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The Comic Wire by Beau Yarbrough

Thursday September 24th, 1998

It's a good year for comic books getting the nod from Hollywood. Even independent luminaries like James Hudnall are getting their chance to shine.

In addition to Chris "The X-Files" Carter choosing Hudnall's "Harsh Realm" to develop into a Fox television series beginning Fall 1999, the comic creator spoke to Comics2Film (http://www.comics2film.com/) this week about his other projects.

"ESPers," the series Hudnall is best-known for, has been has been optioned by director Tim Hunter, whose work includes "Homicide: Life on the Streets," "Twin Peaks," "The River's Edge" and writer/producer Clifton Campbell of "SeaQuest DSV" and "Tekwar."

The comic is currently published every other month by Image Comics. The book features a group of psychics at odds with government agents.

"Devastator" also appears to be getting the film treatment, with a screenplay by Hudnall. He told Comics2Film the work is "being seriously considered" by several parties.

The cyberpunk story features an ex-cop installing a wetware implant that turns him into an assassin for a drug lord.

Uncle Sam

While Alex Ross first rose to fame with his "Marvels" Marvel Comics mini-series with Kurt Busiek, he shot to superstardom with his art for DC Comics "Kingdom Come" with Mark Waid. The hardback and paperback collections of the latter also added new pages to the story, giving fans more of Ross' award-winning art in sketch book form, as well.

Now he's repeating himself with his follow-up to "Kingdom Come." In the new hard cover collection of DC/Vertigo's "Uncle Sam," arriving in stores in November, eight new pages of art and an explanatory piece about the history of the character have been added.

"I wanted an outlet to show all the unseen artwork that had done relating to the series - initial character designs as well as several paintings, including the one done for the Graphitti Designs t-shirt, and one that was the cover of a UK convention program," Ross explained. "But more important, what Steve and I wanted was a text piece explaining the origin of the character and how this icon of America evolved. We were encouraged by DC to think of ambitious things to do with the book, and this is one of the best ideas we came up with - something that would help readers understand the historical as well as the comics angle of the piece."

The Eisner-nominated two issue series tells the story of a vagrant clad in star-spangled rags. As he struggles to sort out his fractured memories, he's swept away by time-traveling visions dragging him through the worst of American history, while hinting at a violent past of his own.

The "Uncle Sam" hard cover is a 112-page VERTIGO hardcover, suggested for mature readers, and is solicited for order in the September volume of Diamond's Previews (Vol. VIII, No. 9). It arrives in comic-book stores November 25 with a cover price of $17.95 U.S.


DC's time-traveling Chronos may only be a few months from his final journey, but for fans who just can't wait to see what the amoral character's future will bring, series artist Paul Guinan sent along these two pages from issue #10, on sale in November.

Page 3 - 98k JPEG       Page 14 - 95k JPEG

Here's how he describes the action (don't read if you don't want a major plot point revealed): "It depicts Gravesend helping Chronos remove himself from time. The result is a timeline where Countess Fiorella, not ever having met Chronos, remains in Florence. But because the Countess was in Chronopolis when the timeline was changed, she's protected from the temporal shift -- so there are now two versions of her, one back in Florence and one in Chronopolis. Gravesend tells her she has become one of Chronopolis' 'spectres.'

"Cool, huh?"

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