Robert Kirkman

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Robert Kirkman
Robert Kirkman by Gage Skidmore 4.jpg
Born (1978-11-30) November 30, 1978 (age 38)
Lexington, Kentucky, United States
Area(s) Writer, editor, letterer, executive producer
Notable works
The Walking Dead
Marvel Zombies
Spouse(s) Sonia Kirkman
Children 2[1]

Robert Kirkman (born November 30, 1978)[2] is an American comic book writer best known for creating The Walking Dead and Invincible for Image Comics, in addition to writing Ultimate X-Men and Marvel Zombies for Marvel Comics. He has also collaborated with Image Comics co-founder Todd McFarlane on the series Haunt.[3] He is one of the five partners of Image Comics, and the only one of the five who was not one of its co-founders.[4]

Early life[edit]

Robert Kirkman was born in Lexington, Kentucky, and was raised in Cynthiana, Kentucky.[5]


Robert Kirkman's first comic book work was the 2000 superhero parody Battle Pope,[3] which he co-created with artist Tony Moore, and self-published under the Funk-O-Tron label. Later, while pitching a new series, Science Dog, Kirkman and artist Cory Walker were hired to do a SuperPatriot miniseries for Image Comics. While working on that book, Kirkman and E. J. Su created the 2002 Image series Tech Jacket, which ran six issues, and the one-shot title, Cloudfall.

In 2003, Kirkman and Walker created Invincible for Image's new superhero line. The story surrounded the adolescent son of the world's most powerful superhero, who develops powers and starts his own superhero career. Walker later failed to meet the monthly title's deadlines and was replaced by Ryan Ottley.[6] In 2005, Paramount Pictures announced it had bought the rights to produce an Invincible feature film, and hired Kirkman to write the screenplay.[7]

Shortly after the launch of Invincible, Kirkman began The Walking Dead (2003). Kirkman said in 2012 that Image had balked at publishing a comics series featuring what it felt was simply another zombie story, prompting him to say the zombies were part of an alien plot—a notion he had no intention of using except as a means of selling the project.[8] Artist Charlie Adlard replaced Tony Moore with issue #7.[9] Moore continued to draw covers until issue 24 as well as the first four volumes of the trade paperbacks for the series.

Kirkman at the 2011 New York Comic Con

Kirkman was first hired by Marvel Comics to pen a revival of the 1990s Sleepwalker series,[10] but it was canceled before being published; the contents of its first issue were included in Epic Anthology No. 1 (2004). He soon became a mainstay at Marvel, writing the "Avengers Disassembled" issues of Captain America vol. 4, 2004's Marvel Knights 2099 one-shots event, Jubilee #1–6 and Fantastic Four: Foes #1–6, a two-year run on Ultimate X-Men and the entire Marvel Team-Up vol. 3 and the Irredeemable Ant-Man miniseries.

At Image, Kirkman and artist Jason Howard created the ongoing series The Astounding Wolf-Man, launching it on May 5, 2007, as part of Free Comic Book Day. Kirkman edited the monthly series Brit, based on the character he created for the series of one-shots, illustrated by Moore and Cliff Rathburn. It ran 12 issues.

Kirkman announced in 2007 that he and artist Rob Liefeld would team on a revival of Killraven for Marvel Comics.[11] Kirkman that year also said he and Todd McFarlane would collaborate on Haunt for Image Comics.[12]

In late July 2008, Kirkman was made a partner at Image Comics, thereby ending his freelance association with Marvel.[13][14] Nonetheless, later in 2009, he and Walker produced the five-issue miniseries The Destroyer vol. 4[15] for Marvel's MAX imprint.

In 2009, Kirkman and Marc Silvestri took over the 2009–2010 Pilot Season for Top Cow Comics. The 2009/2010 Pilot Season contains a series of five one-shot pilot comics that readers will be able to vote on which becomes an ongoing series. Each series is co-created by Silvestri who also provides cover art.[16]

In 2010, he also began producing the television adaption of his comic book series The Walking Dead,[17] the pilot of which was directed by Frank Darabont.[18] Kirkman has written or co-written seven episodes of the series. Kirkman also created and serves as an executive producer on the show's spinoff series, Fear the Walking Dead.[19]

In July 2010, Kirkman announced he would launch and run a new Image Comics imprint called Skybound Entertainment.[20]

