Sunday, May 9, 2010

Anna Paquin's Comic-Book Makeover

Above: The cover to the upcoming 'True Blood' comic series, in which kiwi actress Anna Paquin receives a slight makeover from artist J. Scott Campbell. Copyright IDW Publishing/HBO 2010.

This July sees HBO's hit TV series 'True Blood' make the leap from the small screen to comics, in a new series from IDW Publishing. While comic adaptations of film and TV properties are nothing new, the recently released cover art by 'good girl' artist J. Scott Campbell attracted the attention of 'The NZ Herald on Sunday' today, focusing on the mixed reaction to the likeness of Anna Paquin's comic-book counterpart.

The general consensus in the article was that Campbell had made her cuter and more generic than her true likeness (or at least her TV appearance). It's probably a fair assessment at face value, but for those more familiar with the comics industry this is really just business as usual.

If you're looking to launch a new title, especially one based on an existing property, you line up a superstar artist with a fan following, and J. Scott Campbell fits that bill. Known for his 'Charlie's Angels' style adventure comic series 'Danger Girl', Campbell specializes in depicting cute pin-up girls with a capital 'C'. In producing this cover, he's chosen a couple of Paquin's key features (slightly larger eyes and bottom lip) and emphasised them while staying true to his art style. As a fan of the show, I'm not sure if this really captures the tone of the series for me, but as promotional art it's a fun take on the characters, and it's certainly better than a unimaginative photography cover!

Unlike most comics adaptations, HBO and the TV series creator Alan Ball will be very involved in the production and promotion of the comic seires, developing story plots with series writers Elisabeth Finch and Kate Barnow to be written by co-writers David Tischman and Mariah Huehner. The interior artwork will be provided by artist David Messina. There's no previews of his art for the series out there yet, but this image from an IDW convention stand was floating around the interweb and provides a hint of what to expect...

The comic will premiere at San Diego Comic-Con this July and will be available in stores soon after: 'True Blood' #1 of 6, 32 pages, full color, $3.99US from IDW Publishing. You can also check out a video message from Alan Ball talking about the comic series HERE.

So what do YOU think of the cover? Too cutesy for you? Do you have a different artist in mind to flesh out the Bon Temps residents? Let me know what you think, in the meantime I need to catch-up on the second series...


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