Tuesday, November 15, 2011

10 TV Series That Would Make Great Comics

From Supernatural to Dexter to the popular Whedonverse comics, more and more television series are continuing stories or telling new ones in the comic book medium. It can be a great way to carry on plot points without worrying about actors, or to do things that budgets don't allow. I'm a huge fan of serialized fiction, and I think tv and comics are often great for pretty similar reason. So, in no particular order, here are 10 TV series that I think would make pretty great comic books.

1. Veronica Mars

There are few things as perfectly suited to serialized storytelling as a good mystery, and Veronica Mars offered those in spades. From its entertaining mysteries of the week to its grander mysteries that lasted an entire season, viewers at home could try and solve puzzles along with the title character, or just enjoy watching the way the pieces were put together. While Veronica Mars didn't end on a cliffhanger, the writers were hoping for a fourth season, and enough was left open that the ending felt unsatisfying to many a fan. While series creator Rob Thomas had suggested a jump forward in time for season four, I'd most like to see the show pick up right where it left off, with so many aspects of Veronica's world in shambles It'd even be neat to take advantage of the medium and pop back in time. There are definitely some loose endings from earlier seasons I'd love to see wrapped up. Both Rob Thomas and Kristen Bell have been trying to bring Veronica Mars back for a long time, and comics seem like the perfect place to do it.

2. Community
Some fans (I am not one of them) have criticized Community for its ever increasing levels of wackiness and metahumor. In the realms of comics, they could feel free to completely leave reality behind and dive headfirst into four color insanity. I'd love to see Abed apply his pop culture knowledge to the world of comic books, and it'd be great to see how Community would riff on common comic tropes. I feel like there are countless different ways a Community comic could work, from standard stories with the characters to self-insert tales written by Troy or Pierce, to our cast being plunged into a comic book world, fully aware of what's happened to them. The way the show is set up, the potential for awesome comic book stories is limitless. Community is one of the few TV shows out there that I make a point of watching faithfully every week, and I'd love to be able to follow it every month as well.

3. Dead Like Me
Bryan Fuller is incredibly skilled when it comes to making imaginative, interesting tv shows, but doesn't have the best luck when it comes to keeping them on the air. While the gone to soon Dead Like Me was able to continue its story via a straight to DVD movie, the movie was a largely unsatisfying experience, failing to feature some of the show's best characters and never addressing most of the plot lines that were left unfinished after Fuller's departure and the show's cancellation. A comic book would allow stories to be continued with or without certain cast members, and would give writers time to wrap things up properly while telling interesting new stories in the show's strange universe. I'd love to see what kind of stuff a skilled visual storyteller might come up with when it comes to the show's elaborate death sequences, but mostly, I just want a chance to see Rube, George, Mason, Roxy and even Daisy again.

4. Venture Brothers
Venture Brothers was originally conceived as a comic book, so it makes perfect sense to have a comic book run alongside the series. Fans often have to wait a long time in between new seasons of Venture Brothers, and being able to enjoy a new story every month would be pretty incredible. While I'd certainly miss the show's wonderful voice cast, I think the action scenes could be even better in the hands of a good artist, and a monthly format would allow writers to spend time on stories there might not be time for during an ordinary season. Some of my all-time favorite Venture Brothers episodes focus on character backstories, and the thought of massive comic book arcs that do the same has me way too excited. With a clever writer and a great artist, a Venture Brothers comic could rival the animated series in terms of awesomeness.

5. Terriers
Terriers was an incredibly awesome little crime drama that, for whatever reason, absolutely no one watched. The show was fantastic and well reviewed, but even that wasn't enough to save it from its dire ratings. Every one of its 13 episodes delivered great humor, brilliant dialogue, and jawdropping plot twists, and it's a shame more people didn't get a chance to appreciate it. While I'd never suggest comics as a place for a story to find a why audience, it could give Terriers a comfortable little niche where it'd have time to continue the strong character building it was doing over its run. Terrier's tight and often subtle storytelling would work wonderfully in comic books, and it'd give a series that ended much to soon a chance to shine again. It's not the sort of show that's typically adapted into a comic, and I think that would make it all the more interesting. People might pick this up who'd never consider grabbing an adapted comic book otherwise.

