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DID YOU READ

Adapt This: “Viking” by Ivan Brandon & Nic Klein

viking

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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 some “Adapt This” columns, you’ll also find thoughts from various comic creators about the books they’d like to see make the jump from page to screen.


This Week’s Book: Viking by Ivan Brandon & Nic Klein

The Premise: A pair of vicious Viking brothers get tired of raiding villages and decide to go after a much bigger prize: kidnapping a princess and holding her for ransom. When the plan goes awry — as ambitious plans often do — they find themselves in over their heads with the edge of a sword in every direction.

The Pitch: It’s a heist movie with Vikings. Need I say more?

In Viking, brothers Finn and Egil aren’t your typical rogues with hearts of gold. They’re brutal, thoughtless barbarians who rarely think twice about killing anyone who crosses their path. The first volume of the series, “The Long, Cold Fire” follows the brothers as they carve a violent path through the countryside, only to learn the hard way that their actions have consequences — both to themselves and their loved ones. Rather than change their ways, however, the pair sets a plan into motion that will force them to evolve as characters.

A big-screen adaptation of Viking might need to soften the pair’s edge a bit if it’s looking for mainstream appeal, but the story is best served as a hard-R, violent period piece that doesn’t set out to make its protagonists likable. The age of the Vikings was a hard time, after all, and Finn and Egil are products of that era.

While the first volume of the series offers a nice standalone adventure, there’s ample room for a screenwriter to both expand on the source material. For example, the brothers’ kidnapping scheme — which would likely be an important set piece in the movie — unfolds over just a few pages in the book. An adaptation would do well to capitalize on that scene by building it into something bigger and more exciting.

Along the same lines, a talented screenwriter could offer a more decisive end to the story than what appears in “The Long, Cold Fire,” as the first volume was written with an ongoing story in mind.

Along with all of the axe-swinging and head-smashing, Viking also features some great dialogue and character development for both the brothers and the supporting cast of characters. As their lives intertwine, many of the characters who seem to be the good guys and bad guys at the story’s start don’t quite fill those roles at the end, leaving lots of room for surprises when Viking goes from page to screen.

The Closing Argument: Are we really still discussing this? Okay, then…

If you liked “Ocean’s 11,” you’ll love “Ocean’s 11″… with Vikings.

If you thought “Heat” was one of the greatest heist movies of all time, just imagine how much cooler it could’ve been… with Vikings.

Let’s face it, folks: Pirates are washed up, cowboys rode off into the sunset years ago, and mobsters got whacked right off the big screen. What audiences need now are Vikings — and Vikings who plan complicated heists are the best kind of Vikings.


Would “Viking” make a good movie? Chime in below or on Facebook or Twitter.

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G.I. Jeez

Stomach Bugs and Prom Dates

E.Coli High is in your gut and on IFC's Comedy Crib.

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Brothers-in-law Kevin Barker and Ben Miller have just made the mother of all Comedy Crib series, in the sense that their Comedy Crib series is a big deal and features a hot mom. Animated, funny, and full of horrible bacteria, the series juxtaposes timeless teen dilemmas and gut-busting GI infections to create a bite-sized narrative that’s both sketchy and captivating. The two sat down, possibly in the same house, to answer some questions for us about the series. Let’s dig in….

E.coli-class-

IFC: How would you describe E.Coli High to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

BEN: Hi ummm uhh hi ok well its like umm (gets really nervous and blows it)…

KB: It’s like the Super Bowl meets the Oscars.

IFC: How would you describe E.Coli High to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

BEN: Oh wow, she’s really cute isn’t she? I’d definitely blow that too.

KB: It’s a cartoon that is happening inside your stomach RIGHT NOW, that’s why you feel like you need to throw up.

IFC: What was the genesis of E.Coli High?

KB: I had the idea for years, and when Ben (my brother-in-law, who is a special needs teacher in Philly) began drawing hilarious comics, I recruited him to design characters, animate the series, and do some writing. I’m glad I did, because Ben rules!

BEN: Kevin told me about it in a park and I was like yeah that’s a pretty good idea, but I was just being nice. I thought it was dumb at the time.

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IFC: What makes going to proms and dating moms such timeless and oddly-relatable subject matter?

BEN: Since the dawn of time everyone has had at least one friend with a hot mom. It is physically impossible to not at least make a comment about that hot mom.

KB: Who among us hasn’t dated their friend’s mom and levitated tables at a prom?

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

BEN: There’s a lot of content now. I don’t think anyone will even notice, but it’d be cool if they did.

KB: A show about talking food poisoning bacteria is basically the same as just watching the news these days TBH.

Watch E.Coli High below and discover more NYTVF selections from years past on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

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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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