Charlie Adlard: End of an era for Shrewsbury's Walking Dead’s artist
Shrewsbury comic book artist Charlie Adlard has told how he felt a "tinge of sadness" but has also breathed a sigh of relief after the end of The Walking Dead series was announced.
The graphic novels, which has scored legions of fans throughout its 193 issues and was adapted into one of the biggest TV shows of all time, drew to an unexpected close this week.
An outpouring of sadness but also support for the creators followed the announcement, with the final edition being released on Wednesday.
Charlie, who created the artwork for 15 years from his studio at his home in the county town, shared his mixed feelings about the end of an era.
He said: "Because it's been 15 years I've been drawing the book, it is a good feeling to be away from the general grind every month. But when I put that last mark on the final page, it was tinged with sadness.
"The biggest challenge has been keeping it all a secret. Everyone is always fishing for what's going to happen.
"Working on it has changed my life for the better. It's hard to believe that it would end up becoming a worldwide phenomenon."
First issued in 2003, by publisher Image Comics, the comic is written by Robert Kirkman.
It focuses on Rick Grimes, a Kentucky deputy who is shot in the line of duty and awakens from a coma in a zombie apocalypse that has resulted in a state-wide quarantine. After joining with some other survivors, he gradually takes on the role of leader of a community as it struggles to survive the zombie apocalypse.
The Walking Dead received the 2007 and 2010 Eisner Award for Best Continuing Series at San Diego Comic-Con International, and was adapted into an AMC television series, which premiered in 2010. The television program loosely follows the storyline of the comic book.
The franchise has also spawned video games, a spin-off television series, webisode series and various additional publications including novels.