A roundup of some interesting bits of news about comics and comic book adaptations…
DEVIL’S DUE BUYS FIRST COMICS! The purchasing company has actually been around since 1999, and is probably best known for the horror comic Hack/Slash. First Comics was one of the (ahem) first independent publishers, way back in 1983, and boasted an impressive catalog including Nexus, Grimjack, and two of my personal favorites, Howard Chaykin’s American Flagg and Jim Starlin’s Dreadstar. Best news about the merger? They’ll be reviving The Badger, a character who my buddy CD insists was the inspiration for Deadpool (because no other wise-ass thug-antiheroes existed in comics in the 1980s?). A new series will be written by the creator of the character, Mike Baron ,and illustrated by Jim Fern (best known for a bunch of X-Factor and Wolverine stories in the late 1990s/early 2000s), Tony Akins (who drew the Eisner-winning Jack of Fables for Vertigo), and the great Val Mayerik (co-creator of Howard the Duck).
INDIE MUSICAL! The stage adaptation of Alison Bechdel’s “Fun Home” graphic novel won best Musical and six other Tony Awards. The book has been banned from several State libraries due to its mature discussions of child abuse and sexual orientation.
DAREDEVIL, RIP. Mark Waid and Chris Samnee’s run on Daredevil is probably in my top 3 best DD runs of all time, right under Frank Miller and tied with Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev. And it’s ending in a few months with issue #18, in which he will finally release The Autobiography of Matt Murdock. I’m glad Marvel didn’t interrupt or mess with this run in their Secret Wars event, but I can’t help wondering if none of it “matters” because Secret Wars is resetting the whole Marvel U. We’ll see.
CAPTAIN AMERICA WHITE FINALLY COMING OUT! It’s been pending since 2008, when an advance #0 preview came out, but it looks like the final Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale “color” miniseries will actually be released in September.
MORE COMICS BECOME MOVIES!
- Boom! Studios’ comic book Lumberjanes, about a haunted girls’ summer camp, has been a huge hit—and now it’s been optioned for a movie by Fox.
- Universal Studios has optioned Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie’s Eisner-nominated Image Comic, “The Wicked + The Divine,” for a TV adaptation to be produced by Matt Fraction and Kelly Sue DeConnick’s Milkfed Criminal Masterminds. It’s about Gods coming to life and hanging out at nightclubs. Kind of. I loved the first few issues but lost interest. I hope producing TV shows won’t make Kelly Sue unable to keep writing Bitch Planet, which is one of the best comics on the market right now.
- Mark Millar and Goran Parlov’s Image Comic Starlight has a script for its big screen adaptation by Fox.
- The film version of the Manga hit Akira is being rebooted after multiple failed starts. Marco J. Ramirez, writer for Daredevil season one and showrunner for season two, is attached to write a new script. Netflix’s DD crew are getting lots of attention, as another one just got picked to help write Transformers #19: Cars Still Talk.
- Universal Studios has optioned the best new comic of 2014, Bitch Planet.
AND SOME BECOME TV SHOWS!
- Eisner-winning Cow Boy (Boom Studios) will be adapted for TV by DreamWorks as a cartoon. Congrats to Nate Cosby and the great Chris Eliopoulos. It was great when they made a smart, all-ages comic (too many comics are for adults these days), and it’s terrific to see them get a nice reward for it.
- And finally, we have our Punisher….