hershel's leg so if we felt strongly about Rick losing a hand, we'd do it."
Rick actor Andrew Lincoln told ComicBook.com he campaigned for The Walking Dead's leading man to lose a limb, only to be told it was a no-go.
"I was saying, 'You've gotta do the hand, guys!' And Victor [Scalise], who was in charge of special effects, just said, 'No, no no no. Anybody else but not you. It'll cost a fortune with green screen and blue screen,'" Lincoln said.
Lincoln added that the show, then in its sixth season, was headed in the direction where "no one is safe of any long term damage."
The actor kept at it, saying last April he still desires to see Rick disabled.
"They'll never let me," Lincoln said, reporting the special effects gurus tell him he has "no idea how expensive that would be."0comments
Rick's hands will be intact, for now, but the Alexandrian leader will lost something more dear to him: his son, Carl Grimes, who will be killed off when the show returns from its mid-season break next Sunday.
The Walking Dead returns Sunday, February 25 on AMC.