DID YOU READ

Adapt This: “WinterWorld” by Chuck Dixon and Jorge Zaffino

winterworld

Posted by on

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: Winterworld by Chuck Dixon and Jorge Zaffino

The Premise: The world has frozen over from pole to pole, leaving what remains of the human race to forage in the snow and ice for the means to survive. Scully is a trader who travels between outposts, trading what he can scavenge from buried malls and other long-abandoned hubs of civilization. Everything changes when he crosses paths with Wynn, a young girl he rescues from a pair of savage settlers, and Scully and his pet badger Rahrah suddenly find themselves caught between two warring tribes in a battle for resources.

The Pitch: Think “Water World,” but with snow and ice instead of water, and a far better story, too.

WinterWorld actually predates the much-maligned Kevin Costner film by nearly a decade, and after reading this classic 1980s miniseries, there’s reason to believe Dixon and Zaffino could be owed some money from the “Water World” team — though it’s understandable if they opt not to draw any comparisons between their celebrated series and the soggy, 1995 box-office flop.

In WinterWorld, Dixon has crafted a great, post-apocalyptic adventure that manages to be compelling without any of the flashy, sci-fi gimmicks often used to hide lackluster character or story development. There’s very little going on in WinterWorld that doesn’t have roots here in the present-day, sunny world we know, and there’s little need for mutants or monsters to make the story’s setting any more frightening than it already is.

Tonally, WinterWorld is more similar to “The Walking Dead” than “Water World,” with its characters pushed from one seemingly safe place to another in their constant struggle to survive, and forced to deal with a variety of colorful (and dangerous) personalities in order to make it to the next day. There’s very little thought toward the bigger picture here or some world-changing element that could bring the world back to what it used to be — there’s simply the need to live and stay warm.

While Dixon’s original series topped out at a robust 80 pages, there’s still room to expand on the characters of Scully and Wynn in a big-screen adaptation, though the danger would be to shoe-horn in some element of romance where there shouldn’t be any — whether between Scully and an aged-up Wynn or an additional character that wasn’t present in the comic. The pair works as reluctant friends, and more of an uncle-niece dynamic than a father-daughter situation.

As far as other characters go, WinterWorld is a cornucopia of fun villains and other colorful roles for talented actors to chew on, from the burly Big-Bite, chief of the Bear People, to Bossman and his henchmen, who run a massive farm built out of an enclosed sports stadium.

That brings up one of the other appealing elements of a “WinterWorld” movie: the amazing set pieces that such a project would require.

From underground, frozen-over malls to the aforementioned “Tiers” — a farm that fills the field and rows of a covered baseball stadium — there’s ample material for production designers to flex their creative muscles and come up with memorable shots that have never been seen before on the screen.

The Closing Argument: One of the things many critics of “Water World” kept repeating in their reviews is that the film had a lot of potential that was never realized. With an adaptation of WinterWorld, there’s a chance to correct that mistake and give audiences a post-apocalyptic adventure with interesting, realistic characters and a grounded story with real stakes for everyone involved.

Oh, and don’t forget about Scully’s badger pal, either. Badgers are the new wolves.

Seriously, though — if you find a director who can think big without letting the characters be overshadowed by the world they inhabit, there’s a good chance this critically praised comic could find a warm reception on the big screen, too.


This Week’s Comic Creator Recommendation: Knights of the Living Dead by Ron Wolfe and Dusty Higgins (SLG Publishing)

“There is a palm-to-forehead-worthy obviousness to the idea of knights battling zombies. After all, the two hottest shows on TV right now feature the undead (The Walking Dead) and swords and sorcery (Game of Thrones). A story that jams these two genres together is sweet ambrosia for studio execs. What I love about Knights of the Living Dead—written by former Hellraiser scribe Ron Wolfe and illustrated by my Pinocchio collaborator Dusty Higgins—is that, instead of simply resting on the clever premise, it offers one of the most thoughtful meditations on the King Arthur mythos that I’ve yet seen. It could’ve been straight fanboy porn. Instead it is a literary show of force. A literary show of force that features copious amounts of knights slicing through hordes of zombies.”

Van Jensen, author of Pinocchio, Vampire Slayer and Pinocchio, Vampire Slayer and the Great Puppet Theater. The third volume, Pinocchio, Vampire Slayer: Of Wood and Blood, will be released in two volumes in July and August. His new series, Snow White: Through a Glass, Darkly, is serializing digitally.


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

Watch More
JaniceAndJeffrey_102_MPX-1920×1080

Hard Out

Comedy From The Closet

Janice and Jeffrey Available Now On IFC's Comedy Crib

Posted by on

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.

JaniceAndJeffrey_106_MPX-1920x1080

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.

Watch More
IFC-Die-Hard-Dads

Die Hard Dads

Inspiration For Die Hard Dads

Die Hard is on IFC all Father's Day Long

Posted by on
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

Shopping

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.

Watch More
IFC-revenge-of-the-nerds-group

Founding Farters

Know Your Nerd History

Revenge of the Nerds is on IFC.

Posted by on
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.

geowash_flat

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.

Booger

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.

Ogre

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.

Watch More
Powered by ZergNet