FLR: The Walking Dead is an amazing success in print and TV. Do you feel like you've brought some Hollywood into your comic book writing?
RK: I do feel like I'm learning quite a bit from the writers in The Walking Dead writer's room, including Glenn Mazzara and Scott Gimple. I feel like I'm getting a better sense of how to tell stories with characters. Maybe I'm getting a little bit better at dialogue.
I feel like my Hollywoodness is actually benefitting me in the world of comics, creatively, and also, I guess it may possibly make people try The Walking Dead because they see the TV show, and it seems to be filtering down to the other books, too.
FLR: We're also aware that you're an advocate for creator-owned comics and creating comics for a younger generation. Is this how you came up with the idea for Super Dinosaur?
RK: Yeah, there's a lot going on with the comic book industry right now. One of the big problems is that they are not generating a lot of new ideas. The industry is focused on making Batman cool for a new generation. And making Spiderman cool for a new generation. And to a certain extent, creations from the 30s and from the 60s just have inherent problems for new generations of readers. Aside from the fact that Peter Parker works for a newspaper, something that people will not necessarily understand in the future. Moving 10, 15 and 20 years ahead there are aspects of these characters that just will not make sense.
In addition, over the last 20 years comic books have become more skewed toward older readers and have really abandoned the younger readership that comic books have traditionally enjoyed for decades and decades. I feel generating new ideas that bring younger readers into the medium is a lofty, worthy goal that I'm trying to accomplish.
FLR: We love Invincible. How do you keep that going so strong?
RK: Invincible is everything I've ever loved about superhero comics thrown into one book. It's every influence, every cool character, and every storyline twisted and turned into something new and original. It's my love letter to the genre.
There's a wealth of superhero storylines dating back 70-80 years to draw upon and comment on in the context of telling a new superhero story. The fuel for that is limitless. It really has been fun telling this kind of story, really about turning superhero comics on its ear – where usually the stories are about this, but wouldn't it be cooler to make it about this instead.
FLR: Who would win in a fight? Your beard or a Viltrumite mustache?
RK: Viltrumite mustache, hands down. My beard is awesome, don't get me wrong, but Viltrumite mustache has a lot more advantages - superpowers and all.
FLR: What are you currently reading, watching or listening to?
RK: I'm reading Saga, by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples. I'm a big fan of The Game of Thrones and Breaking Bad.
FLR: Anything specific you're sharing with your children?
RK: I'm trying to get my kids into the old comic books; I've been reading the classics like Stan Lee, the Spiderman stories, to my kids. I do try to get them into the Super Dinosaur stories, which they're not that into right now, which is upsetting at times but they like to pick on me. I'm trying to get them to be comic book readers, we'll see if it actually works out.
FLR: What else are you working on? We've heard about the Thief of Thieves being in development, can you tell us about that?
RK: It's a crime comic book, a heist story. About a guy named Conrad Paulson who is the greatest master thief who's ever lived, but he has a lot of regrets in his life. In order to become the Thief of Thieves, he became estranged from his wife and abandoned his son. Now he realizes what a mistake that was and wants to put his life back together. The comic book is really about his effort to use his skills as a thief to try to fix his life and help his son be a better person. AMC has optioned it as a TV show and is currently developing it to see if they can put it in on the air.
FLR: Do you have a favorite Walker kill from the Walking Dead?
RK: For emotional punch, we can't top the Bicycle Girl killing, recognizing the pain and sadness of being a member of the living dead, and him putting her out of her misery. Kind of a defining moment for the show.
FLR: We've heard about you doing the obstacle course in San Diego. Have you put an obstacle course in your backyard?
RK: No, I'm just going to continue to do that at obstacle courses. That's fine.
FLR: Do you have any advice for younger writers?
RK: When you're young and living at home, you have plenty of time to practice and you should utilize that advantage. It's definitely a hard job and you really just have to put the time in and realize that everyone is horrible when they first start out, and if it is something that you really care about you keep working at it.
FLR: Any truth to the rumor we've heard about a Walking Dead movie?
RK: Rumors are fun, but it's just that. One of those fun rumors that come out of nowhere and surprises everyone who should have known about it, including myself and AMC and other people involved. But, it's a lot of fun.
FLR: About Skybound, your imprint at Image Comics, is there anything you'd like to tell us about it?
RK: Launching in November is an excellent new series called Clone, a very grounded, human take on a science fiction story. It's about a guy who realizes that there's a bunch of clones out there. Someone's trying to kill the clones, and him as well. He's trying to unravel that mystery and keep himself alive.
Another series called Witch Doctor, that started a year ago, but it has a second mini-series also launching in November.
FLR: Anything you'd like to say to your fans?
RK: I guess, just thank you. I wouldn't be able to do all the fun stuff I do without the fans, so I really appreciate everyone taking the time to enjoy the work and continuing to support me over the years.
Browse our list of Robert Kirkman titles today. Also see the list of the author's interests as mentioned in the interview.
Also keep an eye out for Walking Dead: Road to Woodbury, Robert's second novel, which is due out October 16th. And also Thief of Thieves, Volume 1 coming November 21st.