On February 9, 2012, Tony Moore filed a lawsuit alleging that Kirkman, in 2005, had deceitfully engineered him into surrendering his rights to The Walking Dead comic book and eventual TV series in exchange for payments that never materialized. Kirkman said in a statement the following day that he and Moore "each had legal representation seven years ago and now he is violating the same contract he initiated and approved and he wants to misrepresent the fees he was paid and continues to be paid for the work he was hired to do."[21] Kirkman in turn sued Moore. On September 24, 2012, the two released a joint statement saying they had reached a settlement "to everyone's mutual satisfaction."[22]

Kirkman made an appearance in a 2012 episode of Adult Swim's Robot Chicken as himself where he tries to tell The Nerd and Daniel a hint, but gets eaten by the zombies.

In November 2013, Cinemax purchased a TV pilot based on Kirkman and artist Paul Azaceta's then-upcoming six-issue exorcism comics miniseries, Outcast.[23] The first issue of the comic was released in June 2014 to positive reviews.[24]

Kirkman was a producer of the science fiction thriller Air, which starred The Walking Dead's Norman Reedus, and Djimon Hounsou. The movie was released in 2015. It was the first feature film to be produced by Skybound Entertainment.[25][26]

Kirkman's latest[when?] television project known as Five Year will be a joint venture between Skybound and It will be filmed for TV in Korea and available everywhere on The pre-apocalyptic story centres on a family dealing with an impending meteor strike. It was picked up for an initial 1 season run of 16 episodes with a plan for 5 seasons. Filming begins in late 2016.[27]

On November 7, 2016, Deadline reported that Kirkman's production company Skybound Entertainment will produce a remake of the John Landis film An American Werewolf in London. The remake will be written and directed by Max Landis, son of the original director John Landis. Kirkman and David Alpert will be executive producers on the film.[28]

Personal life[edit]

Kirkman and his wife live in Kentucky.[29][30] They named their son Peter Parker Kirkman after Spider-Man's civilian identity, Peter Parker.[31]


In 2011, The Walking Dead TV series was nominated for A Writers Guide of America Award for Best New Series.[citation needed]

In 2013 he was nominated for the OTFA Television Award for Best Writing in a Drama Series.[32]



Image Comics[edit]

Marvel Comics[edit]

Other publishers[edit]


Kirkman has also written a series of non-graphic The Walking Dead novels:

  1. The Walking Dead: Rise of the Governor, with Jay Bonansinga, Thomas Dunne Books, October 2011.
  2. The Walking Dead: The Road to Woodbury, with Jay Bonansinga, Thomas Dunne Books, October 2012.
  3. The Walking Dead: The Fall of the Governor - Part I, with Jay Bonansinga, Thomas Dunne Books, October 2013.
  4. The Walking Dead: The Fall of the Governor - Part II, with Jay Bonansinga, Thomas Dunne Books, March 2014.
  5. The Walking Dead: Descent, with Jay Bonansinga, Thomas Dunne Books, October 2014.
  6. The Walking Dead: Invasion, with Jay Bonansinga, Thomas Dunne Books, October 2015.
  7. The Walking Dead: Search and Destroy, with Jay Bonansinga, Thomas Dunne Books, October 2016.

The Walking Dead (TV series)[edit]

Kirkman has written a number of The Walking Dead TV episodes.

Fear the Walking Dead[edit]

Fear the Walking Dead is a companion series to The Walking Dead, set in Los Angeles, California and starting prior to the apocalypse. Robert Kirkman is co-creator of the series alongside Dave Erickson. He is also an executive producer and has co-written episodes of the series.

  • 1.01 – "Pilot" (co-written with Dave Erickson)
  • 1.06 – "The Good Man" (co-written with Dave Erickson)


Outcast is a horror series on Cinemax.

  • 1.01 – "A Darkness Surrounds Him"
  • 1.04 – "A Wrath Unseen"


