Award-winning screenwriter Gary Whitta (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, The Book Of Eli) has teamed with celebrated artist Darick Robertson(Transmetropolitan, Happy!, The Boys) for a new take on a literary classic—with a futuristic twist. Oliver re-imagines Charles Dickens’ most famous orphan as a post-apocalyptic superhero fighting to liberate a war-ravaged England while searching for the truth about his own mysterious origins.
Gary and Darick took some time to discuss the book, it’s genesis and the possibility of a Dickensian Comics Universe.
Late last year, Amazon Prime dropped the first teaser trailer for The Boys, the live-action television adaptation of Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson’s unforgettable mature readers satirical comic that mercilessly mocked the superhero genre. However, when SYFY WIRE caught up to Ennis, he revealed that he’s much further along than the fans. He has actually had the chance to watch unfinished episodes of the show, months before their official debut later this year.
This isn’t a slavish adaptation of the Dickens novel — more a series of echoes of the original text. … If you’ve read Transmetropolitan, you don’t need me to tell you that Darick Robertson is one of the best serialized comics artists working today. Robertson is the whole package: he can do action, facial expressions and body language, dialogue, and scene-setting with what looks like incredible ease.
This week, we’re marking the release of Oliver #1 with the creative team responsible for bringing this hopeful dystopia to life. Gary Whitta first wrote the story as a screenplay nearly a decade ago, and together with artist Darick Robertson, they’ve finally brought the story to a 12-issue run with Image Comics.
Have you ever wondered what would happen if the clones from Star Wars were to have been the ones to raise Superman? My guess is no, but the new comic from Image comics may be posing a similar proposition.
Oliver is Image comics newest title written by Gary Whitta, with artist Darick Robertson and colorist Diego Rodriguez. For those who think Gary Whitta sounds familiar, he helped write Star Wars: Rogue One, After Earth, The Book of Eli as well as work on several Walking Dead video games. That actually provides a great set up for what we are walking into with this title.
I love the artistry of this title. It is very rich in detail, both within each object depicted and the environment as a whole. The coloring, or limitation there of, helps set the tone for the environment for the world we are entering. We are given splashes of color here and there, but the largest part of the color palette stays in the blacks, grays, and muted greens and browns.
Oliver was a book I considered somewhat intriguing when I first ran across news of it. Charles Dickens is a writer whose stories have been explored in a variety of different ways, and he’s an author that remains impactful and relevant even now. However, the idea of Oliver Twist in a post-apocalyptic science fiction setting has a certain charm. The heroic thief still has weight as an archetype, especially in a setting where basic survival is a day-to-day struggle.
Award-winning screenwriter GARY WHITTA (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, The Book Of Eli) teams with celebrated artist DARICK ROBERTSON (Transmetropolitan, HAPPY!, The Boys) for a new take on a literary classic — with a futuristic twist. OLIVER re-imagines Charles Dickens’ most famous orphan as a post-apocalyptic superhero fighting to liberate a war-ravaged England while searching for the truth about his own mysterious origins.
Put aside your cosy memories of Ron Moody’s Fagin exhorting his clan of waifs and strays to pick pockets in Dickens’s pitiless rookeries. Gary Whitta and Darick Robertson’s Oliver is a far more uncompromising, polemical affair, more redolent of David Lean’s version than Lionel Bart’s.
Set in a dystopian future in which the UK has been ravaged by war and its devastating aftermath, Oliver is the tale of an orphan left in charge of a group of abandoned bio-engineered veterans. Whitta has to be commended for ably setting his stall early without revealing too much, as well as applying a Shakespearean sheen to the story. Sprinkling the narrative with references to the Bard’s canon, particularly Richard III, Macbeth and Hamlet, Whitta opts for tragedy, the sympathetic players seemingly doomed from the outset.
