2

At the end of each The Walking Dead comic issue is a "Letter Hacks" section, in which the writers (especially Kirkman) reply to fan letters about how they develop the comic, some worldbuilding, what may happen in the next issues... And sometimes the truthfulness of these statements has to be taken with a grain of salt.

Twisting the truth is something Kirkman has admitted to ComicBook.com:

"The name of the game as a writer is not limiting yourself for the future," Kirkman said. "In my opinion, at least. I'd never answer this [how many people are left] in a letters column because if later I decide they're going to find a place with millions of people, you can say, 'No wait! In the letters column for #177 you said this!' I also intentionally mislead in the letters column from time to time to steer eagle-eyed readers away from the upcoming plot threads. That's fun. At some point someone should take it upon themselves to read all the Letter Hacks over the years and see if they can figure out when I knew of an upcoming storyline and was clearly misleading people, and when I just changed my mind or came up with a new idea."

Robert Kirkman Estimates Total Survivors Number In 'The Walking Dead' World, ComicBook.com, March 7, 2018

For instance, back in issue #151 of The Walking Dead, when Negan was still in jail, Kirkman wrote in the "Letter Hacks" section:

Negan is NEVER getting out of that cell. EVER. Sorry.

Negan is freed by a Rick-hater in the next issue, which led to this dialogue in the "Letter Hacks" section of issue #152:

MACKIEWICZ: You're a goddamn dirty liar, Robert. Last issue you wrote: "Negan is NEVER getting out of that cell. EVER. Sorry." Sooooo... unless this is some early onset something or other... You're a goddamn dirty liar. BUT Negan's out, which will make all the Hacks lunatics ecstatic for a number of perverse reasons, which they're already writing and sending WITHOUT proofreading. ... I guess this is going to be the tone of Hacks this months. Roll with it.

KIRKMAN: Listen, in my opinion, there's a special kind of devoted reader who pours through Letter Hacks each and every month. And those readers... I like to enhance the experience for them as best I can. Sometimes it's by lying about a thing I know is coming VERY soon, other times it's by seemingly spoiling big things which sometimes come to pass... and sometimes don't. It makes things more fun! So read Letter Hacks, people! You never know what's going to happen!

Based on this example and the quotes above, this might not be the only time Kirkman pulled such a move.

So how many times has Kirkman outright lied in a "Letter Hacks" section?

To clarify, I mean what the guy said above, he knew of an "upcoming storyline and was clearly misleading people" (so not the "the TV show is great" lies Reddit is fond of), such as Negan getting out of jail.

I also know there are conflicted statements about the milestone #200 issue, but as it's only going to be released in about a year, let's not consider this one right now.

  • 1
    Well he did say we'd find out in issue #75 that aliens were responsible for everything. Which qualifies as a half-lie. – RDFozz Nov 8 '18 at 18:30
  • 1
    I don't think it's possible to answer this question with anything other than a general "lots of times" answer. – Kevin Workman Nov 8 '18 at 20:47
  • @KevinWorkman why not? While there may be some half-lies (the aliens mentioned above) and some ideas Kirkman thought about but eventually ditched, the Negan situation for instance wasn't one of these. I'm curious whether such a card was blatantly pulled in other issues. – Jenayah Nov 8 '18 at 20:52
  • 1
    @Jenayah There are 185 issues so far. To answer this question, somebody would have to go back and re-read the letter section of every issue and cross-reference what Robert Kirkman says with everything that happened so far. Plus the series is ongoing, so we have no way of knowing whether many statements are lies. – Kevin Workman Nov 8 '18 at 21:40
  • @Jenayah How do you determine which ones are deliberate lies and which ones are "ideas Kirkman thought about but eventually ditched"? Unless Kirkman admits to a lie, as he did in the Negan instance, there's no way to tell which is which and thus no way to provide a count. – Patrick Wynne Nov 8 '18 at 23:25

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.