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Robert Kirkman explains 'Walking Dead' inconsistencies on 'Conan'

March 08, 2013|By Meredith Blake


As fans of “The  Walking Dead” know, one of the pleasures of watching the show is pointing out its various inconsistencies. It’s a show that practically invites nitpicking. (I mean, is it really that easy to decapitate the undead? Don’t zombies ever starve? And just how is the electricity still working at this point, a year or so into the zombie apocalypse?)

On Thursday night, Conan O’Brien got the chance to do what millions of Internet commenters and fanboys across the globe would like to do: He grilled Robert Kirkman, the author of the original comic books and an executive producer on the series, about the many things on “The Walking Dead” that don’t completely make sense.

First up: Where are all the zombie animals?

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The answer, it seems, is quite simple: Charlie Adlard, who illustrates the comic books, doesn’t really like drawing them, so they’re not in the series either.

O’Brien also wondered about the varying speed of the “walkers,” as they’re called in the series, some of whom shuffle along at a snail’s pace, others who are much more fleet-footed.  “Are there zombies that work out?” he asked.

Kirkman confessed that while this is mostly just a way of keeping viewers guessing, he also likes to think it “has something to do with how fresh”  the zombies are. The more recently they’ve “turned,” the more nimble the zombies are.

With that cleared up, O’Brien asked what may be the most urgent question of all: Why does the group always make such terrible decisions?

He presented a representative scenario in which, after someone loses a shoe in a cornfield filled with zombies, the survivors decide to break up into nine groups, run into the field in the dark and meet up again in six months’ time.

OK, so O’Brien’s example was slightly exaggerated, but it wasn’t entirely off the mark. Again, Kirkman's explanation -- “It’s so that the zombies can pick them off individually” – indicated that he’s more concerned with generating a little excitement than with creating a coherent universe. 

O’Brien’s final question was slightly less expected, but no less intriguing. He wondered why there are never any celebrity cameos in “The Walking Dead.” After all, wouldn’t there be a few famous faces among the shuffling hordes of the undead?

Kirkman made the somewhat dubious claim that all the celebrities would get eaten first because “they usually taste better, they’re leaner.”

What he didn’t mention is that the show actually takes place outside Atlanta, which changes things dramatically. A zombie Conan would be great, but a zombie Kim Zolciak? Now that would be horrifying.

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