Once again, we’ve got Robert Kirkman talking about the latest episode of The Walking Dead, “Claimed.”
TheWalkingDead.com: I think in both the comics and the show the characters have this notion that when you’re settled in somewhere, you’re safe, and when you’re on the road, you’re in danger. But honestly, being settled seems to just make you a target. At this point in the apocalypse, do you think they’re really safer settling, or is being on the move the safest path?
Robert Kirkman: That’s actually something that gets discussed in the comic book series at a certain point, so I wouldn’t want to spoil anything, but it is certainly beginning to look like being mobile is a good way to avoid being boxed in or avoid drawing attention to yourself. That very well may come into play in the series very soon.
TWD: Speaking of danger, Rick has a run-in with a new group of strangers, including character actor Jeff Kober. He’s one of those guys that you see and instantly recognize but can’t remember where. I think he’s been in every major show ever made [including, but not limited to, Sons of Anarchy, It Always Sunny, New Girl, CSI, 24, ER, Buffy, and way more]. Are you allowed to tell us if we’ll be seeing more of him?
Kirkman: I think it would be very strange if we didn’t since he’s such a recognizable actor. It was kind of by design. I’m actually really proud about how it all ended up. It’s almost hard to spot him the way things are edited and the way the episode goes. His character is definitely going to be returning again and it will happen when you least expect it.
TWD: When they’re in the house, Rick doesn’t hesitate to use violence against these guys. Is it safe to say that farmer Rick is dead and buried?
Kirkman: Yeah, farmer Rick kind of went away during the beating he took from the Governor. I think this is a guy who’s very much back on his heels at this point. He’s trying to do whatever he can to survive. Rick has always been a character who recognizes you have to have certain preparations in order to survive in this world, and farmer Rick only emerged because of the safety that the Prison provided, so now that that’s been taken away we’re certainly going to be seeing Rick Grimes rise to the challenge of being on his own again. What we saw this episode is a big part of that.
TWD: Carl and Michonne’s friendship continues to blossom in this episode. What do you think Carl sees in Michonne? What bonds them?
Kirkman: I think at this point, Carl would be clinging to anyone to try to have a connection to someone outside of his father. He’s had a great many people that he cared a lot about taken away from him. He’s also definitely formed a bond with Michonne in the past, and there’s a lot of intricacies to how that bond works and what both characters are getting out of it. Specifically, that will come to pass in upcoming episodes, so there’s definitely still a lot to be revealed when it comes to Michonne and Carl.
TWD: It’s great to see the two of them bond the way they do over crazy cheese.
Kirkman: Indeed. I think Danai [Gurira] ate like four gallons of that cheese during the filming of that scene.
TWD: We talked about Abraham last week, but this week get to see a lot more of him and what drives him. He was introduced WAY BACK in 2008, but do you remember what inspired him?
Kirkman: I think Abraham as a character in both of the comic and the show represents a drive to alter the story, and he’s also a catalyst to keep things fresh. In both instances, he brought with him new challenges and new situations for the characters to deal with. He also opens up the world. He’s from another part of the country, he’s seen different things and had his own unique experiences and he’s going to be bringing what he’s learned to the group, so the idea behind the introduction of Abraham is to shake things up. And I think we’re going to see that Michael Cudlitz is going to provide that and then some. Introducing new characters is a way to open up the world without leaving behind the characters and seeing too much. But we always get those little snippets and tidbits of information about how things are going down in other areas.
TWD: We noticed some sneakily placed Super Dinosaur comics this episode. This isn’t the first time a Skybound comic has popped up. We’re obviously big fans of that, who’s the one sneaking those into the show?
Kirkman: Well, that early scene in the [Season 4] premiere, where Michonne comes back with comics, we set aside a pile of books aside for that scene. And so the comics have shown up here and there as the season has progressed. Though, I do want to state specifically that it is not me being on set going, “Hey, put my comic over there!” Sometimes I see them and I’m like, “Aw, you’re gonna see my comic there? Come on!” But it’s certainly a cool thing and I hope [Super Dinosaur artist] Jason Howard likes the appearance. We’ll see.
TWD: Well, getting more readers for Super Dinosaur is an awesome thing. It’s a good book.
Kirkman: Super Dinosaur is one of the coolest comics ever made, so… I think it will benefit the Walking Dead show immensely to have it appear on screen.
That’s it for this week! Tune in next week for another chat with Robert!