Walking Dead mogul Robert Kirkman made a big splash at the I is for Infectious: A Conversation with Robert Kirkman panel at the Image Expo today when he began flippantly making Marvel movie announcements, and bashing the rival comic book publisher. The crowd knew they were in for a show when Kirkman, perched atop an elaborate golden litter, was carried onto the stage by several muscular, olive-skinned manservants without shirts on, but no one expected the Skybound founder and king of the small Kentucky nation state known as Kirklandia to start openly crapping all over his former employees at Marvel Comics, but that's exactly what he did.
From CBR's recap of the panel:
A fan asks if Kirkman will have "bad blood" with Marvel. "I don't have bad blood with Marvel per se, aside from the fact that I think they're a poorly run company that is partially destroying the comic book industry," he answers. Kirkman says he think there are a lot of good people in the company, and they publish good material, but their upper management is "extremely short-sighted" with negative effects on the industry, and the fanbase Marvel caters to, which Kirkman counts himself among, "is not going to be around for a hundred years." "I always try to look at the long game," he says. Every time he's critical of Marvel, Kirkman says, it's because he loves them, and wishes they were doing a better job.
After casually dropping those bombshells, Kirkman went on to tell attendees that Marvel's Ant-Man film would probably be based on Scott Lang, ending months of speculation from fans over whether Paul Rudd would play Lang or Hank Pym in the movie. Kirkman also encouraged fans to pirate copies of his Marvel Comics work before pulling an expensive cigar out of a diamond encrusted case and lighting it up using a flaming copy of Amazing Fantasy #15 while laughing maniacally.
"I'm Robert Kirkman, bitches," Kirkman reportedly told the crowd before dropping the mic and ordering his servants to carry him off the stage, flipping off the crowd as he was carted away.