Thursday, January 24, 2008

dream jobs part 1

i'm starting a new semi-regular feature here at blarg (though, i suppose "semi-regular" could be used to describe just about everything to do with how i keep this site...).

"Dream Jobs". which is really just as it sounds. each installment will consist of three elements: the project, the pitch, and, most gloomily, the reason no one will ever let me do it ...

and with that ringingly positive description let's start with:

the project: The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy!
the pitch:

pretty much a direct adaptation of the radio series... all twenty-six episodes! if you figure about 23-30 minutes per episode -- taking into account the differences in the two media, dropping out a few of the wordier bits of exposition, drawing out some extra colour from the novels, as well as all of the wonderfully alien characters and environs that only comics can fully realize-- that should translate fairly well to a 22-24 page comic for each. or a 44 page european style album for each two, or a 144 page ogn for each "phase", etc, etc, etc... all adapted (though probably with help) and drawn by me, with the excerpts from "the book" -- and since we're dealing with tom's perfect dream-world let's just keep dreamin'-- drawn by chip zdarsky (or as he likes to be called now, mrs. edith nausbaum) in the style he uses for his national post "extremely bad advice" column. funny funny funny stuff...

i've found myself drawing this stuff like a madman in my spare time... and i've been finding marvin to be the toughest nut to crack. these are the three best iterations so far...

first one's good but a bit too scrawny. he'd work well, though, as the generic model for all the other robots to be built off from...
this guy's getting closer, he's got that could fall apart at any moment and is slightly testy about it look that i always picture marvin with...
this is the one i'm happiest with. still not sure about the head, the body's exactly as i picture it when i'm listening...

the reason no one will ever let me do it: two reasons, really.

first: it's already been done... poorly (or, at least that's how everyone who remembers it remembers it.)

and second: there's been a movie. once hollywood shoots it's mostly corrupted and ill conceived wad, that's usually just about it for any comic version. unless your average modern comic publisher can sniff out the pungent aroma of option money rising off your project, they won't go anywhere near it; let alone something they'd have to license. add to that the movie, tragically, not being all that good.

(let me just back that up before i get jumped on... everything on screen that was pure unadulterated douglas adams, shot through the henson lens, and even with the disney "let's put 'mericans in it so 'mericans will watch it" filter (mos def, sam rockwell, even zooey deschannel): good, all good. hell, mos def was outstanding. everything else (i'm looking at you karey kirkparick): malkovitch, the truth gun, the alien dmv, the tacked on love story/happy ending... bad. very bad. tragically, horribly, egregiously bad. i mean come on! he hadn't even read the fudding book!!! that said we do own the movie, for all of the above "good" reasons.)

all of this means the chances of a comic book publisher committing to this kind of major undertaking, without anything other than comic/trade sales on the back end are about as good as me riding a hippo drawn battle wagon through the tim hortons drive thru...

but then who knows?... maybe ballantine would be interested...

edit: on a totally unrelated topic, i just had to do a google image search of "monkey" for a job (yeah... "had to"), and it came up with this. awesome.

11 comments:

Chip said...

Hot damn!
I'M IN!
Love,
Chip!

tomfowler said...

maybe you should read the "why no one will ever let me do it" part again, edith...

or were you being sexy?

Chip said...

You're such a goddamn pessimist.

tomfowler said...

only if you weren't being sexy.

...and i didn't hear a "no"...

Otter said...

Y'know, I've always pictured Marvin as being in absolute perfect condition (or at least starting out that way) because I never imagined him having an actual good reason to whine so much. Interesting.

tomfowler said...

that's fair, but remember, by the time they get to "milliways" (which is only episode 4 in the original series) marvin's had to get there the hard way: waiting a few billion years in the parking lot. at which point he is arguably half as old as the universe itself!

... there's also a bit where he goes on about a mouse that crawled into him farily early in his life and died there.

... and by the end (his end)in "so long, and thanks for all the fish", he gives that beautiful and actually quite touching soliloqui on how much everyone else sucks, where he reveals that because of everybody's mucking about with time and leaving him places he's now something like 7 (possibly more)times older than the universe.

but you are totally right. i'm sure he probably came off the assembly line whining about something.

i think that's why i identify with him so well...

George Cwirko-Godycki said...

incredible,

tomfowler said...

thanks, george.

i was just a your site last night, it's all full of extra nifty...

Tobias Schwarz said...

and it should be done in animation, not life action

tomfowler said...

i actually liked that it was live action. i think the material benefits from being routed in some kind of reality. it helps make the weirdness weirder. and, yes, i recognize the irony of me saying that after posting about how i'd like to draw it as a comic. you'll note the people type characters were drawn "realistically"-- (as close as i come anyway...)

my worry about an animated version would be that it would give the producers a chance to gear it even further towards kids, which it largely already was (i'm still looking at you kirkpatrick). not to say animation is for kids, but, well... you wouldn't know it if you'd seen an animated feature in the last 50 years...

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