OLIVER #1 varies wildly from its source material, delivering an inventing and beautiful take on the original novel. The writing keeps you invested throughout, ratcheting up the tension with new mysteries and puzzle pieces, while the artwork, despite being a bleak, post-apocalyptic vision, is a visual treat. Add this one to the pull list.
There seem to be reinterpretations of OLIVER TWIST everywhere these days, and it’s not hard to see why. Although they have nothing else in common, Dickens’ tale of a pick-pocketing orphan is like FRANKENSTEIN in that it’s a classic prose tale featuring morally ambiguous characters that lends itself well to reimaginings. However, the opening pages of Gary Whitta and Darick Robertson’s OLIVER are – to its benefit – nearly unrecognizable as Dickens: in a blown-out apocalyptic landscape, a lone figure wrapped in a hazmat suit and breathing apparatus trudges into the streets of London like it’s the last place on earth. Hardly post-Victorian class commentary.
It’s been a few years since I’ve read Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens. The first time I read it, I was awed by Dickens’ storytelling ability. It was one of those books that I had to read in high school, but I automatically fell in love with it. I couldn’t read it in small chunks with the rest of the class. Knowing that it was being adapted into a comic book series was something I knew I had to read.
What if Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist took place in a post-apocalyptic wasteland? That’s the question that writer Gary Whitta (ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY, THE BOOK OF ELI) and artist Darick Robinson (HAPPY!, TRANSMETROPOLITAN) seek to answer in the new Image Comics series, OLIVER. The titular character, Oliver, is a superhero who sets out to liberate a war-torn England. If you loved Dickens’ take on an impoverished London, you’ll enjoy OLIVER!
We have seen a growing trend of writers going from movies an in to the world of comic books. It certainly makes a lot of sense in a medium that puts a huge emphasis on story telling and imagery. So when you go to re-imagine a Dickens classic, it would certainly make sense to have someone like Gary Whitta at the helm. Let’s dive into the post-apocalyptic world of Oliver.
You already know how the world ends. You’ve seen it a thousand times; it drowns or burns, it starves or withers under the ominous hand of disease. From the biblical tale of Noah’s Ark to The Twilight Zoneand beyond, if there’s one looming eventuality we’ve accepted, it’s the apocalypse. With warnings unheeded and consequences disregarded, the cataclysm strikes—be it climate change, super viruses, or nuclear annihilation, to name a few bone-chillingly realistic examples.
A desperate and forgotten underclass, struggling to survive in the aftermath of calamity. A depressed and damaged country allowing these inequalities to fester like an untreated wound. An underpriviledged child, who is nevertheless extraordinary in some way, fighting to make his way through a cruel world. This is the world of Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist, a long-standing literary classic that has seen a great many notable adaptations since its initial publication 180 years ago.
Oliver #1 from Image Comics hits your local comic book store on January 23, but this creator-owned project is much more than a post-apocalyptic version of the Charles Dickens’ classic. The creative team of Gary Whitta and Darick Robertson have had quite an incredible creative journey getting to this point.
Whitta is an accomplished journalist, screenwriter, and video game designer. In 2001, he wrote the script for Oliver, and his writing earned him a foot in the door with Hollywood. In 2010, Whitta impressed nerds around the world with his screenplay for Book of Eli. He then took a throwaway line from A New Hopeand wrote the story for Rogue One. But that original script that got him an agent and manager was never picked up. So, 15 years ago Whitta started having conversations with Robertson to turn his screenplay into a comic book. Roberston is most famous for his work on The Boys, Transmetropolitan, and HAPPY!. The artist has also had quality runs with Wolverine and several books under Marvel’s MAX imprint. Due to both creators’ successes, it took time for Oliver to come together and find a home with a publisher.
Adapted from the comic series by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson, “The Boys” is a super-dark take on what happens when superheroes get out of control. Centered on a CIA-backed squad tasked with policing the world’s superheroes, the comic was full of graphic sex and violence. How will the showrunners translate this to the screen in a way that’s faithful and filmable? Details are slim at this point, so eager fans will have to stay tuned to find out.
