When Charlie Adlard Had The Shortest Line At Walking Dead Conventions

Alice Oseman, Charlie Adlard, and Hamish Steele were part of a panel at Thought Bubble, hosted by Bucky Ringsell, talking about the process of taking a comic book to the small screen. Charlie Adlard drew The Walking Dead comic book, Alice Osman's webcomic Heartstopper has been collected into four thick volumes so far, and the Netflix show is about to air, and Hamish Steele's DeadEndia is also getting the Netflix treatment, and he is one of the show's writers as well.

When Charlie Adlard Had The Shortest Line At Walking Dead Conventions
Thought Bubble Panel Room A

Talking about the process, the challenges, and the changing public attitudes, Charlie Adlard talked about how he was slightly out in his place when he went to his first Walker Stalker convention event dedicated to The Walking Dead, to find his line was far shorter than every one of the Walking Dead actors attending. That changed a little when people realised that a) Charlie was drawing Walking Dead sketches rather than just signing his name and b) his sketches were cheaper than their signatures. But he pointed out that most people didn't know The Walking Dead was based on a comic book, even though it says so at the beginning of every episode.

Hamish Steele talked about being much less precious of his work being adapted when he could be part of the writers' room, and was much happier to see changes in DeadEndia and be less protective of them when he could be part of them. He also talked about how he was surprised he didn't have to talk around the queer content on the show, as he's encountered in other shows. He is also intrigued to see what happens when the TV series is released, as the first series doesn't cover all the first book. So he wonders if new viewers will buy the comic book to get ahead, so that some fans of the show will have secrets that others won't, and wonders if the full book will be considered spoilers?

Alice Osman hopes people who enjoy the style of the show will seek out the comic books, but it's just another way she's used to get people to read the book. She recounts how publishers weren't interested in Heartstopper as they believed there was no UK market for YA graphic novels… until they saw how well her Kickstarter did. But still the big publishers in the UK aren't interested in comic books in the way they are in the US. But she knows the audience is there – maybe the TV show will help prove it.

Charlie Adlard also got to get onto one of his favourite topics, trying to get people to call comics "comics" rather than "graphic novels" and asked if they were still crediting it as "based on the graphic novels" in the Walking Dead TV show or if they had changed it. He got the reply "I haven't seen Walking Dead for a long time" to which he replied "Same." Ooh!

Comics to Screen and Back again
Sunday – 12:00-12:45 – Room A
From Hollywood to Netflix, it's undeniable the impact comics continue to have on the big and little screen! But how does it work?!
Hear about the ins and outs of taking a comic (whether a full story, characters or concepts) to the screen (film, series, animation) from those who've done it themselves; Alice Oseman, Charlie Adlard, Hamish Steele and host Bucky Ringsell. And also ponder… how can we bring those fans back to comics?


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About Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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