– by David Kozlowski

Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead series have shown us the American South, Southern California, and a fair bit of Mexico, but not a helluva lot else. So after eight years of zombie killing and human hunting, a fair number of questions about the bigger picture remain open. And now we’re getting a little bit of insight from Kirkman himself… kind of.

Aside from the obvious questions regarding Rick’s inability to learn from his mistakes, Daryl’s illogical decision-making, and the general idiocy of wasting ammunition in a post-apocalyptic world — hallmarks of both Walking Dead series, don’t expect these to change.

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More important, how does Kirkman’s universe actually function? What’s happening (if anything) in the rest of the world? Is anyone close to find a cure or some other way to stop the zombies? Noted horror expert and fanboy Stephen King raises a particularly key point:

Kirkman is probably hounded by such questions, which probably gets annoying. In the ‘Letter Hacks’ section of The Walking Dead comic, issue #177, he addresses how many humans remain alive on the planet:

“It’s about 1.6 million humans total, worldwide. There are VAST dead zones out there. There’s like TEN people living in all of Montana. Canon.”

I guess we’ll just have to trust him on that one. ComicBook relates that Kirkman had previously described the ration of dead to living as: 5,000:1. However, it’s a bit problematic seeking answers in the comics, as Kirkman often deviates from them, according to TheWrap.

Kirkman then goes on to explain how he misdirects and outright lies to his fans, as necessary:

“The name of the game as a writer is not limiting yourself for the future. In my opinion, at least. I’d never answer this in a letters column because if later I decide they’re going to find a place with millions of people, you can say, ‘No wait! In the letters column for #177 you said this!’ I also intentionally mislead in the letters column from time to time to steer eagle-eyed readers away from the upcoming plot threads. That’s fun.”

Yeah, it’s a real knee-slapper.

AMC has plans to extend and expand The Walking Dead universe, so maybe we’ll get definitive answers to these and other unresolved questions. Maybe not. It’s all up to Kirkman, and by his own admission, he might be lying. (It’s all just fiction anyway, right?)

Are you a diehard or casual The Walking Dead fan? Are you still watching one or both series? Let us know in the comments down below!

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SOURCE: ComicBook, Twitter, TheWrap

David Kozlowski is a writer, podcaster, and visual artist. A U.S. Army veteran, David worked 20 years in the videogame industry and is a graduate of Arizona State University's Film and Media Studies.