The Walking Dead on AMC has gone through more than its share of ups and downs over its nine seasons so far, and I don't just mean the ratings. Based on Robert Kirkman's comic series of the same name, The Walking Dead had a combination of success and all but endless source material to drive it onward almost indefinitely. Now, that source material is coming to an end, and Kirkman's zombie apocalypse comics will wrap up with issue #193.
While non-comics readers probably aren't too affected by news that the long-running series is ending, the end does raise the question of whether the TV show will be affected. After all, the franchise was already going through some wild changes in Season 9. Does the end of one mean the end of the other? Nope! AMC confirmed to CinemaBlend that The Walking Dead isn't going anywhere with this statement:
This extraordinary comic created a world that already lives in multiple forms, and in the hearts and minds of millions of fans around the world, and will for many years to come.
All things considered, it makes sense that the end of the comics doesn't mean the end of Robert Kirkman's zombie apocalypse universe in pop culture. The show already deviated from the comics in many big ways, with arguably the biggest being the death of Carl.
Many fans -- comics readers and viewers -- expected Carl to survive pretty much everybody as the hope for the future, but he bit the dust after being chomped by a zombie on a part of his body that couldn't be amputated.
Rick seeming dead but really being whisked away by a helicopter to eventually star in a movie definitely didn't happen in the comics either. As much as the series premiered in days gone by with scenes ripped from the pages, it's been a long time since the show felt beholden to the comics.
Even if The Walking Dead as a show was beholden to the comics, the show still has a while to catch up to the comics. Robert Kirkman is no George R.R. Martin, and he continued to publish new installments in his saga throughout the run of the show on AMC. (Take note, George R.R. Martin, and finish The Winds of Winter!) The Walking Dead shouldn't run in to the same sort of problems anytime soon that Game of Thrones did when the HBO epic reached the end of its source material.
If anything, the Walking Dead franchise is getting bigger despite the dips in ratings. Fear the Walking Dead is still running, and the Walking Dead movies have the potential to be different enough that they could perhaps attract some of the fans who jumped ship years ago. The end of the comics is sad for comics fans, but at least everybody will still have the universe for many years to come.
No premiere date for The Walking Dead Season 10 has been announced just yet, but the odds are that the show will follow the pattern of every other season so far and kick off in October. For some zombie apocalypse action in the current summer TV lineup, you can find new episodes of Fear the Walking Dead on Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on AMC.