The Walking Dead | Photo Credit AMC Robert Kirkman is the man responsible for creating the villainous Walking Dead character of Negan — but he says Jeffrey Dean Morgan takes him to a new level.

For fans of The Walking Dead comic book, Negan has long been known as the worst of the worst. Ever since the television show began on AMC, readers have dreaded the day he would finally show up on screen. 

When it came time to bring Negan from the page to the screen, producers cast actor Jeffrey Dean Morgan to take on the role. Here’s what Kirkman thinks about Morgan’s performance:

“Honestly, Jeffrey Dean Morgan just takes it to the next level because the character is in the comic and he has that charm, and he is unnerving in how friendly he is when he’s being really mean to you. But seeing that charm come to life in the way that JDM handles it really makes it that much more unnerving because the way he cocks his head and the way he cracks a smile is so warm and so inviting that your two emotions are kind of at war.

You like this guy, but you hate what he’s doing, and you don’t understand it. There’s just the way he delivers lines that are so playful and there’s such a confidence about him that really works well for that character. He’s really leveled-up Negan as a character through his portrayal.”

And what does Kirkman think about Negan himself?

Negan’s Creator on his Creation

The Walking Dead | Photo Credit AMC

Here’s what The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman, feels about Negan, as he said in a recent interview with Digital Trends:

“I find him to be the most interesting just because he’s the most nuanced … he is evil, for lack of a better word, and he is sadistic, but he’s also charming and completely relatable.

Once you get to know him and you find out his skewed mindset and how he sees the world and what his rules are, you can kind of relate to him to a certain extent. He’s one of those really interesting villains that you don’t even really love to hate him. You kind of just love him because sometimes he makes a whole lot of sense, and other times he doesn’t.

Having him be able to be all over the map as a character is a lot of fun to write. Sometimes he’s a complete lunatic and you’re like, “I don’t understand that. That doesn’t make sense. He’s really crazy.”

And at other times you’re like, “Oh my God, am I agreeing with Negan? This is crazy.” So it’s a lot of fun keeping people on their toes that way.”

But when Negan forces Kirkman to say goodbye…

Killing a Family Member

The Walking Dead LogoImage Credit: AMC

Finally, Kirkman says that he’s come to terms with killing off characters on The Walking Dead. It’s saying goodbye to the actors that pains him.

“It’s nerve-racking and upsetting and downright heartbreaking to kill a character on the show because everybody works in Georgia, and they spend time together, and they become great friends, and then their kids get to know each other, and they all rent houses together, and they have picnics on Saturdays, and then you basically tap somebody on the shoulder and tell them you’re no longer allowed to be here. In a lot of cases, it’s because they’re great.

They’ve done such a good job that the loss of their character will be so monumental to this show that it drives the story for so many other characters, and makes our job easier. And because of that, they have to go.

So it’s not fun. And after so many seasons — and so many characters recently — I’ve found myself being the one that’s like, “How about we just get a season where no one dies? Wouldn’t that be weird? Let’s try that for once.”

What do you like/dislike about TV Negan?