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The Walking Dead Clementine author Tillie Walden shares her "surprisingly hopeful" outlook on life

"It's all about surviving and it's all about living through the worst possible outcome." Tillie Walden talks at length about The Walking Dead: Clementine, Book One.
Tillie Walden and Clementine Book One; photo by Beth Fisher, art by Walden
Skybound Entertainment

Is there a bright side to an apocalypse? That's a question I found myself asking after talking with cartoonist Tillie Walden about her upcoming book Clementine Book One, the first in a three-part graphic novel trilogy set in the world of The Walking Dead.

Walden is best known as the singular writer/artist behind a string of subtly insightful creator-owned graphic novels like such as Spinning and On a Sunbeam. "Sad gays" and "Dreamy gay space stuff" as she described it to me. But with Clementine Book One, she's entering the daunting world of zombies - and a franchise that grown to be more than just a little indie comic by two Kentucky boys named Robert Kirkman and Tony Moore. It's grown up, and it's grown big - becoming the cornerstone of Image Comics, a hit TV (and soon to be movie) franchise, and even a popular video game series.

In talking with Walden in her secluded home in Vermont however, I've discovered disaster prep can have its benefits. When you immerse yourself into a multi-year project based on zombies and survival, it can help someone re-assess what's truly important in the larger scheme of things - to take time for special moments, and also to not take yourself too seriously.

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