Today, Bad Idea sent out a message intimating that the publisher’s run would end at the end of the year. That “Bad Idea is over”. But, with a publisher that has launched with numerous stunts, double-speak, and out-there promotion, it’s hard to take it all seriously.
I myself have doubts the publisher is going to close as the announcement states “as we know it must end”. For those reading between the lines the “as we know it” is key. It means there’ll be a change for Bad Idea in the future. It could be their distribution plan. It could be the release of single issues and moving to trades. Or, maybe, they’re finally launching digital releases.
In fact, Dinesh Shamdasani, the CEO of Bad Idea hinted their plan was to “go away” and then relaunch the company in an Absolute Comics Podcast. You can find the segment at the 29:22 mark.
But, for a company that so far as been built on stunts, expect this to be another.
Allnighter has announced that it will be bringing the massively popular, romantic comedy webcomic, Let’s Play, and its devoted, multimillion-strong weekly readership to television as a live-action series in partnership with creator Leeanne M. Krecic. Allnighter partners Amanda Kruse, Dinesh Shamdasani, and Hunter Gorinson will executive produce the series alongside Krecic and Tom Akel. The team will soon be approaching high-profile showrunner talent for the adaptation.
The female-driven series – which embraces, explores, and satirizes gaming culture through the eyes of a 20-something, female video game developer – launched as an online webcomic serial in 2016 on WEBTOON, the largest digital comics platform in the world. It quickly took on a life of its own, amassing a subscriber base of more than 3.8 million weekly readers – a staggering statistic that makes it not only one of the most successful series in the history of the WEBTOON platform, but one of the most widely read serialized comic books anywhere in the Western world today. With a legion of dedicated fans that spans the gaming, comics, and romantic fiction communities and a long list of critical accolades (including a 2019 Eisner Award nomination), Let’s Play has also successfully migrated into print through Rocketship Entertainment with two blockbuster crowdfunding campaigns that have amassed nearly $1 million in contributions and that currently rank amongst the 20 most successful comics Kickstarters of all time.
The comic series will return for its highly anticipated third “season” later in 2021 and can be read online at webtoons.com and in the WEBTOON app.
Let’s Play follows Sam – an aspiring game developer who sacrificed a social life to pour her heart and soul into her first game. But when the product of Sam’s passion – a lovingly constructed RPG called Ruminate – gets skewered by an enigmatic game reviewer only known by the online handle “Marshall Law,” the personal and professional fallout is swift and brutal. Things get even more complicated when Sam discovers that her new next-door neighbor is none other than Marshall in the flesh – and that, together, they’re about to become opposing players in the game of love and life.
Allnighter has announced that it is adapting the Image Comics seriesThe Strange Talent of Luther Strode by Justin Jordan and Tradd Moore. Allnighter’s Dinesh Shamdasani, Hunter Gorinson, and Amanda Kruse will produce the film alongside co-creators Jordan and Moore. Jordan is currently at work adapting the comic and will pen the screenplay.
The subject of near-universal critical acclaim and multiple sold-out printings, The Strange Talent of Luther Strode cemented writer Justin Jordan and artist Tradd Moore alike as two of comics’ fastest rising stars upon its debut in 2011 and led both to best-selling turns at the helm of Marvel and DC’s biggest franchises. In the process, Jordan and Moore reunited for two equally successful follow-ups – 2012’s The Legend of Luther Strode and 2015’s The Legacy of Luther Strode – to complete the genre-colliding trilogy that first rocketed them to superstar status.
The series splices together the common DNA of the superhero and slasher archetypes for a brash and bloody adventure that is equal parts comic-book escapism and action-horror hybrid.
High schooler Luther Strode was always a little bit less than average – soft-spoken, skinny, and, more than anything, terrified that his estranged father would one day return to torment him and his mother once more. But that ended the day that Luther discovered “The Method” – an improbably old text hidden between the comic books and ragged paperbacks at his favorite used bookstore. But The Method is far more than it seems – and, as its ancient techniques rework Luther’s body and unlock the strange talents buried deep within, he will find himself transformed into a near-perfect physical specimen imbued with incredible strength, startling new abilities…and a killer’s instinct for violence that he can’t quite seem to shake. When The Method’s masters arrive to observe Luther’s progress and draw him into action, he’ll be forced to make the ultimate choice: embrace the monster he was intended to be…or use his newfound power to protect the people – the classmates, the teachers, the neighbors – who never protected him when he needed them the most.
Jordan’s other film and television projects currently include an adaptation of his comics series Spread with artist Kyle Strahm, while Moore’s 2019 series with writer Ales Kot, The New World, is being adapted as a feature film for Warner Bros. Pictures.
If you missed the news, the new comic book company Bad Idea released the first press release identifying how they intend to release their comics. I’ll put a link to the Graphic Policy article here that’ll give you more detail if you haven’t read it, but effectively what we’re looking at is a company who intend to ignore the current distribution method in comics, so Diamond, and instead self-distribute to twenty hand-picked stores (with intention to increase that to fifty by the end of the year). There will be no digital comics, there will be no trade paperbacks. There will also be no variant covers, with each comic being limited to one per customer.
