Walking Dead writer Jay Bonansinga tells us The Good Men Project about what to expect this season, and about the release of his new novel.
The Walking Dead television show burst onto the scene just a little over two years ago. Based on the best-selling Robert Kirkman graphic novel, it’s become AMC’s #1 show and an anchor in their programming. Set in present-day America overrun by zombies, the hook of the show is its character-driven story lines.
I love this show for a number of reasons, one of them being the up-ending of gender roles. In this scenario, men and women are pretty much treated equally. In addition it has created an interesting juxtaposition of male ideals: on the one hand you have Rick, the former sheriff, a typical alpha male who takes an almost fatherly role among his rag tag family and then on the opposite end you have The Governor, a mysterious, fascist-like character who runs the safe haven town of Woodbury as a benevolent (somewhat) dictator.
Walking Dead writer Jay Bonansinga tells The Good Men Project about what to expect this season and about the release of his new novel (with Walking Dead Creator Robert Kirkman) The Walking Dead: The Road to Woodbury, which features the backstory of The Governor!
GMP: Where do the novels fall in the canon? Or they an adjacent off shoot that compliments both the TV and comic series?
Jay Bonansinga: Best way to explain it is this: The novels are more beholden to the comic than the TV show in terms of time line and continuity and character arcs, although each of the three mediums has its own exclusive details. The TV show operates in its own “version” of the TWD universe – almost like a genetically modified organism. This is really smart, in my opinion, because no fan will be able to see anything coming in any of the three mediums!
GMP: What is it about the governor that you think makes him so compelling?
JB: Well… first he’s simply a bad-ass villain. But also, he has complexity and speaks to the fact that we all have the potential to become Governors once hell breaks loose. He has a tender side, too. He has something to lose. I think he resonates with people, which makes him all the more terrifying.
GMP: It seems as if in real life, leaders have often imposed draconian laws when there is chaos. Are there any real life influences for the governor?
JB: You would have to ask Robert Kirkman, but I can tell you that I wrote an entire book and I wasn’t thinking of any outside model for Philip or Brian Blake. Their unique Freudian psychologies were complex enough for an entire tome. The only model I used was the incredible renderings of the comic-book version of Philip by Charlie Adlard.
GMP: What’s something you can reveal that we were learn about him that will blow our minds?
JB: I can’t spoil it but I will give you a hint… it has to do with love.