200710020132Today’s comic book option is JOHNNY DYNAMITE by Max Allan Collins and Terry Beatty, a hard boiled copper whose adventures once ran in the back of MS TREE. Now, quoth Variety Law & Order producer Dick Wolf and DISTURBIA helmer DJ Caruso are aiming to bring it to the small screen using that green screen technology that makes all the comic book movies look so ginchy:

Producers are looking to capture the very unique comicbook style of the “Dynamite” universe, which couldn’t be done with traditional location shoots. Skein isn’t expected to be any less expensive than a traditional show and, in fact, could be a bit more costly.

Nonetheless, without the greenscreen technology, a show as ambitious as “Dynamite” wouldn’t be possible on a TV budget, a person familiar with smallscreen costs said.

Show involves a private dick who goes to Sin City ( that is, Vegas) in search of his lost girlfriend only to dig up more than he expected…as in SATAN.


  1. JOHNNY DYNAMITE was originally created by Pete Morisi and William Waugh (Ken Fitch). Where do they figure in to all of this? I noticed in the comic, and interviews with Max Allen Collins, that they were never mentioned.

    I’ve seen some of the original comics illustrated by Pete Morisi. The interiors are good, but the covers always impressed me the most. Reminded me of Steranko, except this guy was illustrated DYNAMITE about ten years before Jaunty Jim broke into the field.

  2. I *believe* Collins (and Beatty) bought Dynamite from Charlton(?), which is when they began running it as a back-up in Ms. Tree back in the day.

    Though, based on the plot descriptions I’ve read, this show seems to focussing exclusively on the Collins/Beatty mini, rather than any of Morisi’s work.

  3. Check out Tom McLean’s Bags and Boards blog at Variety: he says since Collins purchased the rights to Johnny Dynamite, the show will be based on his work. He also links to a source for anyone interested in the history of the comics.

  4. Collins bought the rights? Interesting. Still, I wish Morisi got a credit line somewhere, even if there isn’t much connection between HIS Johnny Dynamite and the original.

  5. Terry and I always discuss Pete Morisi’s work on JOHNNY DYNAMITE; we were the ones who reprinted the original material and extolled his work in the first place.

    Morisi is not really credited anywhere as the creator — he was the artist and occasional writer. Various writers (William Waugh chiefly, I believe) have been mentioned as the actual creator of the character, but comics being comics in those days, the history is fuzzy. The character was a very direct rip-off of Mickey Spillane’s Mike Hammer, hence my interest in it.

    The TV series will derive only from our graphic novel, UNDERWORLD, and the new concept that Terry and I created, which puts a tough noir detective into the world of monsters, demons and the devil.

    We did indeed purchase the rights to the original series for reprint purposes in MS. TREE as a back-up feature and to be able to do other things with the character.

  6. “The character was a very direct rip-off of Mickey Spillane’s Mike Hammer, hence my interest in it.”

    I almost mentioned Dynamite’s “relation” to Mike Hammer, but it was pretty obvious.

    I always assumed that Morisi was the Will Eisner of Johnny Dynamite. Now I know, but he still drew some nice covers.

    Any chance you might create a JOHNNY DYNAMITE prose novel?

  7. Mr. Collins and Mr. Beatty have given Pete Morisi a TON of credit for the JD character! It was they’re creative genius that gave me inspiration to write and record a song about JD. So i say to Max and Terry CONGRATULATIONS and best of luck to you.. I am Underworlds BIGGEST FAN!!!!!! i think it’s time for a new recording of johnny Dynamite!!!!