Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead: The Rise of the Governor, the first in a three book series with Thomas Dunne Books, an imprint of St. Martin’s Press will hit shelves nationwide October 11th and is now available for pre-sale on Amazon.com. Kirkman co-authored the book with horror genre vet Jay Bonansinga.

In The Walking Dead, there is no greater villain than The Governor. The despot who runs the walled-off town of Woodbury, has his own sick sense of justice: whether forcing prisoners to battle zombies in an arena for the townspeople’s amusement, or chopping off the appendages of those who cross him. The Governor was voted “Villain of the Year” by Wizard Magazine the year he debuted, and his story arc was the most controversial in the 7-year history of The Walking Dead comic book series. Now, for the first time, fans of TWD will discover how The Governor became the man he is, and what drove him to such extremes.

“I started reading The Walking Dead when the first issue debuted in 2003, and I still read it monthly to this day. As a fan of the comic book and of the TV show, it’s a huge honor to be editing Rise of the Governor, and I think fans of The Waking Dead universe are going to be blown away by what Robert and Jay have done with this novel,” said Brendan Deneen of Thomas Dunne Books.

Creator and writer Robert Kirkman is thrilled to tell more of the story, “There are many pieces of the overall Walking Dead puzzle that just don’t fit in the comic book series. The Governor’s story is one of them. I’m thrilled to have the opportunity for these stories to be told and working with Jay Bonansinga to bring them into the world has been amazing.”

“To be invited to play in the fertile sandbox of Robert’s mind is absolutely the highest honor that can be bestowed upon a writer of horror and psychological suspense,” says co-author Jay Bonansinga. “The comic is so rich with latent, off-screen back-stories, it’s like exploring the deepest part of the ocean – and just as dark and scary!”

Robert Kirkman is a New York Times bestselling author known for being the cultural zeitgeist of the comic book industry. Kirkman’s Skybound imprint, under the Image Comics umbrella, is committed to fostering up-and-coming talent in the industry, and all acquisitions are hand-picked by Kirkman himself. Jay Bonansinga is a screenwriter, filmmaker, and national bestselling author of fourteen books, including the Bram Stoker finalist The Black Mariah (1994), and the International Thriller Writers Award finalist Shattered (2007).

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