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Spoiler Warning: Glen Mazzara, showrunner for AMC’s The Walking Dead revealed some vital information in regards to the upcoming season of the show and mentioned that he sees the upcoming Prison arc lasting for both seasons three and four. Plus, he offers comments on pacing complaints, character evolutions/intros, the TV series catching up to the source material and more.
The Walking Dead tells the story of the months and years after a zombie apocalypse, following a group of survivors who travel in search of a safe and secure home. The series goes on to explore the challenges of life in a world overrun by walkers, where the interpersonal conflicts often present a greater danger than anything else and over time, the characters grow willing to do almost anything to survive.
As next season of The Walking Dead gears up for shooting its 16 episode order this May, fans should prepare themselves to visit the next safe haven that comic readers know all too well. During a recent round table interview, Glen Mazzara mentioned that the aforementioned Prison arc will last all of the third season until the end of season four.
“I think that a lot of people felt the farm was claustrophobic and we don’t want the prison to be that way,” said Mazzara. “The prison arc is really the heart of Robert Kirkman’s work with The Walking Dead.”
He went on to say that he plans to move closer to the source material in some aspects, but that there will of course be deviations along the way. Perhaps the largest deviation in season two was the surprise exit of Dale and therefore the lost opportunity to explore his storylines moving forward. In regards to Dale and Andrea’s love relationship, Mazzara said the writers didn’t feel the need to pursue it at all. “I don’t feel the Dale/Andrea storyline is a loss. It was never really on the table.”
One of the more intriguing comic book storylines involves Dale and group of cannibal hunters, and that will apparently live on through a different character in the TV series. “Anybody can be cannibalized, so we still have that story in the pocket.” As new characters like Michonne and the villainous Governor are introduced, I asked Mazzara if the zombies will ever take a backseat for an eventual human threat and conflict.
“Zombies will never take a backseat. We will introduce a significant human threat but the zombies are fully integrated into this world and are part of the landscape. There could be times with no zombie action but we feel we don’t need to have a 1000 zombies on the show either.”
Mazzara also confirmed that viewers can expect more ‘hero zombies’ in season three, much like the one that finished Dale off and proving Mazzara’s “quality over quantity” theory in regards to the undead. I also asked if he feels the show will catch up to the source material now that the ratings have shown continued and growing success. “Maybe we will catch up eventually; I know that Robert has no plans to end the comic.”
One of the common complaints Mazzara and the Walking Dead team have faced is purported pacing issues, which many felt caused the show to run slower in the first half before picking up later on in the season. When asked if any viewer input had an impact on this pacing change Mazzara replied, “No. My inclination was always to ramp it up after the Sophia arc and we were already so well into production that would have been impossible anyway.” Another question was asked if Mazzara’s comment of the final three episodes being a benchmark for the pacing of season three was a stab at Frank Darabont’s earlier work in which he vacated the series as showrunner after the Sophia arc. “Not at all. Frank actually wondered earlier on if we had pacing issues at the beginning himself.”
In regards to the characters, Mazzara revealed that Lori’s reaction of anger upon hearing news of Rick murdering Shane was one of shock and disgust in herself. This scene puzzled some fans when Lori implied for Rick to “deal with” Shane earlier in the season. “Lori did not ask Rick to kill Shane. She’s a confused control freak. She’s horrified at Rick and herself for her own role in this and is dealing with self hatred. She is appropriately f***ed up.”
Another character that viewers wanted to see more from was T-Dog, who many felt was underutilized. Mazzara said he was surprised by this reaction and compared T-Dog to another character by the name of Ronnie from Mazzara’s writing days on The Shield. He did however admit that they might have went a bit far in ignoring him to some degree saying, “He has been off to the side and forgotten so we’re going to correct this now that he’s survived the finale and develop him from being a background character in significant ways.”
As for new characters, he went on to confirm the sword-wielding Michonne (Danai Gurira) will have a vital role and said that, although her surprise entrance in season two was very “theatrical”, he does want to ground that character and make her real and gritty. The Governor, played by David Morrissey, is a good friend of Andrew Lincoln (who plays Rick) in real life. Mazzara mentioned that although he was not familiar with Morrissey’s work, Lincoln’s praise along with Morrissey’s audition were perfect. The actor understood that the Governor’s essence is that of a true villain.
