The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman has a zombie film revered above all the rest. And it may not be the classic some fans will expect.
The modern master of zombie comic book storytelling and The Walking Dead co-creator Robert Kirkman finally shares his favorite zombie film, which may or may not come as a surprise to longtime fans.
Having personally branded The Walking Dead as a zombie movie that never ends, it should come as no surprise that its lengthy, Eisner Award-winning run completely changed the trajectory of zombie storytelling within the world of comic books and pop culture. Unlike other films or books, the comic focused on the often volatile human relationships the apocalypse sparked, rather than the zombies themselves. And beginning in late 2020, The Walking Dead Deluxe series kicked off as a full color reprint with variant cover art and behind the scenes content included to give fans new levels of insight into its creation.
The letters pages for The Walking Dead Deluxe #44 from Kirkman, Charlie Adlard, and Dave McCaig reveal that while unintended, issue #41 does feature an unintended homage to Kirkman's favorite zombie movie, Day of the Dead. In a response to a fan query, Kirkman confirms that the film being referenced is "my favorite Romero movie–and zombie movie… can't really help it if some things seep in. It wasn't intentional."
Released in 1985 as the third and final film in the late George A. Romero's original Night of the Living Dead trilogy, Day of the Dead follows a new group of survivors seeking solace on a Florida island split between other remaining survivors and scientists/military personnel. Day of the Dead may not have achieved the same success as previous entries in the film series, but the movie has gained a formidable cult following in the years since its initial release.
The original black and white Romero zombie films, beginning with 1968's Night of the Living Dead, served as a massive creative and aesthetic inspiration for Kirkman's (black-and-white) zombie comic. The decision to emulate Romero not only applied to the book itself but the zombies, who often moved at a slow pace without any accessible speech patterns. What is quite interesting is the heavy military presence that Day of the Dead contains, which does contradict some of the comic's Romero influences. Kirman intentionally kept the whereabouts of the government shrouded in mystery in the original series, with most of their presence being relegated to references. It was the AMC TV series that offered further details on the larger world of The Walking Dead, whereabouts of the military, and their role in the new world order dictated by the undead.
George A. Romero was the architect responsible for injecting new life into the zombie genre on screen and paved the way for modern zombie epics like The Walking Dead, so it's not a surprise to see his impact continue to endure within the lives of creators like Kirkman.
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Hello world, enter Bryce Morris. Bryce is currently a college senior attending Rowan University with experience in writing for several online blogs as well as an advertising agency. One day in the not too distant future, Bryce aspires to become a published author. Bryce has always had his sights set on writing and in his down time can be found either watching a Marvel movie, reading a Marvel comic, or writing for Screen Rant… either or is acceptable.