Old And New Media Comes To Comic Books
Archaia Entertainment hosted their Transmedia in Graphic Novel Publishing panel at Comic-Con International in San Diego to to announce that they will be publishing three new graphic novels adapted from other licensed properties. Space 1999: Aftershock and Awe, Cyborg 009 and Hawken will be produced under Archaia’s Black Label imprint.
Joe LeFavi of Quixotic Transmedia, introduced the idea of transmedia as the ability to integrate all types of media together into a “constructive, vast, massive, ever evolving story universe that could extend and endure in multiple forms for years to come.”
Space 1999: Aftershock and Awe is a graphic novel based off of the pilot for the ’70s TV show. In Space 1999 people have colonized the moon, but an explosion sends it out of orbit and into space. Awe follows individuals who are connected to the lost persons on the moon, and how they are affected by the tragedy.
The graphic novel will delve deeper into the TV show by retelling the original intended story, which would have been over three hours long before it was cut to 45 minutes. Most of the old footage had been lost, but writer Andrew Gaska said that he found a majority of it on Youtube. Combining the found video with the original scripts he was able to put together the story that was meant to be told.
Cyborg 009 is an adaptation of a classic Japanese Manga from the ’60s. Writer F.J. DeSanto described Cyborg 009 as the equivalent of the Avengers or X-Men of Japan.
“What’s different between this and other superhero properties is you have characters who are not necessarily super heroic,” De Santo said. “They’re people from different countries who were turned into weapons against their will, not even knowing what they could do. Then they have to break free and take these powers that have been forced upon them against the people who did this to them.”
DeSanto updated the story by injecting Cyborg 009 with more of an adult theme and is modernizing the dated content. He noted that it didn’t go through a “drastic reinvention,” but was changed to meet a westernized audience. “Our story is a retelling of the origins story, sort of like a ‘Batman Begins’ — taking what was great about this property and creating something new,” he said, adding that the creative team went through the source material “religiously.” He also announced that a live-action movie is in the works.
Hawken is a prequel graphic novel being developed by Meteor Entertainment and creative director Khang Le for the mech suit-driven, first person shooter video game set for a December 2012 release. According to LeFavi, the Hawken graphic novel is an anthology of stories during the timeline of the events, and with the characters featured in the game. Archaia Publisher Mike Kennedy said that a team of sci-fi concept artists are working on the title.
“It’s a fantastic lineup and they’re not just bringing comic art but painted art — they’re bringing their A game,” Kennedy said. He noted that the look will closely resemble the game’s concept art.
“It becomes this very unique visual experience to see the meteoric rise and fall of this world, done in a beautiful way with this great team of artists and writers,” said LeFavi. “It’s supposed to be this great experience all within the contents of one graphic novel.”
Producer Dan Jevons and director Scott Waugh were on hand to announce that a feature film for Hawken is in development. “The creators thought the world through so well,” said Waugh, “There’s such a great human story in this crazy world.”
“It’s so relevant to where our Earth is going and where we unfortunately might continue to go,” Waugh continued. “I feel like the human stories in the trilogy of films we are mapping out is so mind-blowing.”
Waugh closed by saying, “I hope people will really realize ‘Star Wars’ was then, but ‘Hawken’ is now.’”