"I'm excited about everything," he admitted. "There are new characters and there's a new tone. There are characters that people don't know about that are coming... which is really exciting…
"I can say that the characters are the characters; Michonne is Michonne, and The Governor is The Governor. They are definitely doing some of the things that you want them to do from the comic, but there are definitely changes [too]."
Kirkman added that he is happy for AMC's TV adaptation to deviate from his original comics.
"I'm adamant that if the TV show is just a direct adaptation of the comic, it would be completely boring to a significant percentage of the audience because the comic books do sell really well," he explained. "So, we want to keep those people [who read the books] guessing as well as the people who have no familiarity with the comics at all.
"If it were completely up to me, the show would almost be more different. But the things that are very important to the fans, the things that would fundamentally change the characters and fundamentally change the story to the point that it wouldn't be The Walking Dead, that's not happening."
The Walking Dead returns to AMC in the US on October 14. In the UK, the series premieres on FX.