Sunday, November 21, 2010

Why Rick Grimes?

This is Brandon Whaley's choice, so you'll have to ask him for the definitive answer, and I expect you to do so in the comments, and he'll answer, but I think I know exactly why.

Rick Grimes is the centre of the Walking Dead title. He might not be your favourite, and he might not always have the spotlight, and he might not even be likeable sometimes, but he is the glue that holds the other disparate pieces all together. You'd call him the rock except for the fact we've seen him crumble far too many times before. But yet he remains. He's the constant, if you will, and I get the feeling he'll be the only thing we can rely on in this book that does not shy away from constantly throwing you curveballs that cannot be hit.

It doesn't help there is also a smash hit tv show based on this story. Andrew Lincoln has completely inhabited the role, even in just 3 quick episodes. He's shown the true heart of this character, the emotion, and you feel for him. If only the character knew what was to come like we do. Poor bastard.

I don't know what the others have in store for Rick, but I'm sure it's not going to be nice. Things aren't even nice for Rick, and yet he continues. You can't keep a good man down, and Rick is the best.

As is the eternal rule of The Walking Dead, no spoilers please. I'm sure some aspects will be touched upon, that's the nature of our scripts, but please no one go out and ruin one of the best kept secrets in comics.

Rick Grimes is created by Robert Kirkman and Tony Moore, with much help from Charlie Adlard over the years, and we thank them for this chance to write such a great character.


  1. I'm scared of this one. I've only read issue #1 of the comic, and seen the first few episodes of the show, so I don't really know the character... but I want to.

  2. This is going to be rough dealing with spoilers. I've got through the eleventh trade of The Walking Dead, and even I'm afraid of having the 12th trade spoiled for me. Truly a unique phenomenon in comicdom.

  3. Since I always forget we are going by Australian time, Ryan beat me to it, but what I was going to say was basically what he said, so it works. I'm looking forward to this one!

  4. "Look Before You Leap" by J.D. Coughlan

    The Premise: Rick has been away from the group for a few days without food or water. Returning to their camp in the woods, Rick finds his friends dead, and a stranger with a gun standing over them.

    PAGE ???

    A series of small, tight panels, 3 by 12.

    1) Rick, enraged, leaps onto the shotgun-wielding Stranger, who is damned surprised.


    2) Rick has tackled the Stranger to the ground. The Stranger's shotgun discharges from the impact.

    RICK: You killed them!

    SFX: BLAM!

    3) Rick is now madly punching the Stranger, who struggles against him, trying to push him off with the shotgun. Rick's eyes are wide and manic.

    STRANGER: W-Wait--

    RICK: Shut up!

    4) Close-up of Rick now, his madness very clear in his expression. We cannot see the Stranger in this panel, and Rick is just as blinded; his eyes still glazed over.

    RICK: They were all--!

    5) Close-up of the Stranger getting punched hard by Rick.

    RICK: (Off-panel) They were all--!

    6) Rick is holding his bloody fist in front of himself. Sane emotion has returned to his face as he realises the immensity of what has happened.

    7) Same, but Rick is now holding his head downward, casting a shadow over his features. His bloodied hand now cradles his head.

    RICK: (Small) They were all I had...

    8) Rick's POV of the Stranger, beaten up badly.

    STRANGER: (Shaky) Look... Look at them...

    9) Rick looking to his right, his eyes wide, this time with horror at what he sees.

    10) Rick's POV: The dead bodies are not of the group, but rather long dead zombies with head wounds.

    11) Rick standing up over the Stranger. Looking at his hands now with disgust.

    RICK: Oh God...

    RICK: Oh God...

    12) The Stranger lying on the ground.

    STRANGER: (Shaky) I don't know... who you were looking for...

    STRANGER: (Shaky) ...but they were long gone by the time I got here...

  5. @JDC - I cdon't mind this script - being one page here I kind of saw the reveal coming (though I thought it would be that his camp was all zombies - which I'm sure he'd find a few people missing and chase them all down) but I think in the context of the comic this would actually work really well.

    I think the panel structure works, because of the way the comic is often structured, dense - but I think some of the panels might want to show more action than they'll have room for. Something to think about.

