Welcome back to SBC’s The Panel, a chance for you to put your burning questions – comics-related or otherwise – to a group of comics professionals.

The Panel lives or dies by your contributions; please email them to panel@silverbulletcomicbooks.com and we’ll add them to the list…

This week’s question comes from Daniel Reece and is as follows:-

“if you could develop any comic into film, tv, computer game, or even a radio broadcast, what would it be and why?”

Lee ?Budgie” Barnett:

I’d be wary about suggesting almost any super-hero comic for adaptation to TV or movies, simply because with rare exceptions, they’ve always been done so very badly. Of course, that still leaves a huge range of comics to be adapted. QUEEN AND COUNTRY is an obvious, but although I’d rather see a couple of movies of that rather than an ongoing TV series, I can’t imagine Hollywood doing it ‘straight’.

I’d pay good money to see a lot of Antony Johnston’s work on the silver screen. I think THREE DAYS IN EUROPE and THE LONG HAUL would both translate beautifully into movies, The former is a delicious romantic comedy and I never grow tired of good examples of that genre. And I always love a good heist movie.

But the piece of work I’d most love to see translated to a movie, and the one I think would most easily translate, is Scene of the Crime by Brubaker, Lark and Philips, a glorious PI piece.

Lee ‘Budgie’ Barnett is a writer of comedy and comics, firstly Imperium’s TRAILER PARK OF TERROR, then X-MEN UNLIMITED #4 (Aug 04). Online, he has GOING CHEEP at Pulse, and his novel YOU’LL NEVER BELIEVE A MAN CAN FLY here. Famed in UK Comics for Hypotheticals (devised with and presented by Dave Gibbons, and inspiration for the Panel), he’s been described as being to accountancy what Indiana Jones is to archaeology.

Baz Renshaw writes:

It would have to be JUDGE DREDD as first choice. The Stallone film had some nice visuals, however it failed to capture the spirit of the comic, and I think only a well-written TV series could do 27 years of comics any justice.

I think finally CGI has reached a stage that it would make Dredd’s world believable on screen, each season covering one mega epic (Judge Cal, Cursed Earth etc) reflecting the best of the strips right from year one. I can easily imagine the opening titles to the music of Rob D’s Clubbed To Death, of a future America recovering from the Atomic Wars, Fargo taking control of the streets, Untouchables style, and starting the Judges. The opening titles would be a montage of events, introducing cloning, founding of the Mega Cities, Battle of Armageddon, sweeping through the tower blocks of Mega City One and finishing up on the battered Statue of Liberty, which is overshadowed by the Statue of Judgement, finishing on the coda “Justice has a price. The price is freedom.”

In this day and age, Dredd is well placed to explore how a fearful populace easily gives up its freedoms in exchange for order, and what the eventual cost of that would be.

As for cast… There’s a lot of great actors around on American TV at the moment in 24, CSI, West Wing, and so on. I originally imagined Dolph Lundgren as an older grizzled Dredd, since he has the chin, the voice, and the physicality. But these days a younger actor would probably be needed, depending on when the stories would be set in the Dredd timeline… Sarah Michelle Geller as Anderson, Reiko Aylesworth (24’s Michelle Dessler) as Hershey, Tony Todd as Giant Snr. I’d have Max Von Sydow back as Fargo in flashbacks. It would be a top show.

Writer, artist, editor and Liverpudlian Barry Renshaw is behind the ENGINE COMICS line of publications and a founder of the ACCENT UK collective, makers of among other things, REDEYE MAGAZINE, a quarterly for the UK comics scene.

Kev F Sutherland :

Desperate Dan, starring Billy Connolly. (Remember where you heard it first)

Writer and artist on most genres of comic from (currently) The Bash St Kids in The Beano, thru Tarquin Hoylet He Has To Go To The Toilet in Viz, to Star Trek and Dr Strange for Marvel, plus Dr Who, Red Dwarf, Gladiators, Goosebumps and heaps more.

James E. Lyle (a.k.a. Doodle):

Well, this is going to sound pretty mercenary, but after 20+ years doing this comic thing, for little or no monetary rewards, I think I’d like to develop any of my own stuff for those markets. In fact, that’s pretty much what I do every day. Now, some may say that this is awful. That comics should be comics and that’s all. I admire their integrity. But at the same time I have to think about the possibility that at some point I’m going to have to pay some bills, and having a successful product or line of products that pay me a royalty will go a long way toward achieving that goal.

I think that part of the problem is the perception that once you have a published comic book that you’re swimming in money. This simply isn’t so. I don’t know everyone in the comics industry, but I just spent the weekend in Florida at MegaCon (hello, all you MegaCon folks!) and in Artist’s Alley most of the guys (and girls) have day jobs to pay the bills. There are some that are working toward an early retirement, with the goal that they can then do the comics thing since they’ll have a safety net to support them while they do it. This is not the worry of the average millionaire.