- Mazzara confirmed fan favorite Merle (Michael Rooker) is “on the horizon” for season three.
- Greg Nicotero will shoot webisodes based on different characters sometime next month.
- Horror novelist Stephen King will not direct an episode of the series as he was Darabont’s connection.
- The bar shoot-out in the episode ‘Triggerfinger’ was inspired by a similar scene from HBO’s The Wire.
- A writer from HBO’s The Sopranos has been added to the TWD team.
- Security has been ramped up significantly to prevent leaks, which were a huge plague for season two.
- Scripts for season three are being written simultaneously in a style that Frank Darabont introduced that he learned while working with George Lucas. Mazzara will write the third season premiere.
- Despite the prison arc showcasing some of the darkest aspects of the series, Mazzara confirmed that there’s“no place they won’t go” in those terms although they may utilize off-screen effects in some situations.
- Mazzara’s friend Kurt Sutter (creator of Sons of Anarchy) will likely have a zombie cameo next season while Mazzara plays a dead biker on SOA to seal the deal. “I love Kurt, so I might take him up on that offer.”
Winter Soldier #3
Written by Ed Brubaker
Art by Butch Guice, Stefano Gaudiano, Brian Thies, Jordie Bellaire and Bettie Breitweiser
Letters by Joe Caramagna
Published by Marvel Comics
Review by George Marston
‘Rama Rating: 8 out of 10
Comic Book fans are widely recognized as the most calm, forgiving group in all of fandom. As comfortable with patiently explaining convoluted continuity as they are excepting pretty much every storyline change involving their favorite character, no matter how minor… Okay, who are we kidding? Comic Book fans are a bunch of crazy, reactionary nutbags, and we count ourselves happy to be in their number. But if there is one thing fans of the four color funnies can agree on is that we all have to team up against NON-Comic Book Fans. Why? Because they say stuff like this:
10. “I read a comic once. I didn’t like it.”
Are you kidding? That’s like saying, “I ate food once. Not my thing.” Yet to the comic book fan trying to introduce their friend or family member to the medium they love too much is often like walking through a mine field, where one wrong move can lead a potential life-long reader to dismiss the entire span of titles due to one, tiny wrong choice. And all because you asked them to read a Care Bears comic, and they were more of a Snorks fan.
.9. “Comics? You Mean Like Garfield?”
Speaking of which, there’s nothing that quite gets our goat as confusing newspaper strips and comic books. Yes, they came from the same source, and you can like both… But the name “comics” doesn’t actually mean they’re all three panel goofs. To be fair, neither are all newspaper strips, or webcomics; but they’re a different approach to the medium, with a different structure, and different rules.
8. Calling Superheroes By The Wrong Name
It’s acceptable – and even downright cute – when my two year old daughter sees The Flash and shouts, “Batman!” When an adult does it? Not so much. Like the alphabet, numbers, and being able to use the toilet effectively, you should be able to suss out that the guy with the Spider on his chest isn’t frickin’ Superman. Mom.
7. Calling Superheroes By The Wrong Publisher
For some reason, this is far worse that just wholesale mixing up characters, as there’s a level of knowledge that comes with the territory. Don’t know who Batman is? Fine. Asking whether he’s on The Avengers? Unforgivable. (Thanks to @jimmy_boots on Twitter for the suggestion).
6. Asking Where To Buy Comics
Sure, we’ll give you that it isn’t the easiest in store buying experience all the time, but being clueless that comic book stores are even conceivable as a thing that exists is just non-fans creating a mental block of some sort. There’s a store that sells nothing but M&Ms for goodness sake… You don’t think there’s a shop that sells one of the world’s most popular forms of entertainment?
5. Making Top Ten Lists Of The Most Ridiculous Comic Book Characters
There’s a veeeery slight possibility this might be a personal pet peeve rather than a universal one, but every website in existence finds it necessary, upon discovering Marvel’s Squirrel Girl, or DC’s Matter Eater Lad, to write a list of “Top Ten Most Ridiculous Comic Book Characters!” much to the delight of their non-fan audience. And sure, maybe half of their list is ridiculous, but then we look at it and think, “But you didn’t read [INSERT ISSUE OF AVENGERS] when [INSERT CHARACTER] was totally awesome!” And then we cry. A lot.
