Like so many characters within its pages, Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard’s The Walking Dead is dying abruptly and with little opportunity for closure. The Hollywood Reporter broke the news that Wednesday’s issue will be TWD’s last. Issue no. 193 will be an extra-sized edition that wraps up the saga of Rick Grimes and the rest of them. To throw fans off the scent, cover images for weeks of future issues were created. “As a fan, I hate it when I realize I’m in the third act of a movie and the story is winding down,” Kirkman wrote in the ending pages of The Walking Dead 193. “I hate that I can count commercial breaks and know I’m nearing the end of a TV show. I hate that you can feel when you’re getting to the end of a book, or a graphic novel. Some of the best episodes of Game of Thrones are when they’re structured in such a way and paced to perfection so your brain can’t tell if it’s been watching for 15 minutes or 50 minutes … and when the end comes … you’re stunned.” Some people like knowing when something is going to end, and like traditional story structure because that shape is pleasing to watch play out, but to each their own.
Ending just shy of 200 issues, The Walking Dead is ending one issue past the shocking death of Rick Grimes. “The Walking Dead has always been built on surprise. Not knowing what’s going to happen when you turn the page, who’s going to die, how they’re going to die … it’s been essential to the success of this series,” Kirkland wrote. “It just felt wrong and against the very nature of this series not to make the actual end as surprising as all the big deaths … from Shane all the way to Rick.”