Friday, August 6, 2010

Expanding Comics | Small Screen Infusion: Burn Notice

If you had a favorite action or adventure television series in the 80s, chances are there was some kind of comic book published about it.



You don't see comic books based on television series anywhere near as much any more. Video games sure, but not television and I think it's a crying shame. I don't think the comic book industry can really afford not to publish a book that may pull in a few hundred new readers (or more) based on the success of the property in other mediums.

That's why there should be a comic about Burn Notice.

For those of you that may not have ever experienced the show: Burn Notice is about an ex-spy who's been "burned" which means he can't work as a spy, or really anything else legitimately, and hope to have a life of any kind. The C.I.A. wants him to stay out of sight, but they don't want him gone, or they'd have just killed him instead of dumping him back in his home town.

If you follow the link you can view a trailer or two.

Why would Burn Notice make a good comic book? Lots of reasons:

STRUCTURE
Each episode has Michael helping someone out of a jam for money, and each problem solved is easily wrapped up in 50 minutes, which could easily be translated to 22 pages.

DIALOGUE
Michael is prone to "Magnum P.I." and "MacGyver" style inner monologues as he explains the inner workings of the spy culture and what goes on in social situations, the minds of the good guys, the minds of the bad guys etc etc. They'd make great square narration boxes on a comic book page.

STYLE
With the book using Miami as the setting of the stories (like the series) a comic book publisher could easily use a revolving set of creators, each bringing a different flavor to the book and using different elements of Florida and the beach in general as inspiration.

CHARACTERS
Like many television shows, the main characters of Burn Notice started out very close to their archetypes. As the show's progressed they've been fleshed out but you can still see their archetypal cores which would transfer over to comics quite nicely.

Michael
The hard hitting spy with a heart of gold who's blood runs red, white and blue (if you're tough enough to see it). Nothing he's seen or done in the name of his country could make him turn his back on it or any of it's floundering citizens.

Sam
The old war horse who's been a soldier of one kind or another for son long that's all he knows. His stint with the F.B.I. didn't last too long because of all the office politics. With Micheal he gets to torture bad guys with a grin.

Fiona
The warrior poet who only joined the IRA to serve what she thought were her people. Michael and Sam are her people now, and she'll do anything to keep them safe, including but not limited to using her incredible explosives expertise.

THE BRUCE CAMPBELL "Axe" EFFECT
Genre fans love Bruce, have his character Sam Axe in each issue and you'll get 100 issues out of it easy!

This comic would work and sell well. What television show do you think would make a great comic book?

Have a great weekend,

Caine

3 comments:

JimShelley said...

I just thought of one: The Wild Wild West (based on the TV show, not the horrible, horrible movie)

I think there was a WWW comic a long time ago, but never a really well done comic by a major publisher.

Another candidate would be a Land of the Lost comic (again based on the TV show and characters...)

RKB said...

Bring back doctor kildare!!! Yes I'm being for real! Dell did the comic adaption, all kinds of potential, I'm surprised more doctor shows/police shows don't get the adaption into comics now. Shield and I think 24 (maybe others) got adaptations from IDW.
*****************************
That wild, wild, west tv show adaptation Jim was done by Gold Key. Gold Key and Dell used to do all kinds of TV show adaptations, but they mostly all had that diamond in the rough quality to them. You read through a issue, read through a issue, a lot of 'it's okay' and some 'this is bland' mixed in with a few real gems. Back in the 60's most adaptations suffered from either not that great art, or not much -if any- in the way of photo reference, -it really screwed up the look of the early Star Trek comics. Now days that photo-reference hang-up shouldn't be as much of a hang up... Only problem some artists who have done TV adaptations recently seem to be spending more time on getting a actor's facial look right, they the rest of the characters/backgrounds/equipment. If photo-realism is your thing great, if not, don't belabor the faces so much, just draw the guns looking right. Either everything looks like it does on the show, or everything is done in a more abstract style. Realistic looking faces, on more usual comic style caricatures for bodies and backgrounds is oil and water not mixing.
I'd love to see a Dexter comic, neat way to deal with flashbacks without resorting to goofy looking wigs.
If their was a Pretty Little Liars comic my sister and all her friends would buy it. All kinds of sales potential with TV tie-ins if the price for the rights ain't a arm and a leg.

MattComix said...

Something I always wished is that the comics based on the Bruce Timm animated series weren't treated as these kind of weak throwaway license titles but as a legit alt. universe imprint.

Keep to the tone and balance of the show while enjoying a bit more leeway on content matters and hold true to the spirit of the visual design moreso than replicating Timms figure drawing style (which I loved btw).

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