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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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Give Back

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.



Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…

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A-O Rewind

Celebrating Portlandia One Sketch at a Time

The final season of Portlandia approaches.

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GIFs via Giphy

Most people measure time in minutes, hours, days, years…At IFC, we measure it in sketches. And nothing takes us way (waaaaaay) back like Portlandia sketches. Yes, there’s a Portlandia milepost from every season that changed the way we think, behave, and pickle things. In honor of Portlandia’s 8th and final season, Subaru presents a few of our favorites.

via GIPHY

Put A Bird On It

Portlandia enters the pop-culture lexicon and inspires us to put birds on literally everything.

Colin the Chicken

Who’s your chicken, really? Behold the emerging locavore trend captured perfectly to the nth degree.

Dream Of The ’90s

This treatise on Portland made it clear that “the dream” was alive and well.

No You Go

We Americans spend most of our lives in cars. Fortunately, there’s a Portlandia sketch for every automotive situation.

A-O River!

We learned all our outdoor survival skills from Kath and Dave.

One More Episode

The true birth of binge watching, pre-Netflix. And what you’ll do once Season 8 premieres.

Catch up on Portlandia’s best moments before the 8th season premieres January 18th on IFC.

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WTF Films

Artfully Off

Celebrity All-Star by Sisters Weekend is available now on IFC's Comedy Crib.

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Sisters Weekend isn’t like other comedy groups. It’s filmmaking collaboration between besties Angelo Balassone, Michael Fails and Kat Tadesco, self-described lace-front addicts with great legs who write, direct, design and produce video sketches and cinematic shorts that are so surreally hilarious that they defy categorization. One such short film, Celebrity All-Star, is the newest addition to IFC’s Comedy Crib. Here’s what they had to say about it in a very personal email interview…

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IFC: How would you describe Celebrity All-Star to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Celebrity All-Star is a short film about an overworked reality TV coordinator struggling to save her one night off after the cast of C-List celebrities she wrangles gets locked out of their hotel rooms.

IFC: How would you describe Celebrity All-Star to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Sisters Weekend: It’s this short we made for IFC where a talent coordinator named Karen babysits a bunch of weird c-list celebs who are stuck in a hotel bar. It’s everyone you hate from reality TV under one roof – and that roof leaks because it’s a 2-star hotel. There’s a magician, sexy cowboys, and a guy wearing a belt that sucks up his farts.

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IFC: What was the genesis of Celebrity All-Star?

Celebrity All-Star was born from our love of embarrassing celebrities. We love a good c-lister in need of a paycheck! We were really interested in the canned politeness people give off when forced to mingle with strangers. The backstory we created is that the cast of this reality show called “Celebrity All-Star” is in the middle of a mandatory round of “get to know each other” drinks in the hotel bar when the room keys stop working. Shows like Celebrity Ghost Hunters and of course The Surreal Life were of inspo, but we thought it
was funny to keep it really vague what kind of show they’re on, and just focus on everyone’s diva antics after the cameras stop rolling.

IFC: Every celebrity in Celebrity All-Star seems familiar. What real-life pop personalities did you look to for inspiration?

Sisters Weekend: Anyone who is trying to plug their branded merch that no one asked for. We love low-rent celebrity. We did, however, directly reference Kylie Jenner’s turd-raison lip color for our fictional teen celebutante Gibby Kyle (played by Mary Houlihan).

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IFC: Celebrity seems disgusting yet desirable. What’s your POV? Do you crave it, hate it, or both?

Sisters Weekend: A lot of people chase fame. If you’re practical, you’ll likely switch to chasing success and if you’re smart, you’ll hopefully switch to chasing happiness. But also, “We need money. We need hits. Hits bring money, money bring power, power bring fame, fame change the game,” Young Thug.

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IFC: Who are your comedy idols?

Sisters Weekend: Mike grew up renting “Monty Python” tapes from the library and staying up late to watch 2000’s SNL, Kat was super into Andy Kaufman and “Kids In The Hall” in high school, and Angelo was heavily influenced by “Strangers With Candy” and Anna Faris in the Scary Movie franchise, so, our comedy heroes mesh from all over. But, also we idolize a lot of the people we work with in NY-  Lorelei Ramirez, Erin Markey, Mary Houlihan, who are all in the film, Amy Zimmer, Ana Fabrega, Patti Harrison, Sam Taggart. Geniuses! All of Em!

IFC: What’s your favorite moment from the film?

Sisters Weekend: I mean…seeing Mary Houlihan scream at an insane Pomeranian on an iPad is pretty great.

See Sisters Weekend right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib

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