Monday, November 26, 2012

Manic Monday--Why Is This Not A Comic Book?!?

The other day I was whining because there are currently no James Bond comics being published. Which strikes me as something of a crime, because A) I'm a huge James Bond fan, B) James Bond seems particularly adaptable to comics, and C) James Bond is plenty popular, so it seems like it would sell.

Well, naturally, that put me in mind of some other franchises who should have comic book versions, but don't.

Let's note that I haven't researched the rights issues on these in the least. In some cases, it may be  because the rights holder doesn't want comic book versions, I'm sure. In some cases the rights fees being asked might be too damn much. In some cases, there are doubtless complex situations and intense litigation involved, so making comic books are definitely on the back burner. Or, perhaps, in some mega-corporate takeover situation, the owner doesn't even know they have the rights, or not realize what a goldmine they might be sitting on (hello, ROM).

So, with the acknowledgement that these all might be unlikely, or even impossible, allow me to present one man's opinions of the entertainment franchises that most need to get comics.


Discounting collections of British newspaper strips and Topps' 1996 adaptation of Goldeneye, America has been without 007 comics for nearly two decades. Eclipse and Dark Horse gave us some original James Bond Prestige series' back in the late 80s and early 90s, but after that...zilch.

Which strikes me as insane, given the obviously popularity of James Bond right now; the 50th anniversary of the film franchise, which seems like the perfect hot iron to strike; and the artistic success of the super-spy genre in comics.

 So somebody should really be getting their act together right now, because they're leaving serious money on the table.


Dell/Gold Key had a brief MI comic book in the 60s, but that was only because literally EVERY television series of the era had its own comic (or so it seemed). And, in 1996, when Paramount and Marvel were being all buddy-buddy, this little chestnut appeared:

You're welcome.

Other than that, nil. Zilch.

For many of the reasons cited with Bond, MI would make pretty good comic fodder, I think. Plus the possibility to do stories that cross eras, with Ethan Hunt having to set right something that went wrong on one of Jim Phelps' missions (goddamn, that's a good idea...and we can conveniently retcon away the nonsense of the first movie making Phelps a traitor...).

BONUS: Include AR on the cover, so when you point your smart phone at it, it plays out the mission briefing!! Double bonus if it makes your phone self-destruct in 5 seconds...


This one seems so obvious that I can only surmise that J.K. Rowling simply isn't interested. Which is a shame, since a) the obvious appeal to young readers and b) the wonderful opportunity to flesh out the Harry Potter universe seems like an "everybody wins" situation for fans, for comics shoppes, and for Rowling's pocket book.


This one surprised me. But other than a 3-issue prestige series adaptation of the Hobbit from Eclipse in 1989, as near as I can tell there hasn't been a single other comic book version of either Hobbit or Lord Of The Rings...ever. Anywhere. (OK, there was a Dork Tower: Lord Of The Rings Special, but that hardly counts).

Am I missing something? Given the 15 trillion ersatz LOTR knock-offs that get comics, it's pretty clear that the original would be popular beyond belief. So what's the problem?

FACT: There have been at least a couple of dozen Tolkien-based video games, and only one comic book. That is wrong on a lot of levels.


OK, this is an oddball thing, I'll admit. And comedy comic books can be difficult to pull off.

But then again, these cats have been doing actual books for years, so the lack of moving pictures and audio can't really be said to be a barrier. And of course, the opportunities for offbeat visuals in comics more than make up for those lacks.

So whether it's adaptations (and who wouldn't kill for a well-done comic version of Holy Grail?), or original material (hopefully with substantial contributions from the surviving members), don't we need a Monty Python comic book?


All right, you already know I am totally this series' bitch.

But the success of other P.I./noir comics, including those featuring female heroes, shows there could be room for this on the market. Plus, if Kristen Bell and Rob Thomas are serious about convincing whomever owns the rights to let them make a movie, getting them to approve a comic might be a good first baby-step.

And the thought of Ed Brubaker writing a Veronica Mars comic just gave me the shivers...


OK, this is another idiosyncratic choice of mine, especially as only about 5 people in the U.S. have actually seen the series.

But given the current popularity of Doctor Who on screen and comics (soon to be followed, no doubt, by the "it's not as good as it used to be when only I liked it" backlash), it's a surprise that no one has glommed  onto this Terry Nation-created "Dirty Dozen in space," about a rag tag group of revolutionaries & criminals accidentally out to take down the evil Federation (whilst enriching themselves at the same time). Heck, BBC America is so desperate for anything remotely British sci-fi, it's stunning they haven't just started airing the old episodes, or commissioned a new one. SyFy, too, but they'd just turn it into some crappy reality series...

Anyway, good choice for comic book fodder. Which hopefully would convince the BBC to release it on U.S.-viewable DVDs...


If Bill & Ted can get multiple bites at the apple, if Beavis & Butthead can have more than one comic, than why oh why can Wayne and Garth not have their moment of four-color glory?


I'm telling you right now...put Grant Morrison on this title, and we'll be tripping some serious balls. Comics may actually be better suited than TV or movies for the insane visuals, complex (or convoluted) mysteries, and nutsoid characters of Twin Peaks.

OK, that's my personal list. I've no doubt forgotten/neglected some of your what other media franchises need comic book representation?


Siskoid said...

And what's more there are a few in there that would suit the trend for licensed properties to have multiple series and minis going (like GI Joe, Green Hornet, Star Trek do/did).

MI Classic, or Cruised? Veronica Mars in high school, college or as an FBI intern? LotR prequels, sequels, interstices, or adaptations of every Tolkien story ever?

Martin Gray said...

Excellent MI AR idea!

How about a BBC Merlin comic, or the Seventies Survivors? Maybe we could even see the conclusion of The Tripods?

The Mutt said...

Two favorites from my childhood I would love to see: Time Tunnel and Land of the Giants.

Time Tunnel would let them play in any era they wanted without the budget restrictions the show had to deal with. Land of the Giants is the closest thing to Lost that has ever been on TV.

Wayne Allen Sallee said...

As with MI< it had its own comic in the 60s, but I'd like to see THE INVADERS again. It was cancelled after only one season and had some decent possibilities.

Wayne Allen Sallee said...

As with MI< it had its own comic in the 60s, but I'd like to see THE INVADERS again. It was cancelled after only one season and had some decent possibilities.

SteveAsat said...

Twin Peaks would lose a LOT when you subtract the music, the slow pacing, and the casting. A lot ideas that are dynamite on screen are bleh on the page. case in point: the Alien Nation comics that suffered not only from tyro artwork but the fact that aliens mingling with humans in comic books just doesn't come across as all the odd. For Twin Peaks to work as a book, the writer would have to be as far out in his chosen field as Lynch was in his...and folks like that don't often waste their time adapting other people's material. (Dorkin on Bill & Ted being a notable exception.)

-3- said...

The Champions - the 1960s British TV series from the guys who brought you The Avengers.
Three NEMESIS agents, extracting a bio-weapon from a Red Chinese base go down in the Tibetan mountains and are rescued by monks from K'un-Lun or somewhere, and rebuilt with enhanced physical & mental abilities. NEMESIS is your basic international spy organization, run out of Geneva, and our team consists of 2 Brits - male & female, and one American - male.
It suffered from BBC budget limitations, but as a comic it could rule.