6. Kamen Rider
Those of you who know me know that I am a massive fan of all things Kamen Rider, and that I'd love to see any character from the franchise appear in comic book form. For the most part, each Kamen Rider series only lasts a single season, which means there are countless stories left to be told, especially when it comes to supporting characters. This is sometimes addressed through films, but I'd love to be able to sit down with a book about Sokichi Narumi fighting as Kamen Rider Skull, or about Kamen Rider Kuuga and Kaoru Ichijo fighting a non-Gurongi enemy. Tokusatsu and superhero comics appeal to me for fairly similar reasons, and I think a lot of longtime comic readers would fall in love with Kamen Rider if they were given a chance. Even the transformation sequences would translate to comics pretty beautifully. Whether Kamen Rider in manga or in Western comics, I just want to enjoy an ongoing book about all my favorite henshin heroes.

7. Adventure Time
Folks are always clamoring for more "fun" comics, and it doesn't get much more fun than Adventure Time. Adventure Time's weird and wonderful world is perfectly suited to cartoon form, but I'd love to see how the characters might be used in the comic medium. Would Jake stretch from panel to panel? Would we get to see action that might be too intense for a kid's cartoon? Comics would allow creators to spend a lot of time on concepts that were only mentioned in passing in the initial episode. Adventure Time always seems to have more ideas than it does time, and I'd love to see elements of the show's surprisingly rich mythology expanded on. DC already publishes quite a few CN based kids comics, and adding an Adventure Time comic to the mix seems like a natural move.

8. Reaper
I only saw a little of Reaper when it was actually on the air, but I completely fell in love with the series when I did a Netflix marathon. I'm always hunting for shows that have elements of Buffy to them, and Reaper fit the bill beautifully. However, as I neared the end, it was almost painful knowing that some building story lines would never be wrapped up. The cast of the show has moved on, but a comic would allow their stories to be continued regardless, and for the creators to do things that a limited CW budget might not have allowed for. There was always a bit of a cartoony element to Reaper, and a comic would be able to take that to the next level. When it comes to adaptations, Reaper even has a bit of a head start. One of the series creators, Tara Butters, is married to comic book writer Marc Guggenheim, so the show already has connection to the comic book world. It just needs to be put to use.

9. Samurai Jack
Samurai Jack's appeared in countless issues of Cartoon Network Action Pack, but he's never had a proper ongoing of his own. I mourn the loss of any Genndy Tartakovsky helmed cartoon, but Samurai Jack being gone hurts the most, even years and years after the fact. A comic would give writers all the time they needed to tell Jack's story, and would eventually give fans a chance to see Jack make it back to his own time. If the comic could retain the show's beautiful backgrounds, smart humor, and stylized action scenes, it'd be absolute magic. It's been gone for a while now, but that doesn't mean there aren't scores of people who'd welcome the return of their favorite samurai and his spectacular rogues gallery. Whether Jack's story becomes a little darker, or Samurai Jack is an all ages title, I'd be sure to read this every month. Get on it, DC!

10. Twin Peaks
Twin Peaks came so close to becoming a comic that it hurts to think about. A story was plotted, art was drawn, and the comic was even given a release date. However, when the proposal was sent to David Lynch, he stated that he wasn't interested in continuing the story of Twin Peaks in any way. The initial creative team, who did some great work, has said that they're still interested in continuing the story if Lynch ever changes his mind, and I hope that they eventually get the chance. Maybe in time, Lynch will be more willing to see people go back to the weird and wonderful world he created, and to let the story be continued past the season two cliffhanger. There's nothing else like Twin Peaks. When I go back and watch old episodes, I'm amazed that something so strange was able to air. The show makes me laugh endlessly, and often haunts me as I'm trying to fall asleep. I hope that someday, Twin Peaks comic books are able to do the same thing.

Did we miss one of your favorites? Let us know in the comments!

By Marceline with 3 comments


no sentai?! for shaaaaaameeeee

I didn't want to do Kamen Rider and Sentai, and when it comes to the two of them, Kamen Rider will always have my heart.

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