Robert Kirkman
Kirkman at the 2023 San Diego Comic-Con
Born (1978-11-30) November 30, 1978 (age 45)
Lexington, Kentucky, U.S.
Area(s)Writer, publisher, producer
Notable works
AwardsInkpot Award (2012)[1]
Spouse(s)Sonia Kirkman

Robert Kirkman (/ˈkɜːrkmən/; born November 30, 1978)[3] is an American comic book writer, screenwriter, and producer. He is best known for co-creating The Walking Dead, Fear the Walking Dead, Invincible, Tech Jacket, Outcast, Oblivion Song, and Fire Power for Image Comics, in addition to writing Ultimate X-Men, Irredeemable Ant-Man and Marvel Zombies for Marvel Comics. He has also collaborated with Image Comics co-founder Todd McFarlane on the series Haunt.[4]

He is one of the five partners of Image Comics currently serving as COO, and the only one of the five who was not one of its co-founders.[5]

In 2010, Kirkman co-founded the entertainment company Skybound Entertainment in order to develop properties in traditional and new media, including comics, television, and film. The company also manages the license for The Walking Dead and Invincible. In 2018, Skybound expanded to create Skybound Games to develop video games based on its intellectual property.

Kirkman is also known for creating and producing the television series' Outcast and Invincible, both adaptations of his own comic book series. He has also written a number of episodes for The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead. He is executive producer of the AMC series Robert Kirkman's Secret History of Comics, and the Korean pre-apocalyptic drama, Five Year.[6]

Early life

Kirkman was born November 30, 1978,[3] in Lexington, Kentucky, and was raised in Cynthiana, Kentucky.[7]

Kirkman was a fan of zombie films such as the Night of the Living Dead series and Zombi 2 as well as zombie video games such as Resident Evil.[8]


His first comic book work was the 2000 superhero parody Battle Pope,[4] which he co-created with artist Tony Moore, self-published under the Funk-O-Tron label, and was adapted into a season of 8 animated webisodes that appeared on Spike TV's website in 2008.[9] Later, while pitching a new series, Science Dog, Kirkman and artist Cory Walker were hired to do a SuperPatriot miniseries for Image Comics. While working on that book, Kirkman and E. J. Su created the 2002 Image series Tech Jacket, which ran six issues, and the one-shot title, Cloudfall.

In 2003, Kirkman and Walker created Invincible for Image's new superhero line. The story surrounded the adolescent son of the world's most powerful superhero, who develops powers and starts his own superhero career. Walker later failed to meet the monthly title's deadlines and was replaced by Ryan Ottley.[10] In 2005, Paramount Pictures announced it had bought the rights to produce an Invincible feature film, and hired Kirkman to write the screenplay.[11] However, due to a lack of significant development, the rights expired and reverted to Kirkman.

Shortly after the launch of Invincible, Kirkman and Moore began The Walking Dead (2003). Kirkman said in 2012 that Image had balked at publishing a comics series featuring what it felt was simply another zombie story, prompting him to say the zombies were part of an alien plot—a notion he had no intention of using except as a means of selling the project.[12] Artist Charlie Adlard replaced Tony Moore with issue #7.[13] Moore continued to draw covers until issue 24 as well as the first four volumes of the trade paperbacks for the series.

Kirkman at the 2011 New York Comic Con

In 2003, Kirkman was hired by Marvel Comics to pen a revival of the 1990s Sleepwalker series,[14] but it was canceled before being published; the contents of its first issue were included in Epic Anthology No. 1 (2004). He soon became a mainstay at Marvel, writing the "Avengers Disassembled" issues of Captain America vol. 4, 2004's Marvel Knights 2099 one-shots event, Jubilee #1–6 and Fantastic Four: Foes #1–6, a two-year run on Ultimate X-Men and the entire Marvel Team-Up vol. 3 and the Irredeemable Ant-Man miniseries. He continued his exploration of zombies by creating the series Marvel Zombies, in which an alternative Marvel universe's superheroes become zombies.[15]

At Image, Kirkman and artist Jason Howard created the ongoing series The Astounding Wolf-Man, launching it on May 5, 2007, as part of Free Comic Book Day. Kirkman edited the monthly series Brit, based on the character he created for the series of one-shots, illustrated by Moore and Cliff Rathburn. It ran 12 issues.

