A Big Gamble for the Small Screen

In August, I decided to do something with an idea that’s been nagging me for the better part of the year. It was ignited by the buzz around whether or not the person cast as The Twelfth Doctor (of “Doctor Who” fame) would be male or female. I’m in the male Doctor camp, but not for sexist reasons. The Doctor is one of the (very) few male heroes who use their brains instead of their fists (Constantine is another and everyone should give his show a chance). To make The Doctor female would take that away from males who need someone to look up to or mimic. I am also fully aware and saddened by how damn shallow the heroine pool is. However, “Doctor Who” has a female character who hasn’t been seen in decades who deserves her own series. But no one remembers the Time Lady, Romana, except me, it seems.

I thought about what I’d do if I could make that series. Even got as far as seriously daydreaming a three-season arc. Then certain realities started sinking in. Mainly the ones about me being nowhere near the BBC and how my ideas weren’t exactly family-friendly. But I really liked what I came up with for Romana. Then August came and with it, an epiphany. One of my favorite films, “Darkman”, exists because Sam Raimi couldn’t get the rights to “The Shadow”. “Watchmen” exists because Alan Moore couldn’t use Charleston Comics characters. Star Wars exists because George Lucas couldn’t get the rights to “Flash Gordon” or “Hidden Fortress”. Great(er) things come from inspiration instead of adaptation sometimes. That’s when I decided to make my Romana idea into “Lady Vincent’s Journey”.

I didn’t wanna work on it by myself because it’d probably kill me. I also knew that I’m not who you’d call a trusting person, so any collaboration would extend as far as my address book. One friend who I thought would be good was working on his anti-zombie zombie novel. Luckily, the other friend was available. For the rest of the hear, we cackled in diners as we thought of Vincent’s life. We have humor that borders on the perverse and fucking gallows, so I imagine anyone who heard why were laughing must’ve been worried. We wanted to make a show that, for all its murky morality, was lighthearted. And mature. And animated. And unrepentant. We also didn’t really have a plan once we had enough to present to people except to find people to present to… then I came across a contest for new TV shows. Or rather, it found me. And today, I send Lady Vincent on her journey.

Bringing things back to comics at the end, I read Brian Wood’s “Channel Zero” yesterday. It made me realize the freedom that comics have in terms of storytelling and presentation because they’re treated by (American) society as the retarded art form. Don’t let the last few years in cinema fool you: comic book movies are popular, not comic books. “Channel Zero” opened up a few doors for “Dreams and Things”… and another idea that came to me. I’ll call it “Wanion” for now and say that it’s my love letter to Chicago an a reappropriation of a Batman idea I had.

Here’s the trailer to an important documentary a-comin’ for comic geeks: “She Makes Comics”.

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