This January, a project 15 years in the making is coming to Image Comics. Gary Whitta and Darick Robertson are teaming up to unleash Oliver, a post-apocalyptic twist on….well, Oliver Twist. As you can imagine with this creative team, nothing is what you expect it to be. Whitta and Robertson were kind enough to give me the goods on Oliver…
Gary Whitta may be best known for his multiple Star Warsprojects. He worked on Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and the animated Star Wars: Rebels series, as well as Marvel’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi comic book adaptation. But while he’s been building his resume in a galaxy far, far away, the Book of Eli screenwriter has been thinking about another world altogether — a world where Dickensian drama and post-apocalyptic science fiction merge to create a new kind of action hero.
The Charles Dickens re-creation comes from Gary Whitta and Darick Robertson. Having visited post-apocalyptic wastelands and a galaxy far, far away, screenwriter Gary Whitta has a new destination for his latest project: comic books. Whitta is teaming with The Boys co-creator Darick Robertson for Oliver, a new retelling of Oliver Twist launching from Image Comics next year.
Screenwriter Gary Whitta (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, The Book Of Eli) and artist Darick Robertson (Transmetropolitan, The Boys) are launching a new comic called Oliver, due in January from Image.
“I am in Seventh Heaven.” That pretty much sums up the energy beaming off Darick Robertson.
The self-taught artist and son of a Californian mechanic didn’t graduate from college, but instead a fierce love of action figures and pursued a childlike dream of drawing comics — not even necessarily getting them published, but to maybe one day “make something cool enough to just be out there,” he says. On a dreary September evening in Toronto, even as the weather seemed stuck mid-transition from summer to fall, Robertson, now 50 years old and a celebrated comic artist, is in awe of one of his creations come to life: The Boys.
Simon Pegg has joined the cast of Amazon’s The Boys. The actor, who was the inspiration for the look of the comic book’s Hughie, will play the role of the character’s dad, Hughie Sr., he announced via crashing the show’s New York Comic Con panel. Pegg will be a guest star in the first season.
The Boys was developed by Eric Kripke, Evan Goldberg, and Seth Rogen. As with the comic, it takes place in “a world where superheroes embrace the darker side of their massive celebrity and fame” and “revolves around a group of vigilantes known informally as “The Boys,” who set out to take down corrupt superheroes with no more than blue-collar grit and a willingness to fight dirty.”
Why is it that Darick Robertson’s three most popular titles all have the visage of someone smiling and being happy? Whether its Happy!’s titular blue unicorn, The Boys’ Billy Butcher, or Transmetropolitan’s three-eyed smiley face (or the menacing politican Gary Callahan, best known as “The Smiler”) there’s a perpetual grin on most all of the San Mateo-born artist’s most memorable work.
SYFY’s bonkers new show Happy!, starring Christopher Meloni and the titular imaginary friend voiced by Patton Oswalt, is off to a great start in the ratings. A TV adaptation is a mighty task, but the show could never have flown like a blue, donkey-faced Pegasus had it not stood on the shoulders of the original Image Comics graphic novel from writer Grant Morrison and artist Darick Robertson.
With everything that Eisner-nominated artist Darick Robertson has accomplished in his 20-plus years in the comics biz — creating Space Beaver as a 17-year-old, penciling for both Marvel and D.C., co-creating beloved works with the likes of Warren Ellis, Garth Ennis, and Grant Morrison – it’s a wonder that Robertson’s creations hadn’t already been adapted for TV or movies. But it’s better late than never, and that unlikely streak changes with Happy!, the 2012 Image Comics miniseries he created with Morrison, debuting in live action on SYFY Wednesday night.
