Except don’t blame Daryl, because he’s a crossbow-wielding light in dark places. Screw it, blame Andrea. Everybody blames her for everything anyway. Not that they should.
Robert Kirkman, creator of The Walking Dead comics and executive producer on the TV show, opened up at an Amazing Arizona Comic Con panel about the differences between the two; for example, how in the show Shane hung around until the end of the farm storyline, while in the comics he was actually Rick’s pet chihuahua and took of to Boca before the zombie apocalypse even happened.
Can you tell I haven’t read the comics?
But, in all seriousness, there’s a rather interesting reason the show has diverged so much from its original canon material: The presence of fan-favorite Daryl, whom Jill tells me doesn’t exist in the comics (I am shocked), necessitated that a lot of the plot be retooled. Put simply, he’s not gonna sit idly by with his crossbow in his lap and not have a major impact on how the story develops.
Says Kirkman, presumably in response to a question about whether Daryl will ever make his way to the printed page:
“I guess it wouldn’t be a bad thing if Daryl Dixon showed up in the comic. But I don’t know. I really like the separation. I like that when we sit down to write the show one of the first things we deal with is: ‘How does Daryl Dixon change this story?’ Because we always start from: ‘Ok, we like this part of the comic. How are we going to do it?’
And it’s just always interesting to get in there and be like, ‘Oh, well his existence and the fact that his personality is this, and he would behave this way, means that he would react to this person differently than this and differently than that.’ And it’s just really a great thing for the show that he doesn’t exist in the comic. And I really like that.
But yeah, I don’t know. It would be cool if he was in the comic, but I don’t really have any plans on doing that. But I guess he would be the one if I was going to pull any character from the show into the comic, it would be him. Mostly just because I love Norman [Reedus]. Handsome dude.”
The way Kirkman presents the relationship between the comic and the show is intriguing. It’s almost like AMC’s version is a fanfic AU of the original, except instead of an obnoxious two-dimensional OC sent in to mix things up for our main characters, we get Norman Reedus. It’s the best possible alternative. If there’s a single person on planet Earth who doesn’t love him, I don’t want to know about it. As a non-comics reader, it’s hard for me to imagine The Walking Dead without Daryl. Next you’ll be telling me that no one wears a poncho, or Shane died really early on. Crazy.