EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Artist Charlie Adlard Reflects on THE WALKING DEAD Issue #83 & It's Relation to the TV Series
Published: August 17, 2011 - 9:21am
Spoiler Warning: I caught up with the acclaimed artist of Robert Kirkman's zombie apocalypse comic series to discuss what many fans believe to be the most shocking comic panel of the year and perhaps one of the most haunting images ever; Plus Adlard believes AMC should not shy away from doing the same.
During the 'No Way Out' story arc, fans of the comic series The Walking Dead were treated to yet another shocker and bad day for main character Rick Grimes as his son Carl was accidentally blasted with a gunshot to the face. At the end of issue #83, we find out that Carl has been struck by a bullet directly to the eye causing what appeared to be a fatal wound, although he was not immediately killed by the horrific injury.
The two page spread of Carl Grimes' gunshot wound to the face as he says "Dad?" is without a doubt one of the most shocking images in comic history and yet one of the most effective and emotionally heart-breaking pieces of art that Walking Dead artist Charlie Adlard has ever created. "Considering Robert (Kirkman) didn't tell me about what he intended to do to Carl, it was a shock for me too when I read the script. But in a good way, obviously," said Adlard.
"My only question to Robert was – 'is this survivable?' He drew a quick sketch of the wound, you see... And, believe it or not, there wasn't much research on the net for 'eye wounds', so I had to pretty much invent the whole 'hole'... The trick was, though, in the end, to capture that look of surprise more than agony on Carl's face. That was the challenge - hopefully I pulled it off."
Fans of the comic series know that this is not the first time Carl has been shot and definitely not the first time children have been put in jeopardy, at times with fatal and brutal outcomes. In the trailer for AMC's second season of The Walking Dead we are given glimpses of the first time Carl is shot as we see Rick carrying him through a field, trying to keep his son alive. When asked if the TV show should shy away from violence towards children, Adlard believes they should not.
"Of course the show should put children in jeopardy. I think that's a given. Otherwise, what's the point in having those characters there? I don't think it's particularly brave of the comic and the TV show to do such things - it's just a product of good, logical storytelling. Anything else is just a cop out."