  6. This is the last page from a 5 or 6 issue miniseries set about 20 years in the future from the day of the zombie outbreak. “The Walking Dead: Ghosts” is the name of the series. We see a much older and broken Rick who has somehow managed to survive all these years in a world that only gets more and more dangerous by the day. Throughout this first issue we get a feel for Rick’s group - they’re all brand new faces. The dynamic is familiar with Rick assuming a quiet but confident control over the group. It’s one of the smaller groups we’ve seen. Just about 8 people. The group has set up camp and moved on - always on the move - throughout the comic as we get introduced to everyone. Everyone, that is, except for the young boy who looks an awful lot like a certain young Carl Grimes, sheriff’s hat and all, that is always within arm reach of Rick.

    The Walking Dead: Ghosts
    #1 - The Way We Are

    Page 22 (7 panels)

    Panel 1. Rick has a saddle over his shoulder as he looks down at the young boy who is eating. The others are packing up their equipment in the background.

    Finish up here. I’ll go tend to the horses and get them ready.

    Panel 2. Rick is away from the camp which we can see is far off behind him. He’s approaching the small fenced-in area where the horses were tied up last night. We see him from what would basically be the viewpoint of the horses from behind the fence. Rick’s eyes are wide in shock.


    Panel 3. Rick has ran up to the fence and we can now see what greeted him from over his shoulder. It’s a note nailed to the fence with the following text written on it which the reader can plainly see.

    We have your boy. We remember. See you in Woodsbury.

    RICK (small):

    Panel 4. The boy has caught up with Rick now totting his gear with him. Rick has crumpled the letter in his fist and is looking down at the ground.

    What’s wrong?

    Change of plans. We’re going back to Woodsbury.

    Woodsbury? But isn’t that where...?

    Panel 5. Close-up on Rick from the collar bone up. He’s rubbing an old scar from a rope burn around his neck and we can see a scar from an old cut on the side of his face where his beard doesn’t grow anymore. His eyes are dead.

    Yeah, but I haven’t been back since. Thought we burned the place down. Of course it’s survived. Only the truly shitty things survive anymore.

    Panel 6. We get a similar viewpoint of the boy, and for the first time in the series we get a clear view of him. He looks very similar to Carl at that age, but not quite a perfect match. The boy looks scared, which, having grown up only knowing of a world full of zombies and psychopaths, is quite the statement.

    RICK (O/P):
    Your dad’s group must have gotten into it pretty deep. I told him there wasn’t anything worth finding back at that old prison.

    Panel 7. Hero shot of Rick with the boy standing behind him.

    Pack it up Dale. We’re headin’ to Georgia.

    The boy is Rick’s grandson, Carl’s son. We would learn through the series that Carl, now a leader of his own group with his wife and his son, who he named in honor of Dale, had a real falling out with Rick after years of tension. Carl definitely followed in his father’s footsteps of leadership and doing what others aren’t able or willing to do to protect the group. Carl met up with Rick’s group after years to introduce him for the first time to Dale - the grandson he never knew existed. He asked Rick to take care of Dale while he leads a trip back to the prison in Georgia. The idea of the series is that these characters never have any time to deal with the heaps of PTSD and grief they’ve developed over time, not once in 20 years. They're always on the move, desperate just to live to the next day. Finally they all have an opportunity to pause, take a breath, and take a look back. It’d be an end cap to the series that focuses on Rick dealing with his greatest mistake and everything he’s lost since the beginning.

  7. That's the last page from the first issue I meant, in case there's any confusion since I wasn't real clear in that first paragraph.

  8. @Brandon: Yeah, we're 17hrs ahead of you, so our Sunday starts at 7am on your Friday :P

    @JDC: 12 panels would be really really small, so I'm not sure you'd see much in them, especially after the speech-bubbles are taken into account. Other than that, I liked it. It was obvious that the stranger had shot zombies, not Rick's group, but I assumed it was his group who had been turned :)

    @Paul: Wow, you really plan out these stories. Although I haven't read TWD, this sounds like it would make for a fine sequel.

  9. @Brandon: I meant 7am Saturday... haha

  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

  11. Paul - I like the title of your tale. I'm not sure anyone's going to buy that this kid is Carl when Rick has aged and it's 20 years in the future, but the kid is a kid...unless I'm reading something wrong...?

    Otherwise, it's a great tale and finding out what could separate Rick and Carl would be awesome to read. Top stuff.

  12. Turkey Day

    (9 Panels)

    PANEL 1: The Panel should be a clear homage to Norman Rockwell’s “Freedom from Want”, with RICK GRIMES, his family, and his friends filling the role of the people around the table. RICK is at the head of the table with his wife being the one to put the turkey on the table. There should be no signs of wear or tear about any of them, as if the events of THE WALKING DEAD haven’t taken place at all.