  1. ^ Made Man (14 October 2013). "The Walking Dead's Robert Kirkman Tells His Story". YouTube. Retrieved 6 January 2014. 
  2. ^ Löchel, Ingo. "The Walking Dead: Die Comic-Serie – Robert Kirkman". Zauberspiegel. Retrieved February 17, 2013.
  3. ^ a b "WonderCon Special Guests"; Comic-Con magazine; Winter 2010; Page 19
  4. ^ "Frequently Asked Questions". Archived from the original on July 16, 2011. Retrieved October 25, 2010. 
  5. ^ "Kentuckian who created 'Walking Dead' comes home for a chat". Lexington Herald-Leader. Kentucky. October 26, 2012. Archived from the original on April 23, 2016. Retrieved January 25, 2016. 
  6. ^ "Robert Kirkman on Invincible", IGN, 2007-12-10. Retrieved on March 15, 2008.
  7. ^ "Feeling 'Invincible'", Variety, 2005-03-01. Retrieved on March 15, 2008.
  8. ^ Johnston, Rich (February 27, 2012). "The Walking Dead Alien Invasion That Never Was – Robert Kirkman At Image Comics Expo". Archived from the original on March 3, 2012. 
  9. ^ The Walking Dead (Image, 2003 series) at the Grand Comics Database.
  10. ^ Weiland, Jonah (October 22, 2003). "Kirkman revives Sleepwalker for Marvel this February". Comic Book Resources. 
  11. ^ "Wizard World Chicago 2007: Rob Liefeld and Robert Kirkman to Breathe New Life into Killraven". August 14, 2007. Retrieved March 15, 2008. 
  12. ^ "Todd McFarlane and Robert Kirkman Announce 'Haunt'". August 3, 2007. Archived from the original on October 11, 2011. Retrieved March 15, 2008. 
  13. ^ Writer of the Undead Is Reborn as a Partner at Image Comics, The New York Times, July 22, 2008
  14. ^ Robert Kirkman: Image Partner, Done at Marvel, Newsarama, July 22, 2008
  15. ^ Per The Unofficial Handbook of Marvel Comics Creators, the earlier volumes star an unrelated character adapted from The Destroyer  series of novels: The Destroyer (1989–1990), The Destroyer vol. 2 (1991) and The Destroyer vol. 3 (1991–1992)
  16. ^ Wigler, Josh (November 25, 2009). "Robert Kirkman Takes Over 'Pilot Season'". Comic Book Resources.
  17. ^ "Dispatches From the Set – Comic Creator and Series Executive Producer Robert Kirkman". AMC. June 21, 2010. Retrieved October 11, 2011. 
  18. ^ "Dispatches From the Set – Writer, Director and Executive Producer Frank Darabont". AMC. June 9, 2010. Retrieved October 11, 2011. 
  19. ^ Ross, Dalton (January 16, 2015). "Robert Kirkman says 'Walking Dead' spinoff will be 'startlingly different'". Entertainment Weekly. 
  20. ^ Armitage, Hugh (July 20, 2010). "Robert Kirkman launches Skybound imprint". Digital Spy.
  21. ^ Molloy, Tim (February 10, 2012). "'Walking Dead's' Robert Kirkman Joked About Tricking Illustrators —- Then Got Sued by His". Archived from the original on February 10, 2012. 
  22. ^ Molloy, Tim (September 24, 2012). "'Walking Dead' Writer, Artist Settle Lawsuits". TheWrap. Retrieved September 24, 2012. 
  23. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (November 11, 2013). "Robert Kirkman's Exorcism Drama 'Outcast' Lands at Cinemax (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter.
  24. ^ "Outcast By Kirkman & Azaceta". Comic Book Roundup. Retrieved February 20, 2015.
  25. ^ Ross, Dalton (July 23, 2014). "New photo of Norman Reedus in 'AIR' (with intel from Robert Kirkman)". Entertainment Weekly.
  26. ^ Feloni, Richard (October 9, 2014). "Watch Out Marvel & DC: 'The Walking Dead' Company Has A Plan To Steal Your Thunder". Business Insider.
  27. ^ "Robert Kirkman and Skybound Announce Korean Drama, Five Year – IGN". IGN. Retrieved 2016-03-25. 
  28. ^ Busch, Anita (2016-11-07). "'An American Werewolf In London' Remake On Way With Max Landis & 'The Walking Dead' Producers At Universal". Retrieved 2016-11-08. 
  29. ^ "A Time to Kill Time". Conan. Season 3. Episode 58. March 7, 2013. TBS. 
  30. ^ Truitt, Brian. "'The Infinite' teams Image's past and present". USA Today. March 7, 2011
  31. ^ "Buy My Books". Comic Book Resources. June 14, 2006. Retrieved March 15, 2008. 
  32. ^ "Robert Kirkman". IMDb. Retrieved 2016-04-14. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Robert Morales
Captain America writer
Succeeded by
Ed Brubaker