THR’s Heat Vision blog did an interesting article yesterday about comic artists’ increasing penetration of the movie world.
Before I get to my take, I’ll share some tidbits from it that you may or may not have known…
* PLANETARY artist John Cassady directed an episode of the Eliza Dushku-starring series, DOLLHOUSE, which aired last December. I imagine the hook-up occurred because he drew ASTONISHING X-MEN for Joss Whedon, who created that show.
* Kaare Andrews, who’s drawn a lot of stuff for Marvel over the years, most notably the SPIDER-MAN: REIGN mini, has transitioned into directing feature films after doing a bunch of shorts and PSA’s. His first production - - the horror film ALTITUDE - - hasn’t even been released yet and he’s already got another slotted up with legendary producer, Gale Anne Hurd. It’s an “assassin thriller” titled THE HUNTED.
* After his heavy involvement in the HELLBOY movies and BLADE II, Mike Mignola has actually been doing some conceptual work for the HOBBIT movie, to be directed by his frequent collaborator Guillermo del Toro. I’m VERY curious to see how his envisioning of Middle Earth compares to Alan Lee’s.
*PUNISHER MAX cover artist Tim Bradstreet did conceptual designs for last month’s BOOK OF ELI, and THE FILTH-artist Chris Weston storyboarded it. Neither's involvement surprises me, as that bad ass Denzel-starring, post-Apocalyptic flick - - “Put that hand on me again and you won’t get it back. - - definitely had the gritty feel of both artist’s work. Apparently, we’ll be seeing more of Weston’s storyboards as his work on the movie’s gotten him “a lot of feelers” for more projects.
My take: this is hardly anything new. One of my all-time favorite artists is Alejandro Jodorosky and he’s freely danced between making mind-bending films like THE HOLY MOUNTAIN and mind-bending comics like METABARONS (along with his frequent collaborator, Moebius) since the 60's. There’s no need to pigeonhole him. Writer, director, actor, mime, psychotherapist… he’s just an artist.
This acceleration’s really a product of THE MATRIX, I deem. The Wachowski Brothers began their careers on ECTOKID, an obscure title from Marvel’s short-lived Clive Barker-created Shadowline. When they needed extensive storyboards as proof-of-concept for pitching the MATRIX, they called up Steve Skroce, who drew ECTOKID. Then, they brought in the insane HARD BOILED-artist Geoff Darrow to do conceptuals. I’m pretty sure their contributions were a significant part about why the esoteric-kung-fu-cyber-punk movie got made. Check out the coffee table ART OF THE MATRIX book from a couple years ago to see the work they did, by the way. It’s basically an amazing, wordless comic.
What other comics artists would you like to see involved in movies, oh Comic Vine community? I want NAMES!
-- Tom Pinchuk is the writer of UNIMAGINABLE for Arcana Comics and HYBRID BASTARDS! for Archaia Comics. Watch out for the HYBRID BASTARDS! hardcover collection this March - - available for pre-order now on Amazon.com.