This news has been met with anger, disappointment, optimism, excitement and every other reaction you’re thinking right now that’s going to come from comic fans shocked that they probably won’t be able to get the comics at their regular stop with some stating that it’s a bad idea to go this route. I’ll admit to being disappointed by the news in the press release until I read this interview on Multiveristy Comics with Dinesh Shamdasani, Warren Simons and Hunter Gorinson. The three are all former Valiant employees who were forced out or left after the investment firm DMG purchased the company. After the quality of the Valiant books under their watch, I was intrigued and excited by what they may have up their sleeves with Bad Idea
The above interview with the three reminded me of one of the most exciting things in comics – the hunt for a certain issue. It isn’t a coincidence that I have been slowly building various runs of comics without using online retailers; because hunting in bins has an appeal for me that I can’t quantify.
Dinesh hinted during the interview that the comics will be available online, though perhaps not officially, and he danced around the sad truth that people pirate comics and unfortunately that is a reality these days. It shouldn’t be, but that’s a rant for another day.
By selecting just twenty shops (to start) to sell their comics, Bad Idea is encouraging those of us (yes us, because I know damn well I’ll be one of them) to find ways to get the issues. The list of shops won’t be a secret, which implies the shops must be willing to ship the comics to those outside of reasonable driving distance, which will, in turn, drive the business of certain shops. If Bad Idea becomes a phenomenon then this could, in turn, drive people into comic shops that otherwise wouldn’t step into our world.
I understand the anger and disappointment people are feeling, though. I understand that you want to be able to order these books as you would your normal pull list. But being free of Diamond’s rigid distribution system means the creative teams are free to tell a story in 27 pages or 33. It means they can be late if the book isn’t ready without rushing out a subpar issue that won’t satisfy the fans. It means more money in the pockets of the people putting out the books.
By circumventing the traditional methods of distribution Bad Idea has gotten themselves a lot of people talking about a company who has barely revealed a full page of comics. They’re a company with some of the very best writers and artists who have been given the freedom to create what I’m sure will be some of the best comics we’ll ever read. You may or may not agree – but I have faith in Dinesh Shamdasani, Warren Simons, Hunter Gorinson and the amazing talent that they have accrued around them. I will find a way to get these books because I have faith in the people putting them out, and I want to support them – and at the very least the fact I have to work to get them is strangely exciting for me.
If you just want to read the books, you’ll find a way. But if you want to be a part of what could be the next step in comics… it may just take a Bad Idea for the future to be bright in comics.
Debuting in May 2020, the publisher will release one or two single issues per month in a “pristinely designed, prestige-format package” for $3.99. There will be no variants and the issues will not be released digitally, collected into trade paperbacks, hardcovers, or other “bookshelf formats.” That means there will only be single-issue comics.
But, there’s a catch! The comics won’t be available everywhere. Instead, Bad Idea will self-distribute the series to an initial 20 comic book shop who will qualify based on “a unique system of criteria” that includes extra promotional commitments and a “strictly enforced ‘limit one per customer'” policy for Bad Idea comics, among other stipulations. More retailers will be admitted throughout the year to eventually bring that number up to around 50 stores by the end of 2020.
The first series will be ENIAC by Matt Kindt and Doug Braithwaite. Other projects are coming from Marguerite Bennett, Mae Catt, Joshua Dysart, Tomas Giorello, Eric Heisserer, Jody Houser, Lewis LaRosa, Jeff Lemire, Peter Milligan, Adam Pollina, Robert Venditti, Zeb Wells, and more. In the announcement, Megalith was also teased with a cover by Lewis LaRosa. Projects have been worked on for the past year in “secret.”
First issues will usually be oversized with page counts exceeding the standard 22 pages or feature “hidden features” and other surprises not mentioned in public.
The goal is to get people into comic shops making each release an event.
Bad Idea is the brainchild of the five team members that rebuilt Valiant and developed the forthcoming Bloodshot feature film. Dinesh Shamdasani and Warren Simons will share the roles of Co-CEO & Co-Chief Creative Officer, Hunter Gorinson will serve as Publisher, Joshua Johns will serve as Director of Marketing, and Atom Freeman has returned as a Sales Consultant.
It’s been teased for a while but it has been officially announced that Valiant Entertainment veterans Dinesh Shamdasani,Warren Simons, and Hunter Gorinson are returning to comics in 2020. The three have kicked off a new publishing company, Bad Idea.
The announcement today included the above teaser image featuring artwork from several of Bad Idea’s projects.
Announced creators featured in the teaser and working with the publisher include Doug Braithwaite, Tomas Giorello, Lewis LaRosa, and Adam Pollina.
