They may call it a comic book convention, but that is really an understatement.
This year’s New York ComicCon (NYCC), which is concluding today, is just one of the numerous major similar events held around the country every year that realizes that comic books and their fans do not exist in their own isolated continuum. Instead comic fans interests lie across numerous related fields and comic books themselves influence and are influenced by those fields. So any major convention will have programming tracks that encompass not only comic books, but also gaming, animation and films. There are comic book characters making the transition to television and movies, comic books and movies being created based on the story lines from video games and games are being based on both comic books and films. And as these various hobbies begin to overlap, so too do the creative people involved.
The result is a fertile cross-pollination that results in instances where a session where J. Michael Straczynski, creator of the TV series Babylon 5, can talk about the future of that show as a line of made-for-DVD movies, his script for a film called The Changeling which will begin filming this summer with Ron Howard producing and give hints about the various comic book projects he’s writing for Marvel Comics.
Producer Michael Uslan summed it up best at a panel about a forthcoming adaptation of Will Eisner’s classic comics hero The Spirit with Sin City co-director and comic book writer/artist Frank Miller. Hollywood is always looking for good stories and there are plenty of good stories to be found in comics. These stories are not just guys and gals with super powers and colorful outfits. Films like Men In Black, Ghost World, Road To Perdition and A History Of Violence have proven that.
For myself, I found plenty of good stories at NYCC this year as well, which I’ll be sharing with you as the week rolls on. So look for stories about John Landis’ next film, a sit down conversation with Eli Roth about the upcoming Hostel 2, as well as a preview of what we can expect from Miller’s Spirit film and more.