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Origin

Once the zombies become a problem, Hershel invited Otis and his girlfriend Patricia to come and stay on his farm. Otis helps to keep the farm safe while having some rough patches with Patricia.

Creation

Written by Robert Kirkman and drawn by Charlie Adlard.

Major Story Arcs

Otis gets a harsh introduction to Rick Grimes after accidentally shooting his son Carl in the woods. Otis approaches Rick and Tyreese to explain that it was all an accident and Rick threatens to kill Otis. Tyreese gives the good news that Carl is still breathing and Otis informs the men of Hershel's farm about a mile away and about Hershel's ability to patch up gun shot wounds. He leads Rick while Tyreese conveys the directions to the farm to the rest of the group. Otis gets Rick and Carl to Hershel's farm and (fortunately, especially for Otis) Carl is saved.

A bit later Hershel makes a mistake and lets the zombies out of his barn. A few members of his family are killed. At the funeral, Otis and Patricia comfort Billy. Hershel then decides that Rick's people need to leave. He even pulls a gun on Rick, but Otis steps in and prevents Hershel from pulling the trigger. Even though he's a guest, Otis still makes the effort to call Hershel out to apologize to Rick before his team leaves. Hershel doesn't listen.

Once Rick's group leaves Hershel's farm sees more and more zombie attacks. Otis helps keep the zombies at bay until Rick returns to bring Hershel's family to the prison his team found. Otis volunteers to stay behind and tend the animals while Hershel gets settled at the prison. He sends Patricia along. Hershel believes it is because they are breaking up.

To the Prison

Things get too difficult for Otis on the farm and he loads up a horse and carriage and rides off for the prison. Unbeknownst to Otis he passes Michonne on his way. She decides to follow him. Once Otis gets to the jail he sees that Rick's group is preoccupied with a horde of zombies. Otis himself gets surrounded and just about dies when Michonne catches up and starts killing the zombies around Otis, saving his life. The two are then let into the prison grounds. Otis later learns that the reason the group was preoccupied when he arrived was because Patricia had helped Dexter and Andrew stage a coup. He officially breaks up with her and shows a bit of racism in the process.

Feeling down on himself, Otis decides to pray one night and asks the Lord to take away all his pains. Just then the men bring Allen into a neighboring cell and Tyreese shouts for Otis to gather supplies to treat Allen's severed leg. Loath to take away the pains of others, Otis loafs off mumbling.

Throughout his stay at the prison, Otis sees himself as doing menial tasks, like watching the kids and acting as a decoy for the zombies. When it comes to planting the prison garden, however, he acts more like a man of leadership than a sniveling oaf. During one of his gardening sessions with Billy, it is mentioned that there just aren't enough girls to go around. Otis gets the notion to apologize to Patricia and she agrees that they can be friends for now.

Moments after, however, the gate to the prison is unable to be closed and the group has to fight off the zombies from outside. Patricia sends Otis to help with the gates while she gets people inside the building. No one is sure how or when it happens, but Otis gets bit and partially eaten before he has a chance to reach safety. When Rick returns to the prison he finds zombie Otis on the ground. Shocked and dismayed, he shoots Otis in the head.

Other media

Television

Pruitt Taylor Vince

In AMC's "The Walking Dead," Otis is played by Pruitt Taylor Vince. Like the comics, Otis mistakenly shoots Carl while out hunting and leads Rick to Hershel's Farm. In the show, however, his life is short-lived when he dies on a mission to a local medical station to get supplies for Carl's surgery. He is shot in the leg by Shane so that Otis is eaten, allowing Shane to escape.

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