Christopher Meloni dies twice in the first 20 minutes of Happy! and he’s the show’s hero. Though hero is a strong word, and he’s never quite dead. When we meet Meloni’s Nick Sax, he points a couple guns at his head and pulls a couple triggers. Suddenly he’s at a dance party, blood cascading out of his skull like a fountain. It’s a dream sequence, or a druggy hallucination; this isn’t a series that gets bogged down in specifics. A few hours, four murdered gangsters, and one heart attack later, Nick wakes up in an ambulance and sees a tiny flying blue unicorn named Happy. The adorable animal sings him a song. Nick pulls a gun on a paramedic, demanding morphine. Did I mention it’s almost Christmas?
It’s fascinating how Christopher Meloni can be intensely serious in shows like “Oz” and “Law & Order: SVU” and intensely hilarious as a washed-up cop who’s become a drunken, disheveled, unshaven hit man in the SyFy channel’s new comedy “Happy!,” premiering Wednesday, Dec. 6.
In SYFY’s adaptation of writer Grant Morrison and artist Darick Robertson’s 2013 graphic novel Happy!, Christopher Meloni plays cop-turned-hitman Nick Sax, who awakens after a heart attack with a new pal named Happy. A very special new pal.
He’s helped usher an award-winning, gonzo journalist into a dystopian future. He’s unleashed a team of heavies to protect the world from the evils of superheroes. He’s sent Frank Castle to Hell and back. And he was even there when Wolverine lost his face and his balls to The Punisher.
Now, artist Darick Robertson, co-creator of Transmetropolitan and The Boys, lends his artistic eye to the world of Harbinger: Renegades at Valiant Comics, sending them well on their way to…a massacre. And they are in the best of hands! Find out why in one of our most revealing creator interviews to date…
Hello you Sex Puppets, you Filthy Assistants, you New Scum. I’d like to talk to you about my friend Spider.
Is that too forward? Do I sound like I’m delivering a deranged religious pitch to you, knocking on your door at the most inconvenient time possible to ask if you’ve been saved by Chain Smoking Jesus? Don’t worry, Spider’s not Jesus, though he did dress like him once (long story). Spider’s just a mean little man who wants to tell the truth, and if you haven’t had the pleasure yet, now might be the time to let him blow your head open and fill it with fire.
Dante was a family man with a wife and a young daughter—and also a top assassin working for an international crime syndicate. For two decades, he worked hard to keep those two lives separate. Manipulated into thinking he could retire with the syndicate’s blessing, Dante is betrayed. While fighting to save himself, he accidentally kills a young Asian boy—an act which changes him forever. Cursed, and covered with otherworldly tattoos, Dante embarks on a journey to uncover the source of this supernatural affliction, and to save his family.
Harbinger is coming back, at last! Following the end of Joshua Dysart and Khari Evans series Harbinger reboot in 2014, an all-new series from Rafer Roberts and Darick Robertson is picking up the journey of Valiant’s premier psychic superteam—and we’ve got a look inside the first issue.
Imagine, if you a can, a world where charismatic leaders and would-be messiahs take advantage of people’s basic need for hope, and soulless corporations run by greedy little monsters squeeze every last dime out of their consumers even if they end up killing them, and elected officials care more about whatever they stoop down and squat out than the people who need their help.
2016’s Valiant Summit has just wrapped in New York City, where a number of new titles from the publisher were announced, including “Harbinger Renegades,” from Rafer Roberts and Darick Robertson. Reuniting the remaining members of the team in the aftermath of the previous series written by Joshua Dysart, the story picks up in a very different place to where things were last left. Formerly part of a secret government operation, the world is now well aware of the superpowered “psiots” who are growing up and into their powers. It’s leading to revolution, and only the reformed Renegades team are going to be able to handle this one.
Developed by Rogen, Goldberg and Supernatural creator Eric Kripke, and to be written by Kripke based on the graphic novel written by Ennis and illustrated by Darick Robertson, the series is set in a time where most of the superheroes are corrupted by their celebrity status and often engage in reckless behavior, compromising the safety of the world. It centers on a CIA squad, known informally as “the boys,” whose job is to keep watch on the proliferation of superheroes and, if necessary, eliminate some of them. Rogen and Goldberg, who helmed the Preacher pilot, are set to direct.
