The Walking Dead’s 100th issue made history on the same day it was released-July 11th-when it instantly sold out of its 383,612 and became the best-selling comic book in initial orders for any publisher since 1997. The title was first held by Image Comics/Top Cow’s The Darkness#11. In honor of reaching the milestone of 100 issues, at least 13 variant covers were produced for the issue and all of them sold out.
The Walking Dead, is created and written by Kirkman with art by Charlie Adlard. Kirkman is a partner of Image comics and was the first person invited to join the publisher. Responding to the exciting news, Robert Kirkman stated, “The Walking Dead continues to greatly exceed all my expectations in all forms. I am especially excited for what this means for comics as an industry, that this is an independent comic hitting that number.” Kirkman continued, “The future of comics couldn’t be brighter as more and more readers are embracing new ideas in a big way.”
Since its inception twenty years ago, Image has been the comic book industry’s premier publisher of creator-owned comics. The company also responded to the news with this statement from Image Comics Publisher Eric Stephenson. “This is a remarkable achievement. It’s extremely uncommon, if not flat-out rare, for a comic book to see a sustained increase in sales following its first issue, but The Walking Dead steadily climbed up and up since its launch in 2003, and we couldn’t be more proud of Robert, Charlie and the whole Walking Dead team.”
At SDCC, there have been multiple celebrations in honor of The Walking Dead’s one hundredth issue. On Wednesday night, Hyundai, Future US, and Kirkman’s Skybound imprint at Image Comics unveiled the Kirkman-designed Zombie Survival Machine from a transformed Hyundai Elantra Coupe. Kirkman will give away a Hyundai Elantra GT that’s wrapped in Charlie Adlard’s iconic cover of the comic’s 100th issue, which was displayed on Friday night at Petco Park during the private The Walking Dead100th Issue VIP Black Carpet Event. The exclusive party featured a fully immersive recreation of a post-apocalyptic world infested with zombies.
On Thursday, The Walking Dead Escape: San Diego premiered. It is an obstacle course where anyone could live the experience of being a zombie apocalypse survivor and effects whiz Greg Nicotero and team transformed participants into one of the undead. At the Skybound booth #2729, the booth featured a slew of exclusive merchandise that included The Walking Dead #100 Vannen Watch, The Walking Dead Bloody Michonne Variant action figure and The Walking Dead Hardcover Compendium, which collects issues #1-48 of the iconic comic series.
Though it has reached its 100th issue, there seems to be no stopping for the Eisner Award-winning comic series. With the series topping the bestseller lists for graphic novels in 2011 and frequently topping the New York Times and Amazon’s bestseller lists,and taking the top five spots on hardcover and paperback lists, The Walking Dead is on fire. Not to mention the hit television show on AMC that Kirkman is also the executive producer and writer of. On friday, the AMC panel-one of the biggest events at Comic-Con-showcased the trailer for season three of the series and it looks as though the upcoming season will be better than the first two.