Whether at home or in San Diego, Comic-con would not be the same without a check-in with Robert Kirkman and Skybound. Kirkman opened with a pitch for everyone to get vaccinated (“You can go into comic shops!”), and then he moved onto the Skybound catalogue. Kirkman ran through a list of updates before he got to fan questions. The questions ranged from Skybound X to Invincible. If you would like to watch the full panel, you can see it here.
The first discussion was about “Rick Grimes 2000.” Kirkman explained that this is not a return to The Walking Dead so much as a new take on the character in a “zany world.” There are also apparently laser swords, old friends, new friends, and ROBOTS! The inspiration for the story was from an early issue of The Walking Dead. In a letter to the editor, a fan asked what Kirkman planned to do when he ran out of ideas. Kirkman’s response in the Letters to the Editor column was that he would “add aliens and stuff.” Based on that joke, Kirkman later penned an alien story for The Walking Dead, which he used for the basis of this new story in Skybound X.
In the upcoming issue 5 of Skybound X, Kirkman and Jason Howard will premiere “C.O.D.E.” (Combat Orb Defense Engines). Issue 5 will also have the final installment of “Rick Grimes 2000.”
THE YEAR OF INVINCIBLE
There were no big Skybound announcements for Invincible, but there were plenty of fan questions. One fan question asked about the adaptation of seasons 2 and 3. Kirkman said that they will adapt the next two seasons in the same manner as season one. Unlike The Walking Dead, Kirkman noted that plotting Invincible had been easier because it had been a finished story. There was one caveat. “I like new ideas,” Kirkman said. Kirkman admitted he was excited to see changes to the story to make it stronger. As for casting, there were no updates. A fan did ask about other The Walking Dead cast members. Though eager to work with the whole cast again, Kirkman had not cast anyone else yet.
Another fan asked Kirkman what characters he planned to add to the upcoming seasons. Kirkman confirmed that fan favorite Conquest was in the works, but Kirkman refused to name who he had in mind for the role. Other characters Kirkman hoped to add to the series include Bulletproof, Thragg, and Space Racer. Kirkman had already confirmed that Angstrom Levy would be in season 2. One fan did ask about the possibility of a crossover with Wolf-man. “There’s a chance. I’ll leave it at that,” Kirkman said. Kirkman was not kidding when he said he was open to new ideas.
A fan did ask Kirkman if he had any interest in doing a one-off issue for Battle Beast similar to the one-off for Negan. Kirkman said he was interested in penning one, but he had no plans to do so. “I even have a pretty cool idea,” Kirkman said.
MERCH & GAMES
Kirkman did announce that merchandise would be available by the end of the year. Regarding an Invincible video game, Kirkman said, “I’m sure we will, I can’t say more.” Kirkman also noted that there were currently no plans for a spinoff series of Invincible at this time, but that plans could change. As for the release date for season 2, Kirkman said, “In the future.” This is a genius answer since the future never actually arrives, and any date set would essentially be an early release. Well played.
Kirkman confirmed that Oblivion Song will wrap up after issue 36. Regarding the movie adaptation, there is no news on that front. Kirkman confirmed that although Oblivion Song was still in development, it was too in flux to be able to announce anything publicly.
Skybound released the 12th issue of Fire Power in June, and Kirkman teased that issue 18 was going to be a big one. How? No clue. When a fan question asked about Kirkman’s favorite scene from the comic, Kirkman said it had yet to happen. Kirkman explained that a favorite scene usually meant the end of a comic, because if he could not top his previous ideas, he grew bored with the story. For that reason, Kirkman confirmed that he knew how and when he would end Fire Power, including the issue number. In typical Kirkman fashion, he did not divulge that information.
CLEMENTINE & SKYBOUND COMET
The big new from last month was the announcement that Skybound has a new imprint for young adult and middle grade material called Skybound Comet. The first title under this imprint will be Clementine. Clementine is based on the character from The Walking Dead Telltale Games series, and it will be by writer/artist Tillie Walden. Although Kirkman had high praise for Clementine, he did not have any updates on it. Based on a fan question, Kirkman did confirm that Clementine would not encounter Rick Grimes for continuity sake. Rick never met Clementine in The Walking Dead series.
THE WALKING DEAD
Season 11 of The Walking Dead television series starts in August, but the comic has, of course, ended. Kirkman said that he expected The Walking Dead “will exist in a different way.” As an example, Kirkman pointed to the Clementine series or the storylines in Skybound X.
As for The Walking Dead movie, Kirkman joked that he expected it be released before 2032. Kirkman admitted that he was frustrated that there was no news yet. However, Kirkman explained that patience was a good thing. “We don’t want a bad Rick Grimes movie, right? We want an amazing Rick Grimes movie,” Kirkman said. Will absence make the heart grow fonder for Rick? Or will we even want to see the rest of his story in a couple years?
ANSWERS TO FAN QUESTIONS
The bulk of the video was answers to fan questions about both Kirkman and Skybound. Below are a few tidbits;
- What does Kirkman miss most about San Diego Comic-con? Meeting fans, getting feedback, talking to other comic creators, and buying off brand Transformers toys.
- Kirkman’s work in Die! Die! Die! was one of my proudest moments.” There is a chance for more issues, but there are no plans.
- Favorite creation? Die! Die! Die! or Destroyer for Marvel.
- Favorite Skybound Comic of all time is Thief of Thieves. Favorite current comic is Ultramega by James Harren.
- What creator would you entrust to adapt your IP? Damon Lindelof.
- What IP would you like to adapt? Sex Criminals, The Fix, or Savage Dragon.
- Favorite superhero? Spider-man, though Kirkman is naturally more fond of Invincible because “what I wanted to happen, happened.”
- Will Dracula be in the Renfield adaptation? Absolutely.
- Are there plans for Nike to make Fire Power shoes? “I wish,” said Kirkman.
- What characters are based on Kirkman? Though Kirkman admits that early Glen was based on his background, like all writers, there is a little bit of each character in Kirkman. Even Negan.