In many ways The Walking Dead showrunner Scott Gimple has it easier than other showrunners because TWD is based off of Robert Kirkman’s best-selling comic of the same name. Still, since stepping up into the showrunner position at the start of Season 4 last fall, Scott has prided himself on “remixing” Robert’s beloved comics. meaning he uses certain storylines and borrows some aspects from others, but he also makes the show it’s own unique art form.
The Lizzie/Mika storyline from Episode 14: “The Grove” for example is like the Ben/Billy arc from the comics. Even Carl Grimes’ (Chandler Riggs) near-rape in the Season 4 finale was lifted directly from the comics, though the circumstances were slightly different.
So it makes sense then that at least one fan was curious to know how Scott and the rest of TWD’s creative team (which includes RK) decide whether or not to follow the comics. Scott answered this very question in a recent fan Q&A courtesy of AMCTV.com. “There are a few things going on with that. There’s so much in our current timeline that doesn’t match up with the comic when they were at this stage of the story,” he explained. “Plus, there were characters that get on the show like Daryl that weren’t even in the comic. So right there there’s a basis for things to be different.”
Still, as a huge TWD comic book fan himself, Scott makes it clear that he loves incorporating stories from the comics into the show. “What’s cool is we can tell the comic stories sometimes kind of verbatim, sometimes in different ways, sometimes a sort of combination. It’s something we have to do now, and I think it’s something we can use to our advantage. I’d say one of the things I love doing on the show is taking things I love in the comic books and hitting them even harder. Robert Kirkman’s given us an incredible roadmap — an incredible piece of music that we can do a lot of stuff to remix. We have to be like Steve Aoki.”
There we go again with that music metaphor, but it’s actually a pretty apt way of describing how Scott and the others sync the two TWD mediums. We know that we’re expected to meet even more comic book characters in Season 5 and we can’t wait!
Do you think Scott has done a good job “remixing” the comics so far? Tell us how you feel in the comments below!
The Walking Dead Season 5 premieres in October 2014 on AMC.