    Only RICK looks as though he realizes there’s something amiss with the scene, but he just doesn’t know what. This is because he is currently dreaming, and his mind hasn’t yet caught up with where he is. RICK looks out at the people around him with an expression showing he has no idea what to think. No one else around the table seems to notice this.

    The image and those that follow should have a quality to it that suggests this is all in RICK’s head, in order to allow readers the potential to predict that this is a dream RICK is having, but without spelling it out.

    RICK: (Caption) This isn’t right…

    PANEL 2: Panel looks out at the scene from an opposite angle over RICK’s shoulder, giving a better image of the people around the table.

    RICK: (Caption) I won’t lie, I would love to believe this is the real world.

    PANEL 3: RICK looks to his wife, who hands him the knife and fork to cut the turkey with.

    RICK: (Caption) But I know there’s something about this scene that’s all wrong.

    PANEL 4-6: These are small panels, each zoomed in on the head of one or two people in the room to highlight that RICK is looking around the room at the people gathered with him.

    RICK: (Caption)I don’t know what the real world should be…

    …but some of these people should be dead…


    PANEL 7: Panel looks up at RICK from above where the TURKEY is sitting on the table in order to keep it off-panel. RICK has begun cutting into it.

    RICK: (Caption) Maybe I should just enjoy it while I…

    TURKEY: (Off-Panel) rrreeeeeeeehhhh…

    PANEL 8: The panel reveals the source of the noise as it looks down at the TURKEY, still with the knife and fork sticking into them. It has been replaced with a zombified version of RICK GRIMES head, though with zombified turkey legs sticking out of the sides of it.

    PANEL 9: Close up on RICK’s face. He has a look of shock at what he’s just seen, with his eyes open as wide as possible. It should be clear that if the scene were moved forward only a moment or two more, we would see RICK in the process of loosing it completely.


    The first panel of the next page would have Rick waking up in a cold sweat, revealing that it was all just a nightmare.

    I’ve never actually read Walking Dead at all (zombies just aren’t my thing – Zombieland being the rare exception), and was planning on skipping this week, but then this came to me and I just had to write it, considering it’s feels so appropriate for the week of Thanksgiving. :-)

  13. Another pass for me. Let's see what everyone comes up with.

  14. Thanks for the input, guys.

    I did think the panels might be a bit small, and I actually flicked through the first TWD trade just to see if there was anything similar. There wasn't, but it really got to me how much the characters smiled back then, compared to now, and that was just from casually flicking through. Man, this series has changed.

  15. Thanks Ryan. I should have explained this in my post, but the idea is that no one interacts with the kid except Rick throughout the whole issue, and the kid doesn't say much either. The two of them are always together, and Rick never identifies him. You never get a clear view of the kid either. The idea is that, since no one mentions Carl, the reader is to think that Rick has really gone off the deep end and Carl died sometime before the story - the boy in the story would then be a hallucination of Rick's. Only he's not - he's really Rick's grandson!

  16. Hey Paul - of course, that makes sense and I shold have picked up on that. A great bait and switch, I like it.

  17. No problem, it's hard to pick up just from one page without knowing how it would play out in the other 22 pages. Thanks for the compliment!

  18. Rick Grimes…..Target Practice
    (Has nothing to do with the story of walking dead, just the characters)

    Panel 1. Close up on ricks eyes, brow is furrowed, sweat is dripping from his eye brows.

    Rick - if you want to take that shot…you’re gonna have to get through me.

    Shane (off panel) – don’t be so cocky rick…

    Panel 2. Rick, stands spread legged, bent at the knees on his guard. A basketball hoop is in the background in front of a fence, walkers on the far side. Glenn stands behind Rick, as rick seems to be keeping him back with his right arm.

    Rick – go ahead….shoot

    Voice (off Panel) – Ok Dad

    Panel 3. Carl lunging forward, shooting a basketball towards the hoop (like a little kid would), Rick and Glenn watch as the ball passes over their heads. Shane is joyfully jumping in the air.

  19. @Michael: Nice one! I really liked that. It made me smile :) You think there's guns involved... and then they're just playing basketball. It was a nice little twist and a very fun page.

  20. just so i get full credit...Michael is actually Murray51186 i cant log on to that account at work, o and thanks Danial love the site


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