The Nightmare Factory II

Finally it can be revealed! Secret Project #1!

Once in a while I hope I can be allowed a wee bit of hype here, and so here we go: One of the reasons I’ve ve been so mad crazy over the last 8 weeks or so was because we’ve been putting together a sequel to last year’s acclaimed THE NIGHTMARE FACTORY anthology. The book comes out of Fox Atomic’s graphic novel line, and will be out this August from Harper Collins.

Like the first volume, this is a 112-page comics adaptation of the short stories of horror writer Thomas Ligotti. Writers Joe Harris and Stuart Moore have returned to adapt Ligotti’s cerebrally chilling stories, but we have some new players as well.

This time out the cover is by the great Jon Foster. Jon worked on a bunch of covers for me back in the day, but his style has taken a major evolution since then, and I was really excited to see what he would do with the Nightmare Factiry concept, and I think he knocked it out of the park.

The interiors are by Bill Sienkiewicz, Vasilis Lolos, Toby Cypress and Nick Stakal, aided and abetted by the coloring of Lee Louridge and Rico Renzi, the fine lettering of Comicraft and the great design work of Symon Chow. I hope to be able to let everyone see a sneak peek of some of the interior pages, and hopefully everyone will be as pleased as I am by this incredible line-up of talent.

I haven’t been able to talk much about this project here on the blog because of an intensive deadline crunch. It was a little touch and go for a while there, but everyone came through relatively unscathed.

I’ll have more to say about this (and more previews) in the coming weeks but for now I would just like to say, for the record, that it was just the kind of project you always hope to work on: unique, intelligent material, writers and artists who understand that and have the chops to bring it to life, and who also epitomize professionalism in so many ways. I’m very very lucky to get to work with such great people as the ones I’ve just named, and to learn from them along the way.

I also have to send a shout out to my partners in crime, Eric Lieb, the Editor in Chief of Fox Atomic Comics, and Hope Inelli and Jeremy Cesarec at Harper Collins. I couldn’t ask for better collaborators or bosses.

Anyway enough thanks yous. If you’re not familiar with the writings of Thomas Ligotti you’re missing a contemporary stylist and fabulist second to none. His stories are thought provoking, disturbing, and truly, truly original. THE NIGHTMARE FACTORY II is, I hope, a true reflection of his unique world view in graphic novel form.

Ellis/Hamner’s RED to film

200806121320THR reports on DC Comics’ Red getting big-screen treatment. It’s based on the Warren Ellis/Cully Hamner 3-issue mini of a few years agp and very significantly, it is being developed by indie studio Summit Entertainment NOT Warner Bros., although DC”s Gregory Noveck will serve as exec producer. Ellis follows up with his own comments:

For another, RED is more of a graphic novella, a short and tight book, and a novella doesn’t fill out a film’s running time all on its own. This is an adaptation, not a direct transfer/translation from page to print. What the screenwriters will do is take the core concept of RED — a troubled old man still having nightmares of his role as his government’s monster suffering an attempted murder at the remote hands of a terrified political appointee, and bringing the world of covert assassination back to the agency who wanted to drop him and his body down an Orwellian memory-hole — and expand upon it. The book is, if you like, a folded shape that can unpack into a film. And I’m fine with that. Summit bought the right to build upon the story. My only niggle, frankly, is that the news story calls it a Wildstorm/DC book first, and not a Warren Ellis/Cully Hamner book, which is what it is. We went with Summit because they make films like INSOMNIA and MEMENTO with people like Christopher Nolan (and they produced FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS, too).

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Planet Hulk direct to DVD?

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Our good friend Nomad braved the security at the Marvel Booth at the Licensing Show to eke out news of all Marvel’s new animated projects:

Hulk: Gamma Corps:: Set to hit in 2009, provided the movie does the numbers required. Remember, there was a series planned the last time a Hulk movie hit and it never saw the light of day due to poor numbers at the box office. This series sees Hulk teaming with other Gamma powered individuals to fight the good fight. So..Hulk..She Hulk..Doc Samson…who else would be in there? I wasn’t aware there were that many Gamma powered people to form a group with. I’ll assume there will be some original creations in there. Fingers crossed, Marvel hopes for 26 episodes on the table, but nothing is in stone yet.

Also listed: Iron Man: Armored Adventures, a Planet Hulk DVD for Lionsgate and Marvel Superhero Squad and Marvel Extreme- Wolverine
[LInk via Blog@]

LINKS: Round ‘em up (snap!) RAWHIDE

§ Over at i09, Charle Jane Anders (aided and abetted by Douglas Wolk) has a very lengthy and girthy round up of Superheroes Who Can’t Have Sex including two from this summer’s movies:

Okay, now that you’ve consented to be spoiled, our two abstinent heroes are the Hulk and Hancock. Actually, in the case of Hancock, it’s not strictly true that he can’t have sex — according to early screening reports, he simply has to be very, very careful where, and how, he ejaculates.

§ This headline says it all: April Bookstore Sales Show Unexpected Strength. Translation: Books not dead yet!

§ EW reviews The Eternals, Judenhass and Dead in Desemboque.

§ Keith Dallas interviews Vertigo’s Karen Berger, Jonathan Vankin and Joan Hilty for more on their graphic novel acquiring spree:

Berger: Vertigo is known for publishing genre fiction, and I think many people assume that Vertigo acquires only certain types of books. Creators might not realize that Vertigo would be in the market for something that’s maybe more of an intimate story or a memoir or even a story that has no genre aspect. I wasn’t really thinking of any particular Oni or Top Shelf book, but in our amped-up efforts to acquire more graphic novels, we’re casting a wide net, and want creators with independent sensibilities to know that we’re open to hearing from them.

I think a lot of new creators might not think that they can necessarily get a foot in the door at Vertigo. Maybe they think they have to be more seasoned in terms of how much they’ve published. But my feeling is if you have a great story to tell and you’re great at story-telling, then I don’t care if you have or haven’t been published. Of course, it’s always easiest to look at creators’ prior work in terms of judging what they can do.

Revamping characters fraught with peril


§ The NYT looks at new spins on old characters in the 21st Century including some we may not necessarily find palatable:

“You want a dark, Goth version of Tweety Bird? Have at it,” said Lisa Gregorian, executive vice president for worldwide marketing at Warner Brothers Television.

New media applications have created opportunities that companies did not have before, Ms. Gregorian said. And one reason the characters bring in so much money is that their owners have pumped them out all over the place: on direct-to-DVD movies, television programs, toys, clothing, video games, furniture and even live stage productions.

The article suggest even Mickey Mouse may be getting a revamp, but points to the WB’s soul-destroying LOONATICS as an idea whose time should never, ever have come, and fondly recalls one of the biggest gaffes in toy history:

Earring Magic Ken is the industry’s nightmare. The character, who had blond highlights in his hair and a leather vest, drew howls from consumers, who did not see him as a realistic boyfriend for Barbie. Ken was already coping with arched eyebrows over his sexual orientation, and he seemed to have come out of the closet — something that Mattel most definitely did not intend.

Talke about euphemisms! “Did not see him as a realistic boyfriend for Barbie”! You’ll recall that Earring Magic Ken® was affectionately known as “Cock-Ring Ken” around Barbie circles because, well, because he wore a Cock-Ring as a necklace. Although the Times assumes that Mattel was unaware of Earring Magic Ken’s alternative lifestyle, given the number of Friends of Dorothy who follow Barbie, we’ve always been a leetle suspicious of that theory. Will we ever know what really happened? The truth is out there.

Mystery of the day

We’re not exactly sure what this is, but during World War II it would have been treason.