Kirkman announced in 2007 that he and artist Rob Liefeld would team on a revival of Killraven for Marvel Comics.[16] Kirkman that year also said he and Todd McFarlane would collaborate on Haunt for Image Comics.[17]

In late July 2008, Kirkman was made a partner at Image Comics, thereby ending his freelance association with Marvel.[18][19] Nonetheless, later in 2009, he and Walker produced the five-issue miniseries The Destroyer vol. 4[20] for Marvel's MAX imprint.

In 2009, Kirkman and Marc Silvestri took over the 2009–2010 Pilot Season for Top Cow Comics. The 2009/2010 Pilot Season contains a series of five one-shot pilot comics that readers will be able to vote on which becomes an ongoing series. Each series is co-created by Silvestri who also provides cover art.[21]

In 2010, he also began producing the television adaption of his comic book series The Walking Dead,[22] the pilot of which was directed by Frank Darabont.[23] Kirkman has written or co-written seven episodes of the series. Kirkman also created and serves as an executive producer on the show's companion series, Fear the Walking Dead.[24]

In July 2010, Kirkman announced he would launch and run a new Image Comics imprint called Skybound Entertainment.[25]

On February 9, 2012, Tony Moore filed a lawsuit alleging that Kirkman, in 2005, had deceitfully engineered him into surrendering his rights to The Walking Dead comic book and eventual TV series in exchange for payments that never materialized. Kirkman said in a statement the following day that he and Moore "each had legal representation seven years ago and now he is violating the same contract he initiated and approved and he wants to misrepresent the fees he was paid and continues to be paid for the work he was hired to do."[26] Kirkman in turn sued Moore. On September 24, 2012, the two released a joint statement saying they had reached a settlement "to everyone's mutual satisfaction."[27]

Kirkman made an appearance in a 2012 episode of Adult Swim's Robot Chicken as himself where he tries to tell The Nerd and Daniel a hint, but gets eaten by the zombies.

In November 2013, Cinemax purchased a TV pilot based on Kirkman and artist Paul Azaceta's then-upcoming six-issue exorcism comics miniseries, Outcast.[28] The first issue of the comic was released in June 2014 to positive reviews.[29]

Kirkman was a producer of the science fiction thriller Air, which starred The Walking Dead's Norman Reedus, and Djimon Hounsou. The movie was released in 2015. It was the first feature film to be produced by Skybound Entertainment.[30][31]

Kirkman's latest[when?] television project known as Five Year will be a joint venture between Skybound and It will be filmed for TV in Korea and available everywhere on The pre-apocalyptic story centres on a family dealing with an impending meteor strike. It was picked up for an initial 1 season run of 16 episodes with a plan for 5 seasons. Filming begins in late 2016.[32]

Around November 7, 2016, Kirkman's production company Skybound Entertainment was set to produce a remake of the film An American Werewolf in London. The remake was to be written and directed by Max Landis, son of the original director John Landis. Kirkman and David Alpert would be executive producers on the film.[33] However, after the sexual misconduct allegations against Landis, it is currently unknown if it is still happening.

On April 4, 2017, it was announced that Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg would direct/write/produce a live-action adaptation of Invincible for Universal Pictures, with Kirkman also serving as a producer on the project.[34] In 2021, Kirkman reaffirmed that the project was still in the works.[35]

In 2018, it was announced that Amazon Prime Video had given a series order for an animated adaptation of Invincible for a first season consisting of eight episodes. Simon Racioppa serves as showrunner for the series and also serves as executive producer alongside Kirkman, David Alpert, Catherine Winder, Seth Rogen, and Evan Goldberg.[36][37] The series stars Steven Yeun, J. K. Simmons, Sandra Oh, Mark Hamill, Seth Rogen, Gillian Jacobs, Andrew Rannells, Zazie Beetz, Walton Goggins, Jason Mantzoukas, Zachary Quinto, Khary Payton, Chris Diamantopoulos, Malese Jow, Kevin Michael Richardson, and Grey Griffin. In April 2021, the series was renewed for a second and third season.[38]

Kirkman pitched the story for Renfield, a horror-comedy about Count Dracula's henchman Renfield. The film was announced by Universal Pictures in November 2019. It is directed by Chris McKay and stars Nicholas Hoult and Nicolas Cage as Renfield and Dracula, respectively.[39]

In February 2023, it was announced that Kirkman would reunite with Lorenzo De Felici to launch Void Rivals, a new series that would kick-off a new shared comic universe.[40] In June 2023, it was later revealed that the book would launch the Energon Universe and that Kirkman's production company, Skybound, would publish comics based on Transformers and G.I. Joe.[41]

Personal life

Kirkman and his wife live in Kentucky.[42][43] Their son was born on April 25, 2006.[44]


Robert Kirkman with the Fauve d'honneur at the 2020 Angoulême International Comics Festival
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (June 2020)

In 2020, he was granted a special award ("Fauve d'honneur") at the Angoulême International Comics Festival for his overall achievement.[45]




Year Title Director Writer Producer
2023 Renfield No Story Yes


The Walking Dead

Kirkman has written a number of The Walking Dead TV episodes.