So, in short, I’d develop my own properties for other markets. I’m working toward that goal every day, and is there anyone out there with some money to invest?

If I could develop an EXISTING comics property for various markets (and get paid for it and all that stuff I talked about last time), I think I’d like to work on the Justice Society of America. Not the new thing, JSA…I’m talking about the Golden Age heroes from DC. I just like them a lot. So much in fact that I’m doing a series of sketches of them right now. So that’s probably why they come to mind.

Anyway, I’d love to take them and be allowed to just run with them. No hassles from the DC editors or WB, just do it “my way” (to cop a line from Sinatra). That would be fun.

James E. Lyle is a cartoonist and illustrator, including co-creating titles Escape to the Stars, T.H.U.N.D.E.R. and DoorMan, plus work on Fright Night, Cynicalman Sells Out, and the accurately-spelt Wiindows. More recently Lyle worked on Turok, the “missing” Paul Gulacy T.h.u.n.d.e.r. Agents, and DRASTIK #1.

Bart Thompson:

*rubs hands together* Bwhahahaha! I’d love to be executive producer on a ChiSai movie! My ChiSai: Karma artist Steve Fox suggested that Alicia Silverstone play the lead bad guy’s head bodyguard and mercenary, Gertrude. I’m sure Katherine Heigl could play the part, also. For Shy herself, that’d be tough and probably would need to be an unknown actress. Someone who was a 17 year old version of Sanaa Lathan or Kimberly Elise.

Chaos Campus in my mind is perfect for a TV show, but I’ll take a movie on that also (again, only being executive producer- I wouldn’t have time for anything else as the comics themselves take top priority). Katharine Isabelle for Jamie, Marla Sokoloff for Brittany, and for Paige we could chose from Elisha Cuthbert, Anna Faris, Shiri Appleby, or Gina Philips.

Vampires Unlimited I see more of an adult cartoon due to the graphic violence and adult language. Though the Last Resort and the Lazarus Factor could be very good movies indeed.

I’d gladly help in any way for any video games with all three of these properties.

I don’t think I’d be any help on any other comics turned other secondary developments. Though in a kinda related type thing, I’ve always wanted to own a comic book TV station that showed comic related TV shows and movies 24/7 (or maybe 6 days a week and Sunday will have a full day of paid advertisement shows and infomercials to keep revenue coming in regularly). A place to see the X-Men movies, Teen Titans Go, the old Flash series, Wonder Woman, Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends, the crappy old Captain America movie, and so on all on one channel.

Bart Thompson is the founder of Approbation Comics and creator of Vampires Unlimited, the Metamutoids, ChiSai, and Chaos Campus: Sorority Girls vs. Zombies. Lethal Instinct from Alias Enterprises in April Myriad from Approbation in May!

Vince Moore:

Oy vey. If anyone has read any of my old answers here on The Panel, they would definitely see that I’m not a fan of comics adaptations into other media. So it’s hard to think of anything I’d like to see taken to the masses in ways other than comics. Yeah, I’ve no answer for this question. I guess I’m a comics snob or just hate going to see flicks based on comics I like and seeing them ruined. The memories of Catwoman will never go away, let alone those of Daredevil. Brrr!

Vince Moore is the editor for DarkStorm Studios, a comics company started by Kevin Grevioux of Underworld fame.

Alan Grant:
I don’t like answering this type of question, mainly because it involves ‘working’ for nothing and leaving your ideas free to be lifted by anyone.

Alan Grant, writer of Dredd, Batman, and the slightly mad Doomlord, can be seen currently with Arthur Ranson on Judge Anderson in the Judge Dredd Megazine, and the superb Com.X trade collection of The Last American.

Donna Barr:

Mine. I’d Get a Geek — and give him art.

Donna Barr has books and original art at www.stinz.com, webcomics at www.moderntales.com, www.girlamatic.com, and has POD at www.booksurge.com Nothing she won’t try, at least once…including writing a column for SBC at this link!

Well, thanks to everyone who took part this week. I liked this question, so thanks to Daniel Reece for sending in the question. I am currently working on a few adaptations of my own comics, The Dead Woods into a radio play, I am trying to see if I can make a radio play scary through atmosphere’s that I can create in the studio. In my day job I work as a media technician, I have a BA(hons) degree in Media and Film/Video Production, so a lot of my comic scripts for Portent Comics (http://www.portentcomics.com) started life as film scripts.

Anyway, send us your questions now for The Panel!

The views and opinions expressed on the panel are solely those of the panellist who has written them. They do not reflect the views or opinions of silver bullet comic books or myself. Freedom of speech is great isn’t it – James

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