The Walking Dead Archives - Robot 6 @ Comic Book Resources
Comic books have become prime source material for movies, television series and video games, and while the adaptations may vary in terms of scale and medium, one of the keys to their success remains the same: staying true to the core elements that made the comics work in the first place. And in TV, it’s up to the writers — either the original authors or faithful adapters — to help keep it on course.
On April 25, SundanceTV’s The Writers’ Room will explore the well-tread road between comic books and television. Host Jim Rash (screenwriter of The Descendants), the show will put The Walking Dead writer Robert Kirkman and Smallville creators Al Gough and Miles Millar in the hot seat to discuss successfully adapting comics for television. They’ll be joined by industry commentators Blair Butler (formerly of G4TV) and Michael Schneider (TV Guide Magazine).
Manga | Attack on Titan is as much of a manga juggernaut in its native Japan as it is the United States, and the 13th volume had a print run of 2.75 million copies, a new record not only for the series but for publisher Kodansha. [Crunchyroll]
Comics | Tom Risen has a thoughtful piece, which includes an interview with Axel Alonso, on how superhero comics have changed since the War on Terror began: “Superheroes since the 2000s have increasingly held up a mirror to controversies like mass surveillance, remote killings using drones and the ‘with us or against us’ mentality espoused by former President George W. Bush. Misuse of military technology also played a key role in recent movie adaptations featuring Batman, Spider-Man, Captain America and Iron Man, showing how fighting dirty to defeat evil can make America its own worst enemy.” [U.S. News & World Report]
Graphic novels | BookScan’s list of the bestselling graphic novels in bookstores in March divides neatly into eight Image Comics titles (six volumes of The Walking Dead and two of Saga), eight volumes of manga (four Attack on Titan, four Viz Media titles) and four volumes of media tie-ins. For the second month in a row, not a single DC Comics or Marvel title cracked the Top 20, although an older DK Publishing character guide to the Avengers (not actually a graphic novel) came in at No. 11. The top-selling title was the 20th volume of The Walking Dead, and the No. 2 was the third volume of Saga. It’s also interesting to note that the first three volumes of Attack on Titan charted higher than the most recent release, which suggests new readers are still coming into the franchise in substantial numbers — and sticking with it. [ICv2]
The creators of The Walking Dead: The Prison board game may have jumped the gun over the weekend when they canceled their Kickstarter campaign and announced an exclusive agreement with Diamond Comic Distributors and its subsidiary Alliance Game Distributors.
“We have not agreed to an exclusive distribution deal for this game,” John Wurzer, Diamond’s vice president of purchasing, tells ICv2.com. “We have been having discussions regarding the possibility of a distribution agreement, but none is in place.”
Launched early last month, the Kickstarter campaign was intended to raise $81,100 to produce a licensed standalone sequel to Z-Man Games’ hit 2011 release Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead: The Board Game, based on the bestselling comic series (rather than the television adaptation, like Cryptozoic’s game). But on Saturday, after securing $31,830 in pledges, the creators announced they had struck “an amazing distribution deal with the perfect distribution partner,” and therefore didn’t “feel comfortable continuing to ask for funding money through Kickstarter.”
ICv2 reached out to game designer Keith Tralins, who replied, “I can’t really comment right now, other to say [sic] that discussions are ongoing.”
The creators of The Walking Dead: The Prison board game canceled their Kickstarter campaign over the weekend, announcing they’ve secured an exclusive distribution agreement with Diamond-owned Alliance Game Distributors. The officially licensed game is expected to be solicited this week.
“Given that we now have an amazing distribution deal with the perfect distribution partner, we don’t feel comfortable continuing to ask for funding money through Kickstarter,” the developers said in an update posted Saturday. “As such, in a short while, we’re going to cancel our campaign for the game, and focus all our energies on getting the game to the distribution center as soon as possible.”
Robert Kirkman established more than a decade ago in The Walking Dead that no one is safe in a zombie apocalypse. It turns out, however, that when it comes to survival, location may be everything. And for those located in New Jersey … well, it’s been nice knowing you.
In its new ranking of the United States, real estate website Estately determines the Garden State is the least likely to survive a zombie apocalypse, followed by Mississippi, the District of Columbia, New York and Georgia. My money would’ve been on the most obese states, in which case Mississippi would again be doomed. (Our condolences.)
Considering we established long ago that Soylent Green is — spoilers! — people, it should come as no real surprise that a new Walking Dead tribute beer contains brains, right? Goat brains, to specific.
All right, maybe it’s a little surprising.
On Sunday, Dock Street Brewing Co. in Philadelphia will debut Dock Street Walker, an American Pale Stout brewed with wheat, oats, flaked barley, organic cranberry and — wait for it, wait for it — smoked goat brains.
“In true walker fashion, don’t be surprised if its head doesn’t hang around forever,” the microbrewery jokes.
“Gourmet mushrooms and potentially hallucinogenic herbs are one thing, but smoked brains … really?” the Dock Street website reads. “Believe it or not, much of the world considers brain to be a true delicacy. Think Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, but not ridiculous. Many also believe that using every part of the animal not only increases and encourages sustainability, but also honors the animal’s life and death.”
The beer’s unveiling on Sunday coincides with the season finale of AMC’s The Walking Dead.
