‘The Walking Dead’ Comics To End Suddenly After 16 Years

After nearly 200 issues, the comic series that inspired the hit TV show 'The Walking Dead' will officially come to an end.

In what came as a shock to longtime readers, the series -- written by Robert Kirkman -- will conclude with issue #193 titled 'The Farmhouse', which will hit stores this week.

The comics began in 2003, and eventually spawned two hit television shows, video games, novels, toys, audiobooks and soundtracks -- with another spinoff series and several films still to come.

After Kirkman went to great lengths to surprise readers with the shock news, he today posted to Twitter to warn fans they should probably avoid the net unless they want to see major spoilers about the comic's conclusion.

"Details about this issue will more than likely start to leak today. If you’d prefer to not be spoiled, I would recommend being very careful online until the issue is released Wednesday. It’s a big issue in more ways than one. #understatementoftheyear" he wrote.

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Image: IGN

According to IGN, Kirkman has penned a final letter in the last issue, where he confirms the conclusion of the saga.

"The Walking Dead has always been built on surprise. Not knowing what’s going to happen when you turn the page, who’s going to die, how they’re going to die... it’s been ESSENTIAL to the success of this series. It’s been the lifeblood that’s been keeping it going all these years, keeping people engaged," he wrote.

“As I worked to come up with ways to expand the story, none of it felt right,” he says. “Everything felt like an unnecessary detour… it was, for lack of a better word, filler. The harder I tried to come up with new places to go, the clearer it was to me that this is what this story needed… it needed to end,” he added.

The shock news has divided fans, with some dubbing it "the end of an era", while others praised Kirkman's ability to consistently unveil unexpected surprises when it comes to The Walking Dead.

Featured image: Getty Images.