Fear the Walking Dead

Fear the Walking Dead is a companion series to The Walking Dead, set in Los Angeles, California and starting prior to the apocalypse. Robert Kirkman is co-creator of the series alongside Dave Erickson. He is also an executive producer and has co-written episodes of the series.


Outcast is a horror series based on the comic series of the same name on Cinemax.


Invincible is an animated adaptation of the comic series of the same name on Amazon Prime Video. Kirkman, in addition to serving as creator and executive producer, wrote the series premiere and the season one finale, as well as the special episode Invincible: Atom Eve.


  1. ^ Inkpot Award
  2. ^ "Smodcast". SModcast.
  3. ^ a b Löchel, Ingo. "The Walking Dead: Die Comic-Serie – Robert Kirkman". Zauberspiegel. Retrieved February 17, 2013.
  4. ^ a b "WonderCon Special Guests"; Comic-Con magazine; Winter 2010; Page 19
  5. ^ "Frequently Asked Questions". Archived from the original on July 16, 2011. Retrieved October 25, 2010.
  6. ^ "Robert Kirkman". Image Comics. Retrieved December 27, 2023.
  7. ^ "Kentuckian who created 'Walking Dead' comes home for a chat". Lexington Herald-Leader. Kentucky. October 26, 2012. Archived from the original on April 23, 2016. Retrieved January 25, 2016.
  8. ^ Shuman, Sid (January 13, 2009). "Robert Kirkman speaks: The Walking Dead creator talks video games and zombies". PC World. Archived from the original on October 20, 2021. Retrieved March 14, 2022.
  9. ^ "Shooting the Papal Bull: Kirkman talks Animated Battle Pope". Comic Book Resources. April 24, 2008. Retrieved September 22, 2015.
  10. ^ "Robert Kirkman on Invincible", IGN, 2007-12-10. Retrieved on March 15, 2008.
  11. ^ "Feeling 'Invincible'", Variety, 2005-03-01. Retrieved on March 15, 2008.
  12. ^ Johnston, Rich (February 27, 2012). "The Walking Dead Alien Invasion That Never Was – Robert Kirkman At Image Comics Expo". Archived from the original on March 3, 2012.
  13. ^ The Walking Dead (Image, 2003 series) at the Grand Comics Database.
  14. ^ Weiland, Jonah (October 22, 2003). "Kirkman revives Sleepwalker for Marvel this February". Comic Book Resources.
  15. ^ Jasper, Gavin (September 8, 2021). "A Beginner's Guide to Marvel Zombies". Den of Geek. Retrieved September 11, 2021.
  16. ^ "Wizard World Chicago 2007: Rob Liefeld and Robert Kirkman to Breathe New Life into Killraven". August 14, 2007. Retrieved March 15, 2008.
  17. ^ "Todd McFarlane and Robert Kirkman Announce 'Haunt'". August 3, 2007. Archived from the original on October 11, 2011. Retrieved March 15, 2008.
  18. ^ Writer of the Undead Is Reborn as a Partner at Image Comics, The New York Times, July 22, 2008
  19. ^ Robert Kirkman: Image Partner, Done at Marvel, Newsarama, July 22, 2008
  20. ^ Per The Unofficial Handbook of Marvel Comics Creators, the earlier volumes Archived August 8, 2009, at the Wayback Machine star an unrelated character adapted from The Destroyer  series of novels: The Destroyer (1989–1990), The Destroyer vol. 2 (1991) and The Destroyer vol. 3 (1991–1992)
  21. ^ Wigler, Josh (November 25, 2009). "Robert Kirkman Takes Over 'Pilot Season'". Comic Book Resources.
  22. ^ "Dispatches From the Set – Comic Creator and Series Executive Producer Robert Kirkman". AMC. June 21, 2010. Retrieved October 11, 2011.
  23. ^ "Dispatches From the Set – Writer, Director and Executive Producer Frank Darabont". AMC. June 9, 2010. Archived from the original on January 16, 2012. Retrieved October 11, 2011.
  24. ^ Ross, Dalton (January 16, 2015). "Robert Kirkman says 'Walking Dead' spinoff will be 'startlingly different'". Entertainment Weekly.
