Seeing films and television series adapted as comic books is nothing new, but in the past decade we’ve experienced a new phenomenon in which canceled TV shows are finding a second life, and a second chance, in comics form. In many cases, these properties pick up right where their television runs left off, such as in Dark Horse’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight and IDW Publishing’s recent X-Files launch. So with that in mind, we turn to six other beloved genre shows that deserve a comic-book revival.
“Way back when I was writing The X-Files comic book series I had planned to include a story in which Mulder and Scully attended the retirement party of Gordon Cole, the FBI Regional Bureau Chief played by David Lynch in Twin Peaks. This would have also included cameos by other FBI agents from Twin Peaks including Albert Rosenfield and Denise Bryson, the character played by David Duchovny. Unfortunately, The X-Files comic was brought to an end before I got to this story.”
Another post for the process junkies; this time about writing. On his blog, John Rozum answers a reader’s question about trimming fat and killing darlings in comics scripts. It’s one of the basic rules of writing, but Rozum relates it specifically to the pre-determined page counts of single-issue comics stories.
Generally, if it’s an action oriented comic book, I will cut out some of the action. My feeling is that with over 75 years of super hero comics behind us, everyone reading them has seen two people in garish outfits hitting each other frequently enough that they can fill in the blanks and get the sense that a hefty battle is being waged even if I cut out a page of someone getting beaten with a parking meter or having a bus thrown at them. This seems like something easier to do away with and without the same impact that cutting a scene that strengthens the bond between two characters through their interaction over dinner.
Cutting action pages out of an action comic is an interesting choice, but Rozum is clear about his personal priorities in story construction. ” I usually put the characters first and plot serves as a supporting function to develop the characters,” he writes, “whether that’s something long term like Xombi, or even a 2-issue Batman story.” The implication is that writers should identify their own priorities in storytelling and make edits accordingly.
Rozum also talks about what happens when he does have to cut character moments and when outside forces like suddenly reduced page counts and truncated series get in the way of his original plans. There are lots of real-life examples from Xombi, Midnight Mass, and The X-Files and also stuff about how much freedom artists should have in developing pacing. Even though there’s a lot there, it’s not a long post. Very worth the time of new writers.
The Monday before Halloween, as well as the Monday before the release of the Beasts of Burden/Hellboy one-shot (Set for release this Wednesday from Dark Horse), was the ideal time for an interview with writer/artist Jill Thompson. October has been busy for Dark Horse and Thompson, given that earlier in the month the publisher released the new hardcover Scary Godmother collection of the four “Eisner Award-winning, fully painted children’s books … (Scary Godmother, Revenge of Jimmy, The Mystery Date, and The Boo Flu)”. The prospect of new Scary Godmother was a great topic to cover with Thompson, as well as learning her thoughts on how she creates certain tales and how organic the creative process is for her. Thanks to Dark Horse’s Jim Gibbons for arranging this interview, and I offer a great deal of gratitude to Thompson for this discussion.
Tim O’Shea: How satisfying is it to have all of the fully-painted Scary Godmother stories repackaged into one book? You considered teaming with different publishers to collect the stories, but what factors motivated you to go with Dark Horse?
Jill Thompson: Well, the original books, published by Sirius Entertainment had been out of print for a long while and I was very anxious to find a way to get them back out to the reading public. Since there are two animated specials in seasonal rotation on the Cartoon Network I knew there were a great many new fans I could introduce or reintroduce to the original material. I’m so happy that the book is back in print and available at comic shops and bookstores and online.
The first-ever C2E2 — Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo — is all but over, and no doubt Brigid and Michael will have more to say about the whole experience here soon. For now, here’s a roundup of news and info coming out of various panels from today, to go with our roundups from Friday and Saturday.
- The X-Men vs. vampires storyline, whose teaser last week set off Ultimate Avengers writer Mark Millar, will run in a relaunched adjective-less X-Men title by novelist Victor Gischler and artist Paco Medina. Gischler, who fans know from his work on Punisher and Deadpool for Marvel, is no stranger to vampires, having written the novel Vampire a Go Go. “It’s going to be a nice fresh look at vampires,” Gischler told Marvel.com about his first story arc in the new title. “I think people are going to be pretty impressed.” The series begins in July.
- September brings another new X-title, as X-23 gets her own solo series written by Marjorie Liu, who wrote the recent X-23 one-shot. “X-23 is a loner at heart, but she’s been forced into a team setting for quite some time now,” Liu told Comic Book Resources. “A pack, if you will. And those conflicting instincts to be alone – and with others – will continue to tug at her. So yes, there will be a rotating supporting cast – a couple of former X-Men who, against their better judgment, will try to mentor Laura. Or at least, be there for her when she needs mentoring. That won’t be without conflict, though – physical and emotional.”
- Wolverine: Weapon X will be replaced by a new Wolverine title by Jason Aaron and Renato Guedes, with covers by Jae Lee. In it, Wolverine goes to Hell. “His soul goes to Hell, and we’re going to see what happens when he’s not around to be in control of his own body,” said editor Jenine Schaefer. The first issue ships in September. Meanwhile, the former Wolverine title, now called Dark Wolverine, will get another title change, as it becomes Daken: Dark Wolverine in September. Liu, Daniel Way and Giuseppe Camuncoli will remain as the creative team.