If I’d ever followed the THE WALKING DEAD comic book series, I suppose this would be shocking news. They just killed off Rick Grimes. And turned him into a zombie. Then killed him again. Honestly I couldn’t possibly care less. I never grokked the comics. I’ve read a few issues here and there, and while I found them passable entertainment, they were to me just so much generic zombie action. I couldn’t get into it. But I can see how, after 190+ issues, them deciding to kill off the main character might be surprising.
As for why they did it, I couldn’t say. Creator of the comic Robert Kirkman said that he’d been planning Grimes’ death since the very first issue. Maybe so. Maybe this isn’t just a stunt to grab some publicity (You’re welcome, Bob!) and bolster sales. Will Carl, who is still alive in the comics, now become the main character? Somebody let me know. I won’t be reading the next issue. (Sorry, Bob.)
I don’t know how sales are these days for THE WALKING DEAD. And even if they are in freefall the way the ratings are for the TV show, it isn’t like Kirkman couldn’t finance keeping the book going all on his own now, if he wanted. Alternately, he hardly needs to keep the series going simply for the paycheck. It exists now purely at his whim. He tells the story because he wants to tell it. That, if nothing else, is commendable.