After 14 years and 169 issues, creator Robert Kirkman knows exactly how he’s going to give the comic-book version of The Walking Dead the gift of sweet oblivion. Kirkman revealed his plans to eventually put a bullet in the head of his hit zombie comics franchise at The Walking Dead panel at San Diego Comic-Con, where he said, “I think about two or three years ago, I had a pretty good idea for a definitive ending. I have known that since then and been working towards that, so I know exactly where I’m going and what’s going to happen when I get there.”
Kirkman said he could have ended the series earlier, but decided not to because “I had all kinds of cool stuff I wanted to do.” He adds that the ending itself is top secret, and he hasn’t told anyone what it is or written it down anywhere, lest anyone get any ideas. He declined to give an exact end date, but says that “to be able to top yourself, and keep things fresh, and keep things interesting… It gets harder and harder and harder as you go,” so he’ll presumably be building towards it imminently.
As for the TV version of The Walking Dead, it’s still a ratings winner for AMC, so expect that iteration of the story to keep dragging around its rotted corpse in search of humans to feast upon for a while longer yet.
UPDATE: An earlier version of this article stated that Kirkman was planning to end the comic-book series; it has been edited to reflect the noncommittal nature of Kirkman’s comments.