Conventions | Rob Salkowitz, who wrote a book about Comic-Con International, looks forward to this weekend’s sold-out Emerald City Comicon, and explains why it represents the convention of the future: “One reason ECCC is such an ideal place to talk about the future of comics is because the show itself looks like the future of comics–at least the one that I call ‘The Expanding Multiverse.’ Supportive of creators and celebrities alike, embracing the broadest conception of styles and subjects from indie work to mainstream superheroes, self-consciously diverse and inclusive in its conception of fandom, ECCC and shows like it represent a sustainable path forward for geek culture in an age of super-saturation and sensory overload.” Salkowitz will be a participant, not just a fan: He has developed a programming track on comics and digital culture that will feature a number of people (IDW’s Ted Adams, Monkeybrain’s Alison Baker) giving short presentations, similar to the format and spirit of TED Talks. [ICv2]
As grim as The Walking Dead has frequently gotten over the past decade, it turns out the hit series could’ve been a lot darker. A lot.
During a far-ranging Reddit AMA on Wednesday, creator Robert Kirkman was asked how the story changed from what he originally envisioned. “The story has evolved and continues to evolve,” he acknowledged. “Originally my idea was that they live in a high school for a while … that changed to a prison very early on. There were characters that were going to die very early on … but didn’t, and vice versa.”
The Walking Dead has walked at a brisk pace from comics to television to video games and more, and now an enterprising doll modder known as Peewee Parker is bringing the series’ deadliest zombie killer to Barbie.
Revealed in a series of photos replete with special effects, Parker has created a custom Barbie doll made to look like Michonne from The Walking Dead. The mod is based on the television version of the character (played by Danai Gurira) rather than the one from the comics, but Parker earns high marks for this detailed custom work.
AMC and Finnish developer Next Games are producing a mobile game based on The Walking Dead, the hit television adaptation of the bestselling comic series by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore and Charlie Adlard.
The game is scheduled to launch in October to coincide with the Season 5 premiere of the TV series.
“Cowboys & Aliens was a completely manufactured myth of a comic book. They went in and sold the idea of Cowboys & Aliens based on a one-sheet of what they thought the cover of a comic book might be, then sold it as a movie, then created as a comic book. They backed in to the comic book part of it. The book itself isn’t actually very good. It’s worse than the movie.
I did another one like that — Hellbenders was an idea that J.T. Petty had, and he wrote it as a script. One of the producers got the idea to pitch it around as a comic book. As soon as something is a graphic novel or a comic book or has another life in a another medium, people sit up and take notice and are more willing to write the check.
I don’t know why that is — well, I think it’s obvious why that is: Because the traditional properties like Superman and Batman and the Marvel characters — Spider-Man and so on — they’re all money machines. So, people are trying to create that. [...] Everything is being optioned now to be turned into franchises because of the success of Walking Dead and a few that have made the transition. Mostly, people walk into a room and pitch a movie — and the first question if they don’t say it in the original pitch is, ‘Is this a graphic novel or comic?’ and of course you say, ‘Yes’.”
– actor Clancy Brown, who has a good deal of experience with comic-book adaptations, discussing Cowboys & Aliens Hollywood’s continued attraction to comics
VentureBeat reports that Jon Goldman, previously chairman and CEO of Foundation 9 Entertainment, will focus on emerging and new business, overseeing “the strategic direction for the company and [operating] businesses around games and live events.”
“Our collective goal is to build major enterprises surrounding the remarkable worlds that Robert creates within his comics all while remaining true to fans,” Goldman is quoted as saying.
The news comes just a week after Skybound announced that its “Walking Dead Escape” obstacle course, already popular at Comic-Con International and New York Comic Con, will launch a cross-country tour in April. The bestselling Walking Dead comic series has, of course, already spawned a hit television drama (with a spinoff in development), video games and numerous collectibles.
Launched in 2010, Skybound is an Image Comics imprint that serves as home to Kirkman’s titles, like The Walking Dead, Invincible, Thief of Thieves and the upcoming Outcast, as well as books from other creators — among them, Witch Doctor, Manifest Destiny and Dead Body Road.
Publishing | Retail news and analysis website ICv2 breaks down November’s comics sales to the direct market and finds year-to-date sales up 9.33 percent over last year, with an 11.09 percent increase in comics and 5.55 percent in graphic novels. Batman #25 topped the comics chart with more than 125,000 copies, followed at No. 2 by Harley Quinn #0 with about 114,000. In the graphic novel category, the latest volume of The Walking Dead led with about 25,000 copies sold in November. ICv2 also lists the top 300 comics and graphic novels for November. [ICv2]
Creators | Molly Crabapple talks to Art Spiegelman, and draws his portrait as well. [Vice]
Graphic novels | Five volumes of The Walking Dead made the November BookScan list of the Top 20 graphic novels sold in bookstores. As ICv2 points out, the fact that the first volume is still charting (at No. 13) bodes well for the series, as it means new readers are continuing to come in. The latest volume of Naruto took the No. 2 slot, and there were nine volumes of manga overall, including three volumes of Attack on Titan and the newest volume of Yotsuba&! There were five DC Comic titles on the list, as well as the latest volume of Dark Horse’s Avatar: The Last Airbender. Completely missing from the Top 20? Anything from Marvel. [ICv2]
Publishing | After three years at DC Entertainment, John Rood will step down on Jan. 1 as executive vice president of sales, marketing and business development. The position is being eliminated, with marketing and publicity to fall under the auspices of Amit Desai, senior vice president of franchise management. Sales, custom publishing and business development will again be overseen by Co-Publishers Dan DiDio and Jim Lee. [The Beat]
Gift Guides | Here’s a spin on the traditional gift guide: Ten things not to buy a comics fan. [Crave Online]