Indie Comic Spencer & Locke Gets Optioned by Prime Universe Films

So I got a super exciting press release while I was at work and while the whole internet probably knows about this by now I am still sharing!

One of my favourite comic book series of 2017 Spencer & Locke got optioned by Hitman film producer Adrian Askarieh who owns Prime Universe Films. Now, what does optioned mean? Essentially Prime Universe Films has an agreement with the creators for the exclusive film rights to Spencer & Locke for a specific amount of time and financial obligations. Adrian has the right to purchase the screenplay in the agreed upon timeframe (most contracts range from 12-18 months).

This is some great news and just a week before the release of issue #4 which is the conclusion of the first mini-series. With the overwhelmingly positive reception this series has gotten from fans and critics and now the news of a potential film I have to assume will we see more Spence & Locke comics from Action Lab. Right, David Pepose !?

If you have no idea what Spencer & Locke is and why I’m a big fan of it check out my reviews and this awesome comic book trailer from the creative team.

 

  https://shawoncomics.com/2017/05/29/spencer-locke-2-review/

 https://shawoncomics.com/2017/06/21/spencer-locke-3-review/

Here is the official press release:

We are pleased to announce SPENCER & LOCKE, Action Lab Entertainment’s critically acclaimed new crime series from writer David Pepose and artist Jorge Santiago, Jr., has been optioned for film by Hitman film producer Adrian Askarieh and his company Prime Universe Films. You can learn more about this new development at The Hollywood Reporter.

Described as “a fantastic debut” by Batman writer Scott Snyder and “a fiendishly fun take on an age-old classic” by IGN, SPENCER & LOCKE follows hard-boiled Detective Locke as he solves a brutal murder with the only partner he can trust — his imaginary talking panther, Spencer. But as their investigation stirs up a vicious crime syndicate and memories of Locke’s traumatic upbringing, can this unlikely pair survive long enough to learn the truth?

SPENCER & LOCKE #4, which concludes the series’ action-packed storyline, will be available at comic shops and digital devices Wednesday, July 19. Series writer David Pepose will be signing copies of all four issues at Comic-Con International in San Diego at the Action Lab booth (#2006), including a never-before-seen SDCC variant cover from artist Joe Mulvey

Fans can catch up on SPENCER & LOCKE at ComiXology or can preorder the SPENCER & LOCKE trade paperback collection through their local comics shops by Monday, July 24 using the preorder code JUN171107. You can also follow SPENCER & LOCKE on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

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Shaw on Comics Podcast #1: Kelly Bender

So the other week I messaged my friend Kelly Bender who I hadn’t talked to in a little while, I wanted to congratulate him on another successful Kickstarter for his latest comic Undigenous wich was co-created with artist Adam Ferris. We got chatting then said we should skype soon. As soon as he mentioned that I said I got time now if you do and as luck would have it he did. so this was a spur of the moment not planned ahead of time podcast.

So I talked to Kelly about Kickstarter, the new Top Cow Talent Hunt (Kelly is a 2015 winner) comic book creating and comics in general.

This is my first podcast so I apologise if the audio or production is not up to par with the rest out there I’m just learning.

If there are any issues with not being able to play the audio just message me on my Facebook page or Twitter. Going to figure out this audio uploading thing soon!

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B5GRf_L8hmEQdWJ5VFJSdHVfTVk

 

 

 

Wretches #1 & #2 Review

I’m all about the indie and creator-owned comics these days. One of the best Sci-Fi comic series out right now that you may or may not have heard of is Wretches. Thanks to the powerful platform of Kickstarter this series was able to exist for public purchasing. It was also good enough to get on comics largest Digital platform Comixology. I’m combining the reviews of issue 1 and 2 because 1 was released last year and 2 was released a couple weeks ago. Both are available for purchase (physical and digital) I will have links at the end of the review.

Wretches #1 was made possible by the creative team of writer James E. Roche artist Salomon Farias, colourists Chunlin Zhao and letterer Jamie Me.

Synopsis via James E Roche website:

Wretches, at its core, is a story about family, sacrifice, and loss. Siblings, Shea and Sean, were forced to grow up on the streets of an alien city, far from the lifeless planet they’d once called home. Now, all grown up, they capture other beings for the promise of reward – specialising in hunting the robots they’d once shared their home planet with. Still suffering emotionally from the loss of everything they’d ever known and loved, these siblings have nothing else in the universe but each other. Until they no longer even have that. Once one of them is kidnapped, the other will tear the entire galaxy apart to get them back.

The opening of Wretches starts with dialogue all too familiar with people. The somewhat stereotypical declarations parents tell us as children. That nothing bad will ever happen to us, promising they will always be there for us and many other promises. You see our main characters Shea and Sean struggle to make a life for themselves while working together to make a living as bounty hunters.

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We start off with some background on the two siblings Shea and Sean, as they are trying to escape their childhood planet working a job. As the story progresses, you get a good sense of the kind of relationship Shea and Sean have and that the fact the no longer have their parents has made them closer. With things eventually leading to the start of a new challenging chapter in their relationship.

Wretches is a well written with an awesome Man in Black reference which is always a plus for me. The art is decent although there are a few panels where the autonomy of some characters throws me off a bit but not enough to ruin the comic.

seandown

Wretches # 1  is a good introduction to a brand new series and universe. It’s worth checking out especially if you’re a Sci-Fi fan looking for something a little different from the current norm.

7.5/10

wretches#2

 

The first thing you will notice when you read Wretches #2 is the massive improvement in all departments. Like I said in the issue 1 review I had some issues with the art, this time around I got nothing to criticise! Which makes me happy because I can’t draw beyond stick figures. It’s a catch 22 for me I know minimal about actual drawing but spent a lot of time reading comics and looking at original art. I have a but of artist experience with cooking and that’s about it. I just know what I like and what I don’t. This I like a lot and much more than issue one.

