Hollywood stars continue to venture into the worlds of comics, as shown by the recent news that David Duchovny is working with Phillip Sevy on Kepler from Dark Horse!
A ‘BIG NAME’ COMING TO COMICS
Yes, David Duchovny from The X-Files and other successful TV shows is working with Mr. Sevy, a dynamic force in comics himself, to explore Kepler, which is described this way:
When the Benadem, benevolent space gods, return to KEPLER, a planet where homosapiens went extinct and other hominid species thrived, their arrival threatens to plunge the world into chaos. West, a 16-year-old Neanderthal girl, is thrust into the conflict and is the only hope to prevent extinction.
The graphic novel retails for $19.99.
Of course, Duchovny was creatively involved in several X-Files episodes, including “The Unnatural,” which he wrote and directed.
The actor’s fans are also looking forward to his new book, The Reservoir, called “a dark story but contains Duchovny’s humor throughout. It follows a Wall Street veteran named Ridley who devolves into madness while taking photos from his apartment window overlooking the reservoir in New York City’s Central Park.”
If Kepler does well, as expected, we just might see more comics with his name on it!
OTHER RECENT COMICS FROM STARS
Of course, Duchovny isn’t the only Hollywood star to get involved in comics creation recently!
Keanu Reeves has made a big splash in the BOOM! Studios comic BRZRKR, a twelve-issue limited series he’s been making with co-writer Matt Kindt, artist Alessandro Vitti, and others.
“I have loved comics since I was a young kid and they have been a significant influence on me artistically,” said Reeves in a press release. “To have the chance to create BRZRKR and collaborate with legends in the industry like writer Matt Kindt, artist Alessandro Vitti, color artist Bill Crabtree, letterer Clem Robins, and conceptual/cover artist Rafael Grampá – along with the great folks at BOOM! Studios – is a dream come true.”
In an interview on my podcast, Kindt says that Reeves was involved in much of the process of creating the book rather than handing off a concept to others to make.
“The best collaborations have each partner bringing something unique to the table. With BRZRKR we mixed a potent cocktail of all the things that we love: the tale of an immortal warrior laced with history, conspiracies, spirituality, and a gigantic helping of bonkers action and violence — all with intense purpose and ultimately a heartbreaking discovery,” said Kindt.
I’m sure there are many other comics in which “name” actors have been involved, but one that also took place in the last year or so has been PhenomX, an Image book that actor John Leguizamo teamed up with Todd McFarlane to make.
The four-issue limited series is described this way: “Wrongfully imprisoned and desperate to regain his freedom, Max Gomez agrees to become a subject in an underground government experiment. When the trial gives him phenomenal shape-shifting abilities, Gomez learns his new ‘freedom’ requires surviving a superpowered war fought on the streets of NYC.”
“In today’s world, it’s incredibly important to support Latin artists,” said Leguizamo. “There is a lack of Latin representation in Hollywood, and it’s important to showcase Latin superheroes.”
WHY GET INTO COMICS?
Often Hollywood talents like Leguizamo, Reeves, and Duchovny get questioned as to why they are working in comics, of all things!
The answers are often pretty obvious.
While many people think actors pretty much only ACT, the truth is many of them have writing and other creative needs they want to fulfill.
It’s like the way some artists also enjoy writing or—apparently less often—writers like to draw or letter or take part in other aspects of the industry.
“John has been a multitalented artist for such a long time it was exciting to hear that he wanted to bring some of those talents into our comic industry and to help give a voice to a certain segment of society,” said McFarlane. “John is well regarded in the Latino entertainment world, and we are both hoping that his character not only makes an impact here but across the globe, regardless of your background. Cool comic books should have a place everywhere.”
Of course, there are also more mercenary reasons for wanting to generate characters and stories. You might have a slow period of time in your schedule, and you want to turn it into something profitable. So you put together a treatment and work with the industry to develop an “IP,” better known as an “intellectual property.”
If someone checks out your story and all, then likes it enough to want to turn it into a TV show or a film, well, your “down time” might actually become a long-term money-maker!
Also, it might be time to “strike while the iron is hot,” as the saying goes. Your name is still well-known currently, so you capitalize on that by attaching it prominently in the comic’s title or cover banner. People see your name, recognize it, and buy the comic to support you and/or check out what you’ve been making recently.
I never will begrudge a “talent” and his or her desire to explore avenues of creativity they may not have been known for previously and even make a few bucks while at it!
Not only that, it could even help boost the comics industry if “name” actors actually believe in it enough to join in! That’s never a bad thing!
I have attended many pop culture conventions in which actors have been asked, “What do you want to see your character do next?”
What these people have often had to do is hand that question off to the writers and/or producers of the show or movie. After all, they’re basically breathing life into their work.
Imagine if you were an actor and you could actually answer that question! There are a LOT of actors in Hollywood who would enjoy the chance to share the ideas they have for their characters or stories!
Moving forward, I think, particularly if these comics continue to sell well, we’ll see more creative stars move into the comics industry. It gives these people something they can do to fill in those gaps between acting jobs, among other things. And I’m sure, based on some interviews with Hollywood stars that I’ve heard, there are many more creative ideas just waiting to be drawn onto the comics page!
Hey, William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy from Star Trek did it! Why not others?