ADAPT THIS: “Cyclops” by Matz and Luc Jacamon

ADAPT THIS: “Cyclops” by Matz and Luc Jacamon (photo)

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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: Cyclops by Matz and Luc Jacamon

The Premise: In 2054, the U.N. has decided to outsource its peacekeeping missions to private security firms. Down on his luck and needing some steady income, Doug Pistoia joins up for the paycheck, but soon finds himself wearing one of the signature, camera-equipped “Cyclops” helmets that feed the public craving for entertainment with each mission he and his unit take on. As he struggles to walk the line between celebrity and soldier, Pistoia must also contend with growing doubts about his role in society. Is he really keeping the peace, or just keeping the ratings high?

The Pitch: It’s not hard to see the relevance of a story like Cyclops in today’s culture of reality television and privatized military forces, but it’s the additional science-fiction element that really makes Matz and Jocamon’s story a unique subject for adaptation. While the book was optioned back in 2008 by Warner Bros. with “The Wolverine” director James Mangold attached to direct, there’s been little movement on the project in recent years — so now seems like as good as time as any to explain why they should move forward with a Cyclops movie.

Like many of the best commentaries on modern society and culture, Cyclops‘ message is delivered via strong characters operating in a world with just enough tweaks to make it different — but not entirely unlike — our own world. Along with the camera-equipped “Cyclops” helmets, the soldiers of the story’s not-too-distant future sport uniforms with “active camo” that turns them invisible and self-healing systems that treat minor wounds. The sleek, high-tech drop-ships they pilot and the weaponry they wield only serve as added reminders that this, in fact, a story about the future.

While Matz could easily resort to hitting readers over the head with the philosophical implications of a world where the lines between entertainment, news, and war have been irreparably blurred, he keeps the story focused on his main character, Doug Pistoia, who’s neither a super-soldier nor a ready-made celebrity. He’s a regular guy, in fact, and it’s the sort of role an actor could shine in — mixing explosive action with tense dramatic moments and clever dialogue.

As Mangold stated in the initial announcement of the book being optioned, the story has all the makings of the best summer blockbusters, appealing to both a mainstream audience interested in the action and sci-fi elements as well as theater-goers intrigued by the story’s thought-provoking look at an alternate but not completely inconceivable future.

The Closing Argument: In his introduction to the most recent collection of Cyclops, Matz mentions that his inspiration for the story came from Paul Verhoeven’s storytelling style in the “Starship Troopers” movie and the dystopian future of “Blade Runner.” Both projects are a great reference point for anyone pondering the appeal of Cyclops, as it manages to offer the best parts of both films in comic book form, and could very easily do the same as a live-action film.

At a time when news channels fight amongst themselves to show footage from a missile-mounted camera homing in its target, the world of Cyclops seems closer than ever — and a story like this offers an exciting way to explore the implications of such a world.

This Week’s Comic Creator Recommendation: Queen & Country by Greg Rucka and various artists

“This is a teensy bit of a cheat, since people have long wanted to make Rucka’s gritty, glorious British spy series into a movie. In fact, Blue Beetle and Dungeons and Dragons writer (and Leverage showrunner) John Rogers was hired to write a script, way back when. But I think the ongoing missions of Tara Chace and her fellow MI-5 ‘Minders’ would make for an even better TV show — especially since, as Rucka has admitted, it was inspired by a similarly gritty and glorious TV show called ‘The Sandbaggers.’ Each week, we’d watch as the wonderfully damaged Chace and her cronies while the time away in a shoddy office, drinking hard, sexing harder, play-acting at life, only to get sent off to foreign lands for people that need killing. For Queen and Country. Dear BBC America: Duh.”

Marc Bernardin, staff writer on the current SyFy series “Alphas,” and author of multiple comic book projects for Marvel, DC, Top Cow and other publishers, including The Highwaymen, Genius, The Authority, and JLA.

Would “Cyclops” or “Queen & Country” make a good movie? Chime in below or on Facebook or Twitter.

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Hard Out

Comedy From The Closet

Janice and Jeffrey Available Now On IFC's Comedy Crib

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She’s been referred to as “the love child of Amy Sedaris and Tracy Ullman,” and he’s a self-described “Italian who knows how to cook a great spaghetti alla carbonara.” They’re Mollie Merkel and Matteo Lane, prolific indie comedians who blended their robust creative juices to bring us the new Comedy Crib series Janice and Jeffrey. Mollie and Matteo took time to answer our probing questions about their series and themselves. Here’s a taste.


IFC: How would you describe Janice and Jeffrey to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?

Mollie & Matteo: Janice and Jeffrey is about a married couple experiencing intimacy issues but who don’t have a clue it’s because they are gay. Their oblivion makes them even more endearing.  Their total lack of awareness provides for a buffet of comedy.

IFC: What’s your origin story? How did you two people meet and how long have you been working together?

Mollie: We met at a dive bar in Wrigley Field Chicago. It was a show called Entertaining Julie… It was a cool variety scene with lots of talented people. I was doing Janice one night and Matteo was doing an impression of Liza Minnelli. We sort of just fell in love with each other’s… ACT! Matteo made the first move and told me how much he loved Janice and I drove home feeling like I just met someone really special.

IFC: How would Janice describe Jeffrey?

