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DID YOU READ

ADAPT THIS: “The Nobody” by Jeff Lemire, plus a guest contribution from Brad Meltzer

the-nobody

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With Hollywood turning more of its attention to the world of graphic novels for inspiration, I’ll cast the spotlight on a new comic book each week that has the potential to pack a theater or keep you glued to your television screens. At the end of each “Adapt This” column, you’ll also find some thoughts from the industry’s top comic creators about the books they’d like to see make the jump from page to screen.


This Week’s Book: The Nobody by Jeff Lemire

The Premise: A modern retelling of the H.G. Wells classic The Invisible Man, award-winning comic creator Jeff Lemire’s graphic novel The Nobody imagines bandaged stranger John Griffen as a drifter who wanders into a small fishing village one day. After taking up residence at the local inn, the mystery surrounding this new visitor makes the locals suspicious, and eventually leads to a series of encounters that not only reveal Griffen’s darkest secrets, but also those of his new neighbors.

The Pitch: We’ve seen the story of The Invisible Man told in film countless times, but Lemire’s take on the classic tale is uniquely different from the rest. In , we get a look at the see-through scientist in the early stages of the madness that would eventually turn him from scientific genius to soulless villain.

Known for his careful, heartfelt exploration of the stories that make small-town life compelling, Lemire applied a similar approach to The Nobody, developing a very real, very flawed world around his bandaged protagonist. While the main narrative follows John Griffen’s experiences in the quiet fishing village, his story also serves as the common thread that brings together the lives of several residents, including a young girl who occasionally serves as narrator. Given the wealth of character arcs that develop around the story’s titular character, it’s the sort of premise that could easily lend itself to a single film or quite possibly an ongoing series, following Griffen from place to place as he wanders the world.

In the character of John Griffen, Lemire has put his own spin on the classic “Invisible Man” that makes him an even more tragic figure than usual — this time, casting him as a lonely soul battling with both the physical dilemma beneath his bandages and his own vanishing sanity. In many ways, John Griffen’s story is a lot like that of Marvel Comics’ own scientist-turned-monster, Bruce Banner. Like that character, Griffen has a secret monster that he’s growing unable to contain, and he’s forced to move from place to place in order to keep his secret.

The Closing Argument: In many ways, Lemire’s tale feels like a mix of the classic television series “The Incredible Hulk,” with Bill Bixby playing the wandering David “Bruce” Banner as he drifts from town to town trying to be left alone, and the 1996 Coen Bros. film “Fargo,” a dark tale of murder and mayhem that unfolds around Minnesota and North Dakota. While it lacks the flashy, overt chaos of “The Incredible Hulk” and its raging green behemoth, Griffen’s arrival in town results in a similar sort of upheaval, and it’s clear that he’s accustomed to things turning sour not long after he settles in. And much like “Fargo,” the setting of Lemire’s story also plays a crucial role in the tone of the tale, with the small, isolated community incestuously amplifying every suspicion, secret, and uncertainty.

While The Nobody would do well as a feature film, it’s easy to see its potential as a television series, too — with Griffen traveling from place to place, fighting his own inner demons, running from the past, and finding more trouble in every sleepy new village he visits.


This Week’s Comic Creator Recommendation: Replay by Ken Grimwood

“The premise is so simple. Man is at his desk. And dies. And wakes up in his freshman dorm room. He gets to replay his life, knowing everything he knows so he makes himself rich. But, when he reaches that same age, he again dies. And when he wakes up, he’s a junior in college. The space is shrinking. And money didn’t make him happy, so he still has no idea how he’s supposed to live his life. It’s so easy, and so much makes you think of your own life. When I graduated college, I tried to buy the rights even though I had no money. (And yes, I know Ben Affleck is now making it now. But not my version).”

Brad Meltzer, the New York Times bestselling author of The Inner Circle, The Tenth Justice, Book of Lies and countless other novels, as well as the Eisner Award-winning writer of the DC Comics series The Justice League and Green Arrow, and the host of “Brad Meltzer’s Decoded” on the History Channel.


Would “The Nobody” make a good movie? Chime in below or on Facebook or Twitter.

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Hacked In

Funny or Die Is Taking Over

FOD TV comes to IFC every Saturday night.

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We’ve been fans of Funny or Die since we first met The Landlord. That enduring love makes it more than logical, then, that IFC is totally cool with FOD hijacking the airwaves every Saturday night. Yes, that’s happening.

