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Guy Ritchie’s GAMEKEEPER To Become A “Motion Comic” (Finally)
The Virgin Comics experiment continues to underperform as ever. It was announced this week that Liquid Comics (formerly Virgin) would join hands with Yahoo Screen to bring the public “motion comics” based on infamous crime director/former Mr. Madonna Guy Ritchie’s Gamekeeper, as well as Men in Black director Barry Sonnenfeld’s Dinosaurs vs. Aliens.
And somewhere, Jack Kirby is laughing his ass off at all of us.
Liquid Comics was formed in 2006 by Sir Richard Branson as Virgin Comics, another branch of his worldwide Virgin Group. His partners in this venture included motivational speaker/seemingly very nice man Deepak Chopra, and Chopra’s son, Gotham. Ostensibly created to add more Eastern mythos to the overall American grasp of superhero iconography, I was all for this virgin (ha-ha) company, not just because it might broaden the superheroic cultural conversation here in this land of liberty, but also because it would bring us new work by the likes of Garth Ennis and Andy Diggle.
Turns out though that the whole experiment has mostly been a shambles.
A mere two years after its inception, Virgin Comics shut down its New York offices, moved to L.A., and changed its name to Liquid Comics. The extremely visible Chopra and his new line of heavily Indian- and Asian-influenced superheroes have barely elicited a peep on the scene since. And now this “motion comics” bullshit.
Look, I’m all for expanding the medium of comics and increasing the audience and all that. I am. Comics are the greatest medium of artistic expression known to man, and though the superhero genre has often shown itself to be inbred and shallow, I feel strongly that there are still many important stories to tell featuring guys in tights beating the hell outta each other. But when the best you can come up with is basically a digital flip-book, maybe it’s time to just shut it down.
Sonnenfeld’s Dinosaurs vs. Aliens will likely be the big draw for this new “development”, but even with Grant Morrison on board, what I’ve seen of that book so far is a big so-what. But the best thing to come out of Virgin Comics was by far Ritchie’s Gamekeeper. Scripted by the inimitable Andy Diggle, Gamekeeper is the story of a retired hitman who is forced out of retirement when the nice family he works for meets unfortunate circumstances. Certainly not the most original concept, the book still managed to deliver plenty of Ritchie-caliber dialogue and action, and certainly deserves a lot better treatment than some digital gimmick. Perhaps if it takes off, we’ll see another volume of the comics series (Jeff Parker wrote the second volume, but as much as I enjoy his work now, it pretty much flew under my radar back when it was originally published), or maybe that movie that was optioned years ago will finally come to fruition.
Here’s me not holding my breath.