Mollie: “He can paint, cook homemade Bolognese, and sing Opera. Not to mention he has a great body. He makes me feel empowered and free. He doesn’t suffocate me with attention so our love has room to breath.”

IFC: How would Jeffrey describe Janice?

Matteo: “Like a Ford. Built to last.”

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

Mollie & Matteo: Our current political world is mirroring and reflecting this belief that homosexuality is wrong. So what better time for satire. Everyone is so pro gay and equal rights, which is of course what we want, too. But no one is looking at middle America and people actually in the closet. No one is saying, hey this is really painful and tragic, and sitting with that. Having compassion but providing the desperate relief of laughter…This seemed like the healthiest, best way to “fight” the gay rights “fight”.

IFC: Hummus is hilarious. Why is it so funny?

Mollie: It just seems like something people take really seriously, which is funny to me. I started to see it in a lot of lesbians’ refrigerators at a time. It’s like observing a lesbian in a comfortable shoe. It’s a language we speak. Pass the Hummus. Turn on the Indigo Girls would ya?

See the whole season of Janice and Jeffrey right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

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Die Hard Dads

Inspiration For Die Hard Dads

Die Hard is on IFC all Father's Day Long

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection, GIPHY

Yippee ki-yay, everybody! It’s time to celebrate the those most literal of mother-effers: dads!

And just in case the title of this post left anything to the imagination, IFC is giving dads balls-to-the-wall ’80s treatment with a glorious marathon of action trailblazer Die Hard.

There are so many things we could say about Die Hard. We could talk about how it was comedian Bruce Willis’s first foray into action flicks, or Alan Rickman’s big screen debut. But dads don’t give a sh!t about that stuff.

No, dads just want to fantasize that they could be deathproof quip factory John McClane in their own mundane lives. So while you celebrate the fathers in your life, consider how John McClane would respond to these traditional “dad” moments…

Wedding Toasts

Dads always struggle to find the right words of welcome to extend to new family. John McClane, on the other hand, is the master of inclusivity.
Die Hard wedding

Using Public Restrooms

While nine out of ten dads would rather die than use a disgusting public bathroom, McClane isn’t bothered one bit. So long as he can fit a bloody foot in the sink, he’s G2G.
Die Hard restroom

Awkward Dancing

Because every dad needs a signature move.
Die Hard dance

Writing Thank You Notes

It can be hard for dads to express gratitude. Not only can McClane articulate his thanks, he makes it feel personal.
Die Hard thank you

Valentine’s Day

How would John McClane say “I heart you” in a way that ain’t cliche? The image speaks for itself.
Die Hard valentines


The only thing most dads hate more than shopping is fielding eleventh-hour phone calls with additional items for the list. But does McClane throw a typical man-tantrum? Nope. He finds the words to express his feelings like a goddam adult.
Die Hard thank you

Last Minute Errands

John McClane knows when a fight isn’t worth fighting.
Die Hard errands

Sneaking Out Of The Office Early

What is this, high school? Make a real exit, dads.
Die Hard office

Think you or your dad could stand to be more like Bruce? Role model fodder abounds in the Die Hard marathon all Father’s Day long on IFC.

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Founding Farters

Know Your Nerd History

Revenge of the Nerds is on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection, GIFs via Giphy

That we live in the heyday of nerds is no hot secret. Scientists are celebrities, musicians are robots and late night hosts can recite every word of the Silmarillion. It’s too easy to think that it’s always been this way. But the truth is we owe much to our nerd forebearers who toiled through the jock-filled ’80s so that we might take over the world.


Our humble beginnings are perhaps best captured in iconic ’80s romp Revenge of the Nerds. Like the founding fathers of our Country, the titular nerds rose above their circumstances to culturally pave the way for every Colbert and deGrasse Tyson that we know and love today.

To make sure you’re in the know about our very important cultural roots, here’s a quick download of the vengeful nerds without whom our shameful stereotypes might never have evolved.

Lewis Skolnick

The George Washington of nerds whose unflappable optimism – even in the face of humiliating self-awareness – basically gave birth to the Geek Pride movement.

Gilbert Lowe

OK, this guy is wet blanket, but an important wet blanket. Think Aaron Burr to Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton. His glass-mostly-empty attitude is a galvanizing force for Lewis. Who knows if Lewis could have kept up his optimism without Lowe’s Debbie-Downer outlook?

Arnold Poindexter

A music nerd who, after a soft start (inside joke, you’ll get it later), came out of his shell and let his passion lead instead of his anxiety. If you played an instrument (specifically, electric violin), and you were a nerd, this was your patron saint.


A sex-loving, blunt-smoking, nose-picking guitar hero. If you don’t think he sounds like a classic nerd, you’re absolutely right. And that’s the whole point. Along with Lamar, he simultaneously expanded the definition of nerd and gave pre-existing nerds a twisted sort of cred by association.

Lamar Latrell

Black, gay, and a crazy good breakdancer. In other words, a total groundbreaker. He proved to the world that nerds don’t have a single mold, but are simply outcasts waiting for their moment.


Exceedingly stupid, this dumbass was monumental because he (in a sequel) leaves the jocks to become a nerd. Totally unheard of back then. Now all jocks are basically nerds.

Well, there they are. Never forget that we stand on their shoulders.

Revenge of the Nerds is on IFC all month long.

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