Image Comics surprised fans with the final installment to “The Walking Dead” comic series. Hints that the story was coming to a close first appeared in “The Walking Dead #192,” but Kirkman confirmed the ending of the series with a farewell letter at the end of the new issue.

“I’ll say it again, I love (loved… oh, god, I’m not ready for past tense) writing this series. I really don’t want it to end. In fact, I’ve been… kind of unsettled since I wrote the script for this issue. The whole thing just feels… weird,” Kirkman wrote in the letter. “In a way, killing this series has been a lot like killing a major character. Much, much harder… but the same feeling. I don’t WANT to do it. I’d rather keep going… but the story is telling me what it wants and what it needs. This needs to happen. Whether I want it or not.”

Eric Stephenson, Publisher and Chief Creative Officer at Image Comics, added: “The Walking Dead has always been full of twists, but one thing that has never been surprising is Robert Kirkman’s absolute commitment to telling the best story he could on his own terms. Other comic books traffic in the illusion of change, but Robert and his collaborators embraced actual change, so it’s only fitting that The Walking Dead end by confronting the biggest change of all—a resolution to the story Robert began over 15 years ago. It’s testament not only to Robert’s and Charlie’s abilities that The Walking Dead #193 is such a fitting farewell, but also to the possibilities available to anyone in the creative community when they are allowed to tell stories the way they want.”

The Walking Dead #193 is in stores today, available in an oversized issue. You can find the final issue through Kindle or comiXology right here on Amazon, or at your local comic shop.

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