"The cat is out of the bag: Robert Kirkman's The Walking Dead comic book series has come to an end with issue #193. In keeping with the tradition of unexpected deaths and plot turns, the general public was unaware of the series end until news started leaking yesterday. Skybound, Kirkman, and Charlie Adlard even went as far as releasing cover art for issues #194 and #195, which obviously aren't getting made.
Kirkman penned a multi-page letter in the final issue of The Walking Dead, saying that this is something that's been in the planning stages for a while, even though he doesn't want it to end:
“I’ll say it again, I love (loved… oh, god, I’m not ready for past tense) writing this series. I really don’t want it to end. In fact, I’ve been… kind of unsettled since I wrote the script for this issue. The whole thing just feels… weird... In a way, killing this series has been a lot like killing a major character. Much, much harder… but the same feeling. I don’t WANT to do it. I’d rather keep going… but the story is telling me what it wants and what it needs. This needs to happen. Whether I want it or not.”
"Here's the official announcement from Image Comics regarding the series and reprint plans:
TODAY’S SHOCKING THE WALKING DEAD #193 ISSUE IMMEDIATELY RUSHED BACK TO PRINT
PORTLAND, Ore. 07/03/2019 — Image/Skybound is pleased to announce that THE WALKING DEAD #193 by Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard—which hit shelves today and concluded the long-running comic book series—is being rushed back to print in order to keep up with customer demand as the news of the book’s contents goes viral.
This final chapter in the bestselling zombie saga was hinted at by the events of issue THE WALKING DEAD #192—but kept secret and surprise-dropped with fans today.
THE WALKING DEAD #193 2nd printing (Diamond Code MAY198901) will hit stores on Wednesday, July 31. The final order cutoff for comic shop retailers to get their orders in to restock this 80-page issue is Monday, July 8."
"Eric Stephenson, Publisher and Chief Creative Officer at Image Comics, added: "THE WALKING DEAD has always been full of twists, but one thing that has never been surprising is Robert Kirkman’s absolute commitment to telling the best story he could on his own terms. Other comic books traffic in the illusion of change, but Robert and his collaborators embraced actual change, so it’s only fitting that THE WALKING DEAD end by confronting the biggest change of all—a resolution to the story Robert began over 15 years ago. It’s testament not only to Robert’s and Charlie’s abilities that THE WALKING DEAD #193 is such a fitting farewell, but also to the possibilities available to anyone in the creative community when they are allowed to tell stories the way they want."