**WARNING: THIS POST INCLUDES A HUGE SPOILER FOR READERS OF THE WALKING DEAD COMIC. IF YOU DON’T WANT TO KNOW WHAT THAT SPOILER IS, AND YOU’RE A REGULAR READER, YOU MUST PICK UP TOMORROW’S ISSUE.**

Well, this is a bit of a shocker.

Tomorrow’s issue of The Walking Dead will be the final issue.

This will come as a surprise to long-time readers as The Walking Dead #193 has not been promoted as the end. In fact, readers have been led to believe that more issues were on the way.

But they’re not.

This is the end.

There are no other issues.

Robert Kirkman, the creator of The Walking Dead, took to Twitter today to hint that something big was about to happen. In a tweet, he said: “Details about this issue will more than likely start to leak today. If you’d prefer not to be spoiled, I would recommend being very careful online until the issue is released on Wednesday. It’s a big issue in more ways than one. #understatementoftheyear”

In a more detailed statement (via IGN), Kirkman said: “The Walking Dead has always been built on surprise. Not knowing what’s going to happen when you turn the page, who’s going to die, how they’re going to die… it’s been ESSENTIAL to the success of this series. It’s been the lifeblood that’s been keeping it going all these years, keeping people engaged.

“It just felt WRONG and against the very nature of this series not to make the actual end as surprising as all the big deaths.”

He added:

“Oddly, as unsure as I feel about ending the story, I feel confident in how I ended it.

“I hope it makes you happy, too. Even if you’re upset at not getting to spend time in this world anymore.

“I’m upset, too. I’m going to miss it as much as you will, if not more so. It breaks my heart that I had to end it, and we have to move on… but I just love this world too much to stretch things out until it doesn’t live up to what I want it to be.

“I hope you understand.

“I hope you, dear reader, know how much I appreciate the gift you have given me. I got to tell my story exactly how I wanted to, for 193 issues, and end it on my terms, with no interference at all along the way… at any point. That’s such a rare thing, and it doesn’t exist without the unyielding support this series got from readers like you. Thank you so much.”

You can read Kirkman’s statement in full over on IGN.

Thoughts?

I used to read The Walking Dead when it first started being published as trades (before it became a TV show) and I thought it was amazing. Over the course of time I parted ways with the book, but not because it ever dropped in quality, but because other things came up to distract me.

I always figured I’d return to The Walking Dead at some point in the future, to see how it all ended. I never expected that ending to come now.

I’m shocked that it’s over.