Hivemind has announced that it has partnered with writer/director Brian Taylor and European production company Kallisti for a new television series based on The Illuminatus! Trilogy – the hugely influential science-fiction franchise created by authors Robert Anton Wilson and Robert Shea that first introduced the concept of “the Illuminati” into the popular consciousness, while simultaneously fueling, deconstructing, and skewering America’s modern-day obsession with conspiracy theories.
When the offices of a Manhattan news publisher are bombed, anti-authority reporter George Dorn begins to suspect that the disturbing conspiracy his editor has spent months investigating is not only real, it might be the key to unlocking all of history’s greatest unanswered mysteries. As George sets out to find his mentor and uncover the truth about an all-seeing secret society that seems to unify every insane, inane, and outlandish conspiracy theory ever told – from the JFK assassination, celebrity cabals and lost continents to UFOs, ancient gods and the truth about the New World Order – he finds himself drawn deeper into a war between two shadowy groups. On one side stand the Discordians, a clandestine band of chaos-loving guerrilla fighters led by the enigmatic modern-day pirate Hagbard Celine; and on the other, the Illuminati – elite authoritarians who secretly manipulate world events, ever-expanding their wealth, influence, and physical power in a plot to escape the limitations of human existence.
Illuminatus!will be executive produced by Dinesh Shamdasani and Hunter Gorinson for Hivemind, and Iris McPherson and Kirstin Winkler for Kallisti. Taylor will serve as executive producer and showrunner.
A globetrotting science-fiction/conspiracy thriller laced with subversive humor,Illuminatus!was first published in 1975 at the height of post-Watergate paranoia and has remained in print ever since. Often ranked as one of the most influential and obsessively followed pieces of cult science fiction ever produced, references and allusions to the series have turned up everywhere many citing the series as an inspiration and influence.
Celebrated as a “mind-twisting science fiction…classic for more than 30 years” by the New York Times, “the ultimate conspiracy book” by the Village Voice, and the “New Testament” of the American counterculture underground by Vice, Illuminatus! has spawned nearly a dozen sequels and spin-offs, along with comic books, stage plays, radio productions, role-playing games, and more based on the original trilogy. In recent years, Kallistihas also developed an immersive Illuminatus! VR experience, exploring series’ many iconic characters and settings, that has exhibited at numerous arts and technology events in the United States and Europe.
Hivemind has announced that it is joining forces with James Wan and his Atomic Monster production company for Gideon Falls – Hivemind’s upcoming television adaptation of the best-selling Image Comics series from acclaimed creators Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino.
Fresh off of Gideon Falls‘ high-profile win for “Best New Series” at the 2019 Eisner Awards, Wan will executive produce the hour-long horror drama alongside Atomic Monster’s Michael Clear, Hivemind’s Jason Brown, Sean Daniel, Kathy Lingg and Dinesh Shamdasani, and original series creators Lemire and Sorrentino. Rob Hackett will oversee for Atomic Monster.
An atmospheric thriller colliding rural mystery and urban horror, the series follows an ensemble cast of seemingly random strangers — a washed-up Catholic priest, an uncompromising female sheriff, and a young recluse obsessed with unraveling a conspiracy buried in his city’s trash — as they become drawn into a mystery connected to a long-forgotten local legend.
Sony Pictures Television and Hivemind announced a new partnership with global video game powerhouse Square Enix to develop a first-of-its-kind, live-action adaptation of a beloved chapter from the blockbuster Final Fantasyseries, which has sold more than 144 million units worldwide across three decades.
The live-action television series will tell an original story set in the fantastic world of Eorzea, based on Final Fantasy XIV, the franchise’s blockbuster online role-playing game. Since it first debuted in 2013, the online title has continued to delight and amass millions of players around the world year over year and only further cemented Final Fantasy as one of the most storied and influential franchises in gaming history.
Inspired directly by the world and characters of the title’s fourteenth installment, the project will embrace the bold and genre-bending sensibilities of the revered and long-running Final Fantasy series as it explores the struggle between magic and technology in a quest to bring peace to a land in conflict. Filled with iconic hallmarks of the title’s revered mythology – magitek and beastmen, airships and chocobos – the forthcoming series will feature a mixture of new and familiar faces. Those will, notably, include the live-action debut of Cid – one of the games’ central and most beloved characters who has appeared in almost every installment of the franchise to date.
Final Fantasy’s multibillion-dollar legacy is one of the most influential pieces of global pop culture of the past 30 years with a footprint that now encompasses all major home and handheld consoles, as well as toys, card games, manga, soundtracks, concerts and live events on three continents. The upcoming television adaptation represents a momentous new milestone for the franchise and will mark the first time a Final Fantasy world – and its many beloved inhabitants – will be realized in live action.
Jason F. Brown, Sean Daniel, and Dinesh Shamdasani of Hivemind will serve as Executive Producers on the series. Ben Lustig and Jake Thornton have been commissioned to write for the series and will also serve as Executive Producers.