In recent months Dave Cockrum has never been far from the headlines. Starting with a delibitating illness that once again highlighted the financial plight of some of comics’ older professionals, followed by a campaign to gain recompense for his work in helping to create the wildly successful New X-Men franchise, Cockrum has remained upbeat and positive about the opportunities ahead. And now his patience has been rewarded: IDT Entertainment has optioned Cockrum’s most significant creator owned franchise, The Futurians. High-adventure and high energy science fiction have been hallmarks of Cockrum’s creations, and The Futurians is no exception. All The Rage caught up with Dave Cockrum to get more details on the deal:

Blair Marnell: How is your recovery coming along?

Dave Cockrum: I have good days and bad ones. The long bout with double pneumonia left me with collateral kidney damage, which has put me back in hospital at least once for another five days. I’ll be going on dialysis sometime in the near future. I had to learn all over again to walk and do for myself, and I still don’t have any great endurance.

BM: Were the collective efforts of the comic professionals (i.e. the people who contributed to your tribute book) able to make a difference and help you out?

DM: Yeah, their contributions helped a lot, both financially, and as a huge morale booster. I never thought much about what other pros thought of me, and it was quite amazing to me to have all those people–some of whom have been idols to me for the better part of my life–come out in support and praise. I was totally blown away. I had wanted to thank them all by doing a sketch and personal thank you note in the copies of the tribute book that each of them received, but somehow signals got mixed between me and Aardwolf, and that didn’t happen. Still, I think it’s just aboutt the nicest thing
anyone’s ever done for me.

BM: I understand that your creator owned title, The Futurians has been been optioned for a possible feature film. Can you fill us in on the details?

DC: Yes, that’s true. My good friend, Clifford Meth, got me connected with IDT Entertainment, who are interested in the Futurians, most likely as a live action feature film, although they’re also studying the possibility of an animated film or TV series. Cliff is currently the writer of record, and we’ll be working closely together on a screen treatment. That ought to be fun. Current plans are to adapt all or part of the first Futurians graphic novel, originally published as Marvel Graphic Novel #9.

BM: Will there be any new Futurians comics coming out of this?

DC: Yes, indeed. I’m nearly finished penciling and scripting the first new issue of Futurians, which is, I believe, slated to be inked by Bob Wiacek. I believe IDT is thinking of reprinting the existing stuff first, then continuing on into the new series.

BM: For some of our readers who may not be familiar with it, can you remind us what The Futurians is about?

DC: The Futurians deals with two warring groups in the far future, the Futurians and the Inheritors (they’re the bad guys). Having reached a stalemate in their war, the Inheritors abandon their time and flee into the distant past, tapping and ruining the sun for the power to travel through time. The Futurians, trapped in a dying future Earth, seed the past with ‘genetic time bombs’, tailored chromosome packages that will alter the genetic structure of human bloodlines, to create superhuman agents to combat the Inheritors at their arrival date in our present.

The Inheritors tried to take over the world of the present by dropping meteor bombs on major cities, demanding surrender. The present-day Futurians were formed as a bulwark against the evil Inheritors. There’s a lot of convoluted plot–some of which may never be revealed to the public–immortal beings, love, romance, lots of battles and exotic beings, and even some well-meaning silliness. It’s the kind of comic book that made me love reading comic books.

BM: Do you have any other projects in the works?

DC: Yes, I do. I’ve been sitting on a number of series ideas for years. I have one that’s ready to be shown–it’s titled T.H.U.G.S. (Tough Huge Ugly GoonS, and is about a repo agency that uses monsters for repo men), and once the Futurians are safely in the pipeline, I’ll start shopping it around.

This Has A “Future Prospects” Factor of Ten Out of Ten

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