  25. ^ Armitage, Hugh (July 20, 2010). "Robert Kirkman launches Skybound imprint". Digital Spy.
  26. ^ Molloy, Tim (February 10, 2012). "'Walking Dead's' Robert Kirkman Joked About Tricking Illustrators —- Then Got Sued by His". Archived from the original on February 12, 2012.
  27. ^ Molloy, Tim (September 24, 2012). "'Walking Dead' Writer, Artist Settle Lawsuits". TheWrap. Retrieved September 24, 2012.
  28. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (November 11, 2013). "Robert Kirkman's Exorcism Drama 'Outcast' Lands at Cinemax (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter.
  29. ^ "Outcast By Kirkman & Azaceta" Archived February 20, 2015, at the Wayback Machine. Comic Book Roundup. Retrieved February 20, 2015.
  30. ^ Ross, Dalton (July 23, 2014). "New photo of Norman Reedus in 'AIR' (with intel from Robert Kirkman)" Archived April 9, 2019, at the Wayback Machine. Entertainment Weekly.
  31. ^ Feloni, Richard (October 9, 2014). "Watch Out Marvel & DC: 'The Walking Dead' Company Has A Plan To Steal Your Thunder". Business Insider.
  32. ^ "Robert Kirkman and Skybound Announce Korean Drama, Five Year". IGN. February 25, 2016. Retrieved March 25, 2016.
  33. ^ Busch, Anita (November 7, 2016). "'An American Werewolf In London' Remake On Way With Max Landis & 'The Walking Dead' Producers At Universal". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on December 24, 2017. Retrieved November 8, 2016.
  34. ^ "Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg to Adapt Robert Kirkman Comic 'Invincible' for Universal (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. April 4, 2017. Retrieved May 2, 2021.
  35. ^ "'Invincible' live-action movie will exist separate from Amazon's animated series". Retrieved May 2, 2021.
  36. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (June 19, 2018). "Amazon Greenlights 'Invincible' Superhero Animated Series From Robert Kirkman". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 2, 2021.
  37. ^ Littleton, Cynthia (June 19, 2018). "Amazon Orders Animated Series 'Invincible' From 'Walking Dead' Creator Robert Kirkman". Variety. Retrieved May 2, 2021.
  38. ^ Otterson, Joe (April 29, 2021). "'Invincible' Renewed for Seasons 2 and 3 at Amazon". Variety. Retrieved May 2, 2021.
  39. ^ Kroll, Justin (April 13, 2021). "'Tomorrow War' Director Chris McKay Boards 'Renfield'; Universal's Latest Monster Movie Focused on Character From 'Dracula'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 2, 2021.
  40. ^ "ROBERT KIRKMAN & LORENZO DE FELICI LAUNCH A NEW SHARED COMICS UNIVERSE IN VOID RIVALS #1". Skybound Entertainment. February 24, 2023. Retrieved June 24, 2023.
  41. ^ "TRANSFORMERS AND G.I. JOE LAUNCH NEW SHARED COMIC BOOK UNIVERSE!". Skybound Entertainment. June 14, 2023. Retrieved June 24, 2023.
  42. ^ "A Time to Kill Time". Conan. Season 3. Episode 58. March 7, 2013. TBS.
  43. ^ Truitt, Brian (March 7, 2011). "'The Infinite' teams Image's past and present". USA Today. Retrieved March 7, 2011.
  44. ^ "Buy My Books". CBR. June 14, 2006. Archived from the original on October 10, 2012. Retrieved March 15, 2008.
  45. ^ Antoine Oury (January 29, 2020). "Robert Kirkman, cocréateur de The Walking Dead, honoré au FIBD d'Angoulême". ActuaLitté..
Preceded byKurt BusiekBrandon Thomas Youngblood writer 2004 Succeeded byJoe Casey Preceded byRobert Morales Captain America writer 2004 Succeeded byEd Brubaker Preceded byTom PeyerGlenn Herdling Marvel Team-Up writer 2004–2006 Succeeded byEve Ewing Preceded byBrian K. Vaughan Ultimate X-Men writer 2006–2008 Succeeded byAron Eli Coleite