The other day the great animator Genndy Tartakovsky (Dexter’s Lab, Clone Wars, Hotel Transylvania) did an interview for Hotel Transylvania 2, which is coming out soon, and sneaked in a reference to a Luke Cage comics that he drew in 2007:
“Actually, you could help out with that,” Tartakovsky told me, with a laugh. “The deal was, I agreed to do the comic as long as I had no schedule, and I actually finished all the pencils and part of the inking, and it was just a matter of continuing on. Then I think I got into Sym-Bionic Titan, and then into the features, and then I got too busy — and I think my contact at Marvel left.
“So maybe you could put the word out that I do really want to finish it, and then maybe somebody at Marvel can contact me [Laughs], and we can work it out again. I actually just found them last week, all my pencils, and I was like, ‘Oh, this still stands up! It’d be fun to finish it.'”
Because the few bits of art from this (above) look absolutely amazing, everyone got al excited about this and the story has been bouncing around from one website to the other….and maybe Marvel WILL publish it!
Except Tartakovsky made much the same plea about this in 2012 when Hotel Transylvania 1 came out, and we ran an identical story!!!
GT: So it’s all written, it’s all drawn, it’s finished. It needs to be inked and I never got a chance to ink it and color it. I haven’t talked to Marvel in forever and I don’t know if the editor is already gone, the one that I was working with. (Note: Aubrey Sitterson, the editor overseeing CAGE! left Marvel in a full-time capacity in 2008.) Every time I turn on my computer and I see some images from it, I get so sad because that is the one thing I really want to finish and the hard part is done — that is the crazy part. I’ve got all four issues done and they’re just sitting there and it’s killing me.
Since Marvel didn’t do anything in 2012, we’re guessing they won’t do anything in 2015. Genndy, one word: Tumblr. Tartakovsky did another interview with Cartoon Brew where he talked about another project of his that’s been deep sixed: Popeye.
Cartoon Brew: You mentioned Popeye, and I don’t know if you want to be frank about it, but I really want to know why you’re not doing that film.
Genndy Tartakovsky: Basically, we did a screening, and it was great. Internally, everyone was super happy with it. I think it was also exactly what King Features wanted. We had a great reaction.
But this was also during the culmination of the Sony hack, and I could feel that something was going to happen soon. So after the screening, I didn’t get an answer from them, which was weird because everybody was so positive. Usually, we meet and talk, and get notes. But they had a meeting on their own, and that was it. I just got a phone call afterward telling me how great it was, which always makes me suspicious. If they just call to tell you it’s great, there’s something going on, because they didn’t offer any notes. Later on, I personally went to see Amy Pascal, and said, “Look, I’m a big boy. I can take it. I just need some information.” And she said, “Look Genndy, we love you, but we just don’t like Popeye.”
Luckily, Tartakovsky has many other projects in the works including a more personal film called Can You Imagine about parents who must journey into they son’s imagination to rescue him. Inside Out for boys perhaps?
Also, on a personal note, the spell checker on this computer changed “Genndy” to “gender” every time I typed it.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.