4. “They’re for kids, right?”
NO THEY’RE NOT COMICS ARE A VERY MATURE FORM OF STORYTELLING WITH GREAT WORKS OF LITERATURE AND okay fine some of them are for kids. Sadly, due to the fact that some comics – in fact some of the best comics currently running – are actually for all-ages, and the “adult” comics are often aimed at man-children, this is an indefensible position. You know the statement isn’t true, but somehow, any piece of evidence brought up pokes major holes in your otherwise correct theory.
3. No, It’s NOT Based On A Graphic Novel
Once the public realized graphic novels were a thing, and they were the acceptable form of reading comics on the train or bus, it was all over. Now, every credit sequence says, “Based On The Graphic Novel By…” And every time the movie – or TV show – is actually based on a comic book series, and NOT a graphic novel, we wince. Particularly because sometimes there are things based on Graphic Novels. Confusing, right?
2. Biff! Bam! Pow! Stop Using That Headline!
Another press/media pet peeve, but every single headline in the mainstream press about comic books says, “Biff! Bam! Pow! Comics Aren’t For Kids Anymore!” Which of course defeats the premise in the headline itself. Other reasons this drives us up the wall? How about “Biff! Bam! Pow! Comics Don’t Use Biff, Bam, or Pow Anymore!” And how about the fact that we’ve seen the same headline surrounding comics for, oh say, a decade. Makes us think that maybe the papers are on to something.
1. Incorrectly Hyphenating Spiderman… We mean, Spider-Man
Nothing quite gets to the heart of the comic book fan as the teeny, tiny, minuscule mistake that exemplifies everything wrong with non-fans. And there is no mistake as big/small as mis-hyphenating Spider-Man. And we should know: we follow a lot of comic book professionals and fans on Twitter, and not a day goes by where someone doesn’t have a long, freak out rant about the hyphenation of everyone’s favorite wallcrawler. Er, wall-crawler. Cough.
On a Wednesday afternoon, Comic Con International decides to send out an email to those who registered to their Comic Con Member ID a few months back. I registered in hopes of going to the most iconic and famous comic convention in the world. Comic Con International in San Diego, CA. I waited, with no response or update from Comic Con. Then, they sent out an email to anyone who wants to volunteer. I’m one of those people. I mean, who doesn’t want to go to a comic convention without having to pay. All ou have to do (For WonderCon anyway), is work 3 hours a day, and you get that day free. Anyway, I personally did not sleep at all. I waited for hours. By 7:55am PST, I was just clicking the “top secret” link Comic Con gave us with Member IDs. There was nothing, just that “404 – Not Found” error message over and over again. I though to myself, “it is just 7:55.”
I literally waiter for 7:59am to change into 8:00am. When it did, I just clicked it. It didn’t work! I snapped and thought I peed my pants. Then, I thought of going to their website and see if there was a solution. Fortunately, there was. Right beside a bunch of words was a big, can’t-miss, green button. I immediately clicked it and was redirected to the EPIC online registration website. When you get there, the site automatically gives you a number corresponding to your position within the line. You have to wait, like any other person, for hours in line. My number was “#16548.” I thought to myself that I won’t be able to make it and buy tickets. Since the site was refreshing every 120 seconds, my position was actually getting better every time. I started off at #16548, after 45 or so minutes, I was at #276. After the last refresh time, I am in front and now prepared to buy my tickets. Unfortunately, the 4 Day w/ Preview Night, 4 Day w/o Preview Night, and the Saturday Single Day ticket were all sold out and I had no chance of getting that Saturday ticket. All there were left were the Thursday, Friday,and Sunday Single Day tickets. I bought all three, finished my transactions, and went back for a second time to purchase tickets for my little brother. I bought him the Friday and Sunday tickets.
All in all, this was another experience I can share with friends and families. If I get the chance and someone doesn’t want their Saturday Single Day ticket, I would gladly buy it. See you at Comic Con.
Here’s that email they sent out:
|Exhibit space at this show is limited.||List as of Feb 17, 2012|