In this day and age, a comic book isn’t created to make its way into the hands of an excited child, his allowance burning a hole in his pocket. More often than not, a comic property is scripted and shipped out as a platform for potential movie and television deals. One of the most prominent examples of an independent comic making it big is The Walking Dead on AMC, which returns this October for its fourth season, considered by many to be the most successful television show on the air today. Originally published by Robert Kirkman as part of Image Comics, the property has shown little to no signs of slowing down. On the movie front, while heavy hitters such as Iron Man 3 and Man of Steel came out this summer, few noticed that the Mark Wahlberg/Denzel Washington buddy cop film, 2 Guns, was originally an independent comic book, as well.
There are countless independent comics being printed even as we speak and who knows which will eventually make their way into our living rooms. Here are a handful of properties that absolutely need to find their way to the silver screen. Hit the jump for our picks.
Created by current Batman writer, Scott Snyder, Severed is a horror story that takes place in 1916, following a 12-year-old boy searching for his father across the US of A. The boy, Jack, is joined by a fellow pre-teen and an old man, whose bite is most certainly worse than his bark. Let’s face it, horror as a genre is difficult. It’s probably the most difficult genre to create for, but with Severed there’s an ever-increasing sense of doom with every flip of the page that’s impossible to ignore. A studio looking for a low-budget feature along the lines of recent horror success The Conjuring would be able to really sink their teeth into this one (horrible pun intended).
Everyone remembers that first time they fell in love: the ups, the downs, the heartbreak, the realization that childhood was slowly but surely becoming a thing of the past. This autobiographical story, written and beautifully illustrated by author, Craig Thompson, follows the story of a teenage boy from a small town wrestling with his new found relationship, his religion, his family, and his environment. What works so well about Blankets, and what would work so well for it as a movie, is that we all can relate. You see yourself in Craig throughout the story, cringe at his insecurities and revel in his triumphs. In a way, you know how the story is going to end before you even read it, but it doesn’t affect the journey one bit.
What if the bully who picked on Peter Parker was the one to be bitten by a radioactive spider? This is the premise of Steve Earnhart’s and Pat Loika’s graphic novel, The Villain. A high school bully finds himself “blessed” with abilities far beyond those of mortal men, and uses them to score drugs, gain fame, and become a successful super villain. This is a property in the same vein as Chronicle and Hancock, following the exploits of a protagonist who the audience doesn’t necessarily root for, but can’t help but watch what happens next. Think Breaking Bad with super powers.
I’ve loaned my trade paperback of Saga to more people than I can count, and with each read through, the response I receive is usually “When does the next one come out?” Former Lost writer Brian K. Vaughan joins illustrator Fiona Staples to create an adventure that resembles Romeo and Juliet, if it were smack dab in the middle of the Star Wars universe. From “Lying Cats” to eight-armed assassins, the book is chock full of stuff that you really haven’t ever seen before. With Saga consistently topping the New York Times Best Seller list, it’s only a matter of time until a studio picks up the rights and gets to work on giving this space opera a summer theatrical release.
Achewood: The Great Outdoor Fight
Originally a web comic, Achewood has grown enough in popularity to publish one of its best storylines into a graphic novel. The premise of Achewood is a group of anthropomorphic stuffed animals have surreal, yet hilarious adventures. The story arc The Great Outdoor Fight is at the top of the ladder. Protagonist Ray Smuckles and best friend Roast Beef are invited to a large rumble where only the strongest survive. With adult television series like The Simpsons and Family Guy still bringing in ratings, who’s to say that Achewood couldn’t follow suit? Hey, it could even make a great movie for kids, if you removed the extreme violence and frequent cursing, that is.