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Indie comics news: Bendis' "Fire" gets a film, O'Malley's "Seconds" and Hellboy

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The latest independent comics news related stories for December 9th - 11th, 2013!

Brian M. Bendis' "Fire" set for the big screen!

Prolific writer Brian M. Bendis has been attached to Marvel Comics for so long (the start of the 21st century, easily) that it is easy to forget that he earned his dues working on smaller works for indie publishers. One of those was "Fire" a two issue series written and drawn by Bendis himself in 1993 for what was then "Caliber Comics"; it was ultimately reprinted by Image Comics, which collected the entire thing in a trade in 2001. If the first question out of one's mind after being told this is, "Bendis actually wrote something that was only two issues long", keep in mind this was one of his first published comic book projects back when he actually began his career as an artist rather than a writer. "Fire" was a story about a average Jewish-American man named Ben who quickly becomes embroiled in a secret CIA project to make agents out of average citizens. It was a dark thriller and occupied the same universe as many of his works of the 90's, which included more well known stuff such as "Jinx" or "Torso".

There have been rumblings of a film adaptation of it for some time, as actor Zac Efron ("High School Musical") is quite fond of it and imagines it a star vehicle for him. Both Efron and Bendis pitched the film to Universal Studios three years ago, but there's been little movement until today. Deadline reports that Jesse Wigutow, who is writing a "Tron" sequel for Disney, has been hired by Universal to draft a script for a "Fire" film. The premise seems perfectly acceptable for a film treatment; the dilemma may be it if suffers the same fate as "Red". That is, the creation of a successful film adaptation of a very short and simple graphic novel which is so successful it inspires a sequel which did not exist in comic form, which means Hollywood hacks had to write it entirely themselves. At any rate, Bendis is quite busy lately; he writes three comics for Marvel as well as co-produces the "Ultimate Spider-Man" cartoon and also writes his creator owned "Powers" (formerly published by Image Comics) in his spare time.

Bryan Lee O'Malley's latest project is nearly done!

It seemed like only yesterday when Bryan Lee O'Malley seemed to become one of the biggest names in indie comics thanks to six high selling "Scott Pilgrim" graphic novels from Oni Press from 2004-2010 as well as a film adaptation in 2010 as well. The film flopped, but it caused a drastic spike in graphic novel sales which have kept the books in print and even justified colorized versions. With this in mind, there has been much anticipation for his next project, "Seconds".

An army injury delayed this project, since O'Malley writes/draws/letters his comics by himself with few assistants. However, according to recent Twitter updates, the book is back on schedule for release on July 1st, 2014. The premise revolves around a restaurant called "Seconds" and the wacky goings on of customers and staff, inspired by the creator's own life experiences working in a restaurant in his native Toronto.

"Hellboy" goes to Madefire, and gets a "Grip"!

As part of Dark Horse Comics' unique digital initiative, their latest "Hellboy" series by creator Mike Mignola, titled "Hellboy in Hell", has become available on the "motion book" service Madefire. While many publishers offer digital comics via the ComiXology application, Dark Horse decided to create their own engine and sell their comics online without any middle man. Their strategy is to keep all digital profits as well as offer their own high end product digitally which is different from others.

In additional Dark Horse news, Gilbert Hernandez's long out of print mini series "Grip, the Strange World of Men" will be released in one hardcover collection in July. The "Love and Rockets" creator wrote and drew the series in 2002, which features a man trying to rediscover his identity amid a bizarre backdrop and cast of characters. The hardcover collection will feature two bonus pages by Hernandez.


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