DID YOU READ

ADAPT THIS: “The Homeland Directive” by Robert Venditti & Mike Huddleston

ADAPT THIS: “The Homeland Directive” by Robert Venditti & Mike Huddleston (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: The Homeland Directive by Robert Venditti & Mike Huddleston

The Premise: When a leading researcher at the Center for Disease Control is framed for the murder of her partner, she finds herself on the run with a trio of rogue federal agents out to expose a vast government conspiracy. With the combined forces of the U.S. government and a team of computer-information experts on their tail, the group must race against time to find the origin of — and cure for — a deadly virus poised to kill millions of people.

The Pitch: With “Contagion” hitting theaters this weekend, it’s not hard to envision a thriller featuring a cast of government agents racing against time to prevent the spread of a terrible disease. Add an “Enemy of the State”-style conspiracy to the mix, and you’ve got a good handle on the appeal of The Homeland Directive.

Robert Venditti showed a knack for exploring complicated philosophical issues using fast-paced adventure in his previous graphic novel, The Surrogates, which was adapted into a 2009 science-fiction film starring Bruce Willis. In The Homeland Directive, Venditti offers up a more grounded story set in what he refers to as “the Orwellian present” — our modern era of digital transactions, cameras on every phone, and near-omnipresent surveillance.

The question posed in the story goes something like this: Can anyone really hide from the government at a time when face- and voice-recognition software has become an off-the-shelf purchase?

Along with tackling the balance between personal privacy and national security, Venditti’s tale carries readers along for a hectic ride as its characters try to out-maneuver the government forces on their trail. Knowing that it’s only a matter of time before they’re cornered, there’s a genuine sense of uncertainty as to whether the ragtag group will survive long enough to reveal the truth and clear their names.

The Closing Argument: The Homeland Directive mixes the conspiracy theory of “Enemy of the State” with the tense, against-the-clock action of “24,” then throws in a dash of “Contagion” for terrifying, ripped-from-headlines danger.

In many ways, The Homeland Directive is actually superior to The Surrogates in that he was clearly able to pay more attention paid to pacing and character development this time around, and it’s as easy to see the story playing out on a movie screen as it is to see it unfold on the page.


This Week’s Comic Creator Recommendation: Hellblazer

“If I was an entertainment magician for DC/Vertigo, I’d team with BBC America for a ‘Hellblazer’ series immediately. There’s a wealth of great source material, and BBCA is producing some really amazing shows right now. If you do the series right, it could put lightweight stuff like ‘Supernatural’ out to pasture without even blinking. The casting is key, and the list of lead actor prospects could probably be debated for days. Personally, I’d like to propose a dark horse candidate: Rupert Penry-Jones. He plays Adam Carter on ‘Spooks’ (or ‘MI-5’ as we know it here in the U.S.), and could easily take on the love-to-hate-him role of John Constantine. “

Brandon Jerwa, author of several tremendously popular arcs of the Battlestar Galactica and G.I. Joe comic book series, as well as a co-writer for DC Comics’ The Shield miniseries. Jerwa is currently developing a documentary titled “Untold Tales of the Comic Book Industry,” which fans can support via a Kickstarter fundraising campaign.


Would “The Homeland Directive” make a good movie? How about a “Hellblazer” television series? Chime in below or on Facebook or Twitter.

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Millennial Wisdom

Charles Speaks For Us All

Get to know Charles, the social media whiz of Brockmire.

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He may be an unlikely radio producer Brockmire, but Charles is #1 when it comes to delivering quips that tie a nice little bow on the absurdity of any given situation.

Charles also perfectly captures the jaded outlook of Millennials. Or at least Millennials as mythologized by marketers and news idiots. You know who you are.

Played superbly by Tyrel Jackson Williams, Charles’s quippy nuggets target just about any subject matter, from entry-level jobs in social media (“I plan on getting some experience here, then moving to New York to finally start my life.”) to the ramifications of fictional celebrity hookups (“Drake and Taylor Swift are dating! Albums y’all!”). But where he really nails the whole Millennial POV thing is when he comments on America’s second favorite past-time after type II diabetes: baseball.

Here are a few pearls.

On Baseball’s Lasting Cultural Relevance

“Baseball’s one of those old-timey things you don’t need anymore. Like cursive. Or email.”

On The Dramatic Value Of Double-Headers

“The only thing dumber than playing two boring-ass baseball games in one day is putting a two-hour delay between the boring-ass games.”

On Sartorial Tradition

“Is dressing badly just a thing for baseball, because that would explain his jacket.”

On Baseball, In A Nutshell

“Baseball is a f-cked up sport, and I want you to know it.”


Learn more about Charles in the behind-the-scenes video below.

And if you were born before the late ’80s and want to know what the kids think about Baseball, watch Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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Crown Jules

Amanda Peet FTW on Brockmire

Amanda Peet brings it on Brockmire Wednesday at 10P on IFC.

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On Brockmire, Jules is the unexpected yin to Jim Brockmire’s yang. Which is saying a lot, because Brockmire’s yang is way out there. Played by Amanda Peet, Jules is hard-drinking, truth-spewing, baseball-loving…everything Brockmire is, and perhaps what he never expected to encounter in another human.

“We’re the same level of functional alcoholic.”


But Jules takes that commonality and transforms it into something special: a new beginning. A new beginning for failing minor league baseball team “The Frackers”, who suddenly about-face into a winning streak; and a new beginning for Brockmire, whose life gets a jumpstart when Jules lures him back to baseball. As for herself, her unexpected connection with Brockmire gives her own life a surprising and much needed goose.

“You’re a Goddamn Disaster and you’re starting To look good to me.”

This palpable dynamic adds depth and complexity to the narrative and pushes the series far beyond expected comedy. See for yourself in this behind-the-scenes video (and brace yourself for a unforgettable description of Brockmire’s genitals)…

Want more about Amanda Peet? She’s all over the place, and has even penned a recent self-reflective piece in the New York Times.

And of course you can watch the Jim-Jules relationship hysterically unfold in new episodes of Brockmire, every Wednesday at 10PM on IFC.

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Draught Pick

Sam Adams “Keeps It Brockmire”

All New Brockmire airs Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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From baseball to beer, Jim Brockmire calls ’em like he sees ’em.

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It’s no wonder at all, then, that Sam Adams would reach out to Brockmire to be their shockingly-honest (and inevitably short-term) new spokesperson. Unscripted and unrestrained, he’ll talk straight about Sam—and we’ll take his word. Check out this new testimonial for proof:

See more Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC, presented by Samuel Adams. Good f***** beer.

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