The story style is completely different from issue one. It’s a different pace, and it works. It’s not just laying out event 1,2,3 James E. Roche gives you 1,1.2,1.3 and so on. The same event but different angles, perspectives and interactions every few panels. It’s kinda refreshing in a comic because I can’t recall one recently that I have read that’s done that or as good as this. It’s very Tarantino which is always a compliment when I say that.

wretches pic 1

This issue takes us to our first intergalactic bar in the Wretches universe. It’s full of Degenerates and junkies. Fuses are short manners lacking, so you know some sort of vicious violence or theft is going to ensue. Shea makes her way to this bar to meet with someone with potential information about her brother’s location and we, of course, get to see some interesting new characters.

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wretches issue 2-1

With such an improvement from issue one, it’s safe for me to recommend this comic series to any Sci-fi or indie comic fan. It’s clear the more time this team works together the better the comic is. So please support them and the Kickstarter for issue 3 whenever that gets announced.

9/10

To purchase physical issues of Wretches #1 and #2 click here

You can purchase digital copies (Issue #1 is just $0.99 US) on Comixology

Follow writer James E. Roche on Twitter

Watchmen Meet The DC Universe This Fall

DC comics announced Sunday what fans have been waiting for since Geoff Johns last comic DC Universe Rebirth one-shot that kicked off the complete reboot of the entire comic line. Johns had originally said that the one-shot would be his last comic for a while as he was recently promoted to head of DC Films. Surprisingly in January, he announced via Twitter that he would be back later this year releasing comics. The tweet also contained an image of Watchmen character Dr Manhattan.

dc rebirth.jpg 

 

 

The thing about Watchmen is that the world it is based in existed outside of the DC universe. With Geoff Johns new title “Doomsday Clock” we will for the first time this November see the Watchmen interact with some of our favourite superheroes. While with exactly how many and who remain to be revealed we do know the story focuses on Dr Manhattan and Superman.

Geoff Johns gave an exclusive interview with blastr.com.

“We’re not going to do a story like this unless we one-thousand percent believe in it. It is all about the story; it is only about the story. There are no crossovers. No watered down one-shots or mini-series on top of this one. This is a standalone story. There is only Doomsday Clock. We had no interest in doing a crossover with this. We didn’t want to see Doctor Manhattan facing off against Superman in Action Comics, with all due respect. That is not what this is about. It is about something different … It will have an impact on the entire DC Universe. It will affect everything moving forward and everything that has come before. It will touch the thematic and literal essence of DC.”

“There will be DC characters throughout this, but this focuses in on only a handful. There is a lot of focus on Superman, and Doctor Manhattan. Doctor Manhattan is a huge focus, and his reasons for being here, and doing what he does, ultimately have to do with Superman. And there are many, many more characters to be involved, but it is a bit early to discuss.”

It’s great to hear that this will not be a massive crossover event across multiple books because that is really annoying. Johns also assured that this is not a sequel to Watchmen.

“It is something else. It is Watchmen colliding with the DC Universe. It is the most personal and most epic, utterly mind-bending project I have ever worked on in my career. With Rebirth, I opened the door to Manhattan. Part of that was I loved the real-world influence Watchmen has. I put Manhattan out there, and always thought there was a Manhattan/Superman story to be told, but then … it grew. And grew. It took my heart and soul over. Still, at the core of it, there’s a being who has lost his humanity, and distanced himself from it, and an alien who embodies humanity more than most humans. I love the idea that Watchmen influenced DC, but what would that look like in reverse? And it goes well beyond that.”

The original Watchmen was created by writer Alan Moore and artist Dave Gibbons. Colours were done by John Higgins. I was a groundbreaking comic that challenged traditional comic book storytelling and structure and was an examination of the superhero genre itself. It’s for more in-depth and complex than that so I recommend you pick yourself up a copy if you don’t have one and look up some far better articles than this on the subject.

Since the release of the original Watchmen Alan Moore has been very upfront about his displeasure with working with DC at the time. His contract was quite horrible as well, in an interview with fastcompany.com back in 2012 he talked about getting lawyers to look at the contract he signed. Moore referred to it as

“creator-hostile”.

“There was a clause that essentially said that, if in the future, there were any documents or contracts that I refused to sign, DC was entitled to appoint an attorney to sign them instead,” “[The lawyers] said it was the most creator-hostile contract they’d ever seen.”

This isn’t the first or last case or shady contracts or creator mistreatment but this has stuck with Moore till this day.  He is not a fan of Watchmen calling  “a toxic cloud of memories”. Watchmen was designed originally not to be a franchise but after failing to get the rights to the property DC did what they wanted.

I only read The Comedian and Rorschach titles of “Before Watchmen” and they were good. Should they have made a prequel? I’m not too sure.

That brings me to the next obvious question should DC and Geoff johns (along with Gary Frank on art) bring Watchmen into the DC universe let alone write another Watchmen comic? While I’m one for original intent and purpose there are times where a concept or idea just seem to interesting not to explore. Having a story based around arguably two of the most powerful characters in the DC universe is pretty damn exciting.

If anyone other than Geoff Johns and Gary Frank were doing this project I would say I’m not going to invest my time and money it’s just too big of a risk. No one knows the DC universe like Johns. He has written some of the best stories in DC comics for more than a decade and every title he has collaborated on with Gary Frank has been great. It seems he has taken his time with this project. The fact we are not seeing it as some big summer crossover event is a good sign and most importantly Johns treats characters with respect and writes good stories.

 

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I can’t imagine this comic being bad but anything is possible. If you have been following “The Button” story arc between Batman and The Flash rebirth titles recently you will understand my scepticism of  “Doomsday Clock” being bad.