The appropriately titled FOD TV looks like something pulled from public access television in the nineties. Like lo-fi broken-antenna reception and warped VHS tapes. Equal parts WTF and UHF.

Get ready for characters including The Shirtless Painter, Long-Haired Businessmen, and Pigeon Man. They’re aptly named, but for a better sense of what’s in store, here’s a taste of ASMR with Kelly Whispers:

Watch FOD TV every Saturday night during IFC’s regularly scheduled movies.

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Wicked Good

See More Evil

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is on Hulu.

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Okay, so you missed the entire first season of Stan Against Evil. There’s no shame in that, per se. But here’s the thing: Season 2 is just around the corner and you don’t want to lag behind. After all, Season 1 had some critical character development, not to mention countless plot twists, and a breathless finale cliffhanger that’s been begging for resolution since last fall. It also had this:

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The good news is that you can catch up right now on Hulu. Phew. But if you aren’t streaming yet, here’s a basic primer…

Willards Mill Is Evil

Stan spent his whole career as sheriff oblivious to the fact that his town has a nasty curse. Mostly because his recently-deceased wife was secretly killing demons and keeping Stan alive.

Demons Really Want To Kill Stan

The curse on Willards Mill stipulates that damned souls must hunt and kill each and every town sheriff, or “constable.” Oh, and these demons are shockingly creative.

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They Also Want To Kill Evie

Why? Because Evie’s a sheriff too, and the curse on Willard’s Mill doesn’t have a “one at a time” clause. Bummer, Evie.

Stan and Evie Must Work Together

Beating the curse will take two, baby, but that’s easier said than done because Stan doesn’t always seem to give a damn. Damn!

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Beware of Goats

It goes without saying for anyone who’s seen the show: If you know that ancient evil wants to kill you, be wary of anything that has cloven feet.

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Season 2 Is Lurking

Scary new things are slouching towards Willards Mill. An impending darkness descending on Stan, Evie and their cohort – eviler evil, more demony demons, and whatnot. And if Stan wants to survive, he’ll have to get even Stanlier.

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is now streaming right now on Hulu.

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SO EXCITED!!!

Reminders that the ’90s were a thing

"The Place We Live" is available for a Jessie Spano-level binge on Comedy Crib.

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Unless you stopped paying attention to the world at large in 1989, you are of course aware that the ’90s are having their pop cultural second coming. Nobody is more acutely aware of this than Dara Katz and Betsy Kenney, two comedians who met doing improv comedy and have just made their Comedy Crib debut with the hilarious ’90s TV throwback series, The Place We Live.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Dara: It’s everything you loved–or loved to hate—from Melrose Place and 90210 but condensed to five minutes, funny (on purpose) and totally absurd.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Betsy: “Hey Todd, why don’t you have a sip of water. Also, I think you’ll love The Place We Live because everyone has issues…just like you, Todd.”

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IFC: When you were living through the ’90s, did you think it was television’s golden age or the pop culture apocalypse?


Betsy: I wasn’t sure I knew what it was, I just knew I loved it!


Dara: Same. Was just happy that my parents let me watch. But looking back, the ’90s honored The Teen. And for that, it’s the golden age of pop culture. 

IFC: Which ’90s shows did you mine for the series, and why?

Betsy: Melrose and 90210 for the most part. If you watch an episode of either of those shows you’ll see they’re a comedic gold mine. In one single episode, they cover serious crimes, drug problems, sex and working in a law firm and/or gallery, all while being young, hot and skinny.


Dara: And almost any series we were watching in the ’90s, Full House, Saved By the Bell, My So Called Life has very similar themes, archetypes and really stupid-intense drama. We took from a lot of places. 

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IFC: How would you describe each of the show’s characters in terms of their ’90s TV stereotype?

Dara: Autumn (Sunita Mani) is the femme fatale. Robin (Dara Katz) is the book worm (because she wears glasses). Candace (Betsy Kenney) is Corey’s twin and gives great advice and has really great hair. Corey (Casey Jost) is the boy next door/popular guy. Candace and Corey’s parents decided to live in a car so the gang can live in their house. 
Lee (Jonathan Braylock) is the jock.

IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?

Dara: Because everyone’s feeling major ’90s nostalgia right now, and this is that, on steroids while also being a totally new, silly thing.

Delight in the whole season of The Place We Live right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib. It’ll take you back in all the right ways.