Okay maybe you will—what’s really amazing is how great it looks!
Although here in the US, Toronto-based Chester Brown is probably best known for his most recent GN Paying For It, about her experiences with prostitutes. However, in Canada he’s known for Louis Riel, a dramatic biography of a major figure in Canadian history. It’s a compelling, exciting work even if you don’t know about the history of the two Métis revolts he led against the Canadian government. (Think Jefferson Davis with crazy visions.)
Apparently at one point, award winning Canadian animator Nick Cross (The Waif of Persephone, Yellow Cake, Pig Farmer, and Black Sunrise) who works at Cartoon Network as an Art Director, was slated to adapt Louis Riel into animated form. On his blog he writes:
I wrote a treatment and then animated the following as a proof-of-concept for the general look of the film. I wanted to keep the really distinctive look of Brown’s characters, which were really reminiscent of Harold Gray’s Li’l Orphan Annie and Herge’s Tintin. I chose to break from the look of the novel by not only adding colour but also by expanding the picture frame from the rigid square comic panels, to a Cinemascope format. I felt this would help to suggest the width of the Canadian landscape and the vast distances from East to West, which is a central theme to the story.
Although the tiny test looks AMAZING, the project fell through, as so many great things do. So add it to the Imaginary Comic Book Movie Film festival in your mind.
Although this has been around a while, it’s Louis Riel’s birthday. Seems like a good day to revisit this project. Hey howabout a Paying for It cartoon….?
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.