Cynthiana, Kentucky is the hometown of the Grimes Family and Shane in the comic book series. The police station that Rick and Shane worked at pre-apocalypse is located in this town, and so is the hospital that Rick stayed at during his coma. Cynthiana is the setting of the entire first issue in the comic series.
Series creator Robert Kirkman is from the real Cynthiana, Kentucky (pop. 6,402 and home to the world's largest Post-It Notes production plant). The police station and Harrison Memorial Hospital are real locations in the northern Kentucky town.
Cynthiana was also mentioned in The Walking Dead Webisodes: Cold Storage, where the main protagonist, Chase, was trying to make his way there to find his sister during the apocalypse. He was last seen driving away in a truck with another survivor, Kelly towards Cynthiana.
Stretch of road (Unspecified)
Before the outbreak, it's at this location in or near Cynthiana where Rick is shot while on duty, during a shootout.
Harrison Memorial Hospital
Rick Grimes was under care in the hospital while in a coma resulting from gunshot wounds. During his stay, the outbreak decimated the hospital, leaving it in ruins. When Rick woke up he tried standing with the help of aa drip stand as a support, but unfortunately he fell and began to desperately call the nurse for help. After realizing that no one is coming, Rick put on his clothes and started searching the hospital for someone who would help him. After he had not found anyone on his floor, he decided to take the elevator downstairs. When the elevator stopped on the next floor and the door opened, a man's dead body fell into the elevator, shocking Rick. Rick moved away from the corpse, calling for help and wondering what might have happened until he reached the entrance to the hospital cafeteria. When he came closer he noticed that the door to the cafeteria was blocked by a board, wondering what could have happened he decidet to remove the board and looked into the cafeteria, which turned out to be filled with dead bodies and walkers. Rick fell on his back in fear as the walkers began to walk towards him, he began to retreat to the emergency exit. Once he got to the door to the stairwell, one of the walkers caught him and pushed him into the staircase, causing them both to start falling down the stairs. The walker breaks his neck and Rick suffers minor damage by landing on him. Rick began to run down the stairs from the walkers, until he reached the next door. After he blocked the door with his belt, he realized that he had reached the hospital parking lot, after checking the only car that was there, he left the hospital.
Rick arrives in his neighborhood after finding an abandoned bicycle and a desiccated corpse of a still-living zombie woman. He finds his house with the front door open and rushes inside, but does not find his family. Instead, the house is empty and missing his photo albums, giving him a shimmer of hope. He stumbles out of the house, delirious, and finds a "man" stumbling by, only to witness him getting shot after receiving a smack to the head with a shovel. He awakens tied to a bed while a man stands nearby. Rick recognizes where they are as the home of Fred and Cindy Drake, former neighbors of the Grimes family. The man standing near him is Morgan Jones, who informs Rick that the house was empty when he and his son, Duane came across it. Morgan ensures that Rick survives the dehydration and malnutrition he's suffering after days in the hospital with a gunshot wound and no doctors or nurses to care for him after the outbreak. The next morning, the trio make their way to the police station for supplies. In Issue 58 Rick, Carl and Abraham Ford returned to the neighborhood in search for supplies and Rick's old friend Morgan, who at this point had lost his son Duane and had been keeping him locked up in his basement.
Cynthiana Police Department
The next morning, the trio make their way to the police station for supplies. They use the police station for a hot shower, and collect weapons and ammunition. Rick gives some of the weapons and ammo to Morgan because the trio plans to part ways. After stocking up, they thank each other for the generosity they've shared.
Robert Kirkman's hometown
Though creator Robert Kirkman intended for his fictional characters to be from the real Cynthiana, he admitted to altering the details regarding some locations to suit his plot, stating:
- "...Rick and his family are from Cynthiana, Kentucky. That's where the first issue takes place. He wakes up in Harrison Memorial Hospital. I'm from Cynthiana, that's where I grew up--I got stitches in Harrison Memorial Hospital. The first artist on the book, Tony Moore, is from there, too. So the way the places are drawn is more or less accurate as well . There are little changes here and there because I wanted certain things to happen but for the most part it's accurate. So that's a little bit of me in the book."
- Cynthiana is a buyable property in The Walking Dead Monopoly.