Oh stop. No one needs to read any source material to enjoy anything. Like you've all been saying, the show is quite different than the comics. If people are interested in reading the comics after watching the show, or vice-versa, so be it. But no one should depend on them being exactly the same. That would be god awful. Why anyone would want IDENTICAL adaptations is beyond me. I was thinking about this while watching Batman Returns earlier. So what if the visual doesn't match the text exactly? it's not the director/producer's responsibility to translate. It's their own story. Let them do whatever they want to do, especially if the flippin' writer of the comics is working on the show.
No one NEEDS to do anything. People who think they're 'better' fans because they're familiar with more facets of the scene are ridiculous. There's no such thing as a 'better' fan. Different people like different things. I swear, internet discussion threads just create the most outlandish personalities in people, being so disconnected from reality. If you want to sit on some made-up throne and feel like you're a better Walking Dead fan because you've read issues 1 through whatever in the comics and you have opinions about how the show is made, then have fun with your consistent disappointment. Especially because they will NEVER treat the show as a performance of the comics. The TV show is no stage to the screenplay of the comics. No one owes you any accurate performances. They write the show with the comics in mind, but they know and acknowledge and respect that there still is a huge demographic of people who have never read the comics. Just think about logically for a second. If you take a graphic novel and replicate it EXACTLY for TV, then who exactly benefits from that? Fans of the comics will have seen it before and,unless you're totally someone who enjoys the crap out of repetition, hate it even more. Also, the people who see the show will have no interest in reading the comics at all whatsoever. I know I only have interest in reading the comics BECAUSE I hear about how different they are. Why would I want a repeat, when I can enjoy something new?