The Walking Dead Gets Artsy; A Note to Michael James Shaw on Dad Bods

With The Walking Dead Universe as active as it's ever been (at one point, all three series were filming at the same time) and the premiere of the flagship series' Season 11 Part One a month away, we've got two art-based updates to share with you followed by a special message for one of the newest members of the TWD cast. First up, AMC's weekly commissioned artwork honoring the series' past- his time, with a focus on Season 5 and Carol's (Melissa McBride) mission to free our heroes from Terminus, from artist Ariela Kristantina and colorist Bryan Valenza.

the walking dead
Image: AMC Networks

"I tried to see what the character might be focusing on when she stood at that spot," said Kristantina. "The two things that I think she'd have in her mind must be the main building where the villains may have kept her friends and what can be done to save them without having to fight a horde of Walkers or a fully armed group when she was all alone." As the artist sees it, it was the combination of the growing tension & doubt coupled with Carol needing to make the save that makes the moment work. "The tension really got to me," Kristantina explained. "Carol always seemed like the harmless one to me and I'm so glad she could save her friends in this episode."

But for the artist, some of her strongest inspirations came from the show's visual quality. "High production values, from lighting, materials, to props, is really apparent and I appreciate how a 2D world turned to life very seamlessly. 'TWD' has produced high-quality entertainment since episode one. I found the comics after watching a few shows and as much as I don't like comparing TV shows/movies to books or graphic novels, I do think that 'TWD' is a great adaptation and has a life of its own," Kristantina said. Looking to own the artwork? Stop by

walking dead
Image: AMC Networks

Now, this is definitely something we need to get our hands on. AMC Networks, Skybound Entertainment, and Image Comics revealed the cover for The Art of AMC's The Walking Dead Universe from illustrator Brian Rood (Star Wars, Transformers). We're talking about the first time that the casts of The Walking Dead, Fear the Walking Dead, and The Walking Dead: World Beyond have been featured in the same piece of art- we're talking over 50 cast members/characters.

Available at comic shops on September 29, and everywhere books are sold on October 5, The Art of AMC's The Walking Dead Universe is an in-depth compilation of behind-the-scenes pre-production and production art from all three of AMC's TWD Universe series and will feature never-before-seen original sketches, concept art, storyboards, special product illustrations, and more from the shows inspired by Robert Kirkman's comic book turned pop-culture phenomenon. In addition, the book kicks off with an introduction by Chief Content Officer of  TWD Universe Scott M. Gimple and fun facts from creators and crew members on all three series.

"We're thrilled to reveal this monumental painting by Brian Rood, combining all three of 'The Walking Dead' Universe series like never before,' shares Mike Zagari, Head of AMC Networks Publishing. "The image perfectly encapsulates the epic scope of the ever-expanding TWD Universe, and we look forward to sharing more with fans as we approach the book's launch this Fall." The Art of AMC's The Walking Dead Universe can be pre-ordered now everywhere books are sold, in both print and digital formats. Plus, fans will soon be able to pre-order an exclusive special variant edition that will be available on and a second exclusive special variant edition that will be available on, both in super limited quantities.

walking dead
Image: AMC

Finally, a personal note & request for Michael James Shaw (Mercer). Based on your post below, it's pretty clear that you and I have different definitions of "Dad Bod" so feel free to throw any diet tips or workout suggestions our way because right now? We're feeling a bit too "Pillsbury Dough Boy" for our liking:

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Ray FlookAbout Ray Flook

Serving as Television Editor since 2018, Ray began five years earlier as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought onto the core BC team in 2017.
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