This awesome cyberpunk comic book series (1997-2002) is set sometime in the 23rd century and follows the infamous gonzo journalist Spider Jerusalem as he fights corruption, exposes politicians and generally gets into trouble in the filthy, hedonistic City. A must read in cyberpunk and transhumanism.
What if I said there is a vision of a sci‐fi dystopia where anything you wanted could be gotten at the touch of a button? That a few commands separate you from the greatest trove of information mankind has ever had access to, but you’re just going to seek mindless entertainment and porn? That human beings would try to separate from their species, to become something new and alien, only to be oppressed by the stodgy old guard who want to keep them in line? That there was a world where politicians never changed, but only became more and more brazen with their lies — which would be eaten up by the fools that inhabit this hypothetical land? What if I told you this wasn’t the view I have of modern‐day America, but the vision of Warren Ellis and Darick Robertson, back in 1997?
Last year the sheer epitome of body horror comics hit the stands to meer whispers. This week that can all change with your support. On Wednesday Black Mask Studios is releasing the collected first volume of Ballistic from Adam Egypt Mortimer and Darick Robertson. The comic is basically a trip inside the early mind of David Cronenberg and it’s unlike anything you’ve experienced before.
Darick Robertson gives us everything we need from this comic. The work he does is just fantastic. When hearing such a badass name like Ballistic, you have to bring in some badass art with it too. Then hearing about the premise of the comic; Butch and his sidekick Gun, yes a talking a gun, live in the futuristic place of Repo City where every piece of technology is living and they’re all assholes.
Some writers can’t help but batter you over the head with their influences. Every page seems to be dripping with visual asides, quotation based dialog and forced, one dimensional characters that appear to be complex but are made entirely out of the recycled bits of other authors. You see it quite often in a lot of the creator owned scifi books coming out these days, as the field gets more and more cluttered, young creators seem to think that the surest way to critical darlinghood is to simply “do what sells” or at least what sells in the creator owned, sci-fi art market, which is admittedly not X-men dollars. Thankfully Ballistic doesn’t wear it’s influences on it’s sleeve, Mortimer and Robertson are more concerned with actually utilizing the styles and ideas they like to create something new, not merely name drop, posture and pander. This is probably why Ballistic hasn’t made the sizable noise deserving of it, because it’s not desperate enough, it’s too confident and too self assured. Confidence is a threatening thing, just look at how to this day people turn their eyes away from William Shatner, terrified of his uber-masculine glare and hyper-normal sexual prowess.
Next week, Black Mask Studios will release Ballistic, a psychedelic sci-fi adventure from Adam Mortimer and Darick Robertson. This series is a return to basics for Robertson as the artist gets back to drawing the kind of sci-fi stories that he started his career with.
A super duper exclusive look at two of my favourite pages from the upcoming brilliantly deranged miniseries that is one part Spider Jerusalem punk, one part Mieville madness, and a dash of Cronenberg with a psychedelic Mortimer cherry on top.
Robertson provides what is essentially a master-class on visual storytelling, from the bookending opening and closing moments of the series (we begin falling into the scene with the snow, and end rising back up into a snowy sky — before the epilogue, anyway) to every moment in-between. There’s not a botched perspective or a confusing layout in the entire four-issue run. The layouts range from a traditional page breakup to dramatic angled fragments splitting the page to emphasize the fact that characters have suddenly walked into a deadly trap.
So, what’s the deal with Darick Roberston & Garth Ennis’s The Boys? Is it a gross-out superhero parody, the book that “out-Preachers Preacher?” Is it a more straightforward narrative, an examination of how power corrupts? Is it a rocking action movie where hard men fight men with hard skin? Is it a story about manipulation and naïveté? Let’s go with “all of the above.” There are two issues left in Ennis and Robertson’s long-running series, and the last arc, “The Bloody Doors Off” is aptly named.