EXCLUSIVE: 'Husbands' Comic Art Revealed
By Jerry Portwood
Exclusive interior panel by artist Ron Chan
Fans of the sitcom Husbands just got a little bit luckier. Dark Horse Comics announced that a digital comic based on the online sitcom Husbands, a show about a same-sex newlywed couple—and written by the show's co-creators and writers, Brad "Cheeks" Bell and Jane Espenson—will be available soon.
Although they are not giving away too many details, we do know that the characters of Cheeks, Brady, and Haley turn up in an alternate universe where they have super powers and other heroic abilities (as seen in the exclusive panel art above).
Although Bell says he hasn't necessarily been a comic book pro before, he's recently come to admire the medium for its storytelling ability. "I was more inspired by graphic novel storytelling after seeing the movie Scott Pilgrim vs. the World; I thought it was an incredible interpretation of comics on the screen," Bell says. "I wanted to make sure we translated Husbands into something worthy of the comic realm. It’s not some sort of trans-media marketing ploy. I think fans of comics and fans of Husbands will enjoy it. And it's entertaining while we don’t have new episodes of the show."
Espenson, however, has been involved with writing comic books, having co-written for the popular series of comics based on the Buffy the Vampire Slayer television show.
"It seemed like such a natural fit. We were already embracing and subverting sitcom tropes and the classic newlywed sitcom with Husbands," says Espenson. “Comic books get a lot of fuel from the same thing: mixing modern life with classic forms of comic book storytelling. And that is something that I love to do: Taking characters and seeing how they would act if they were a superhero or in a fairy tale. I’m talking to you from the offices of Once Upon a Time right now, so I understand it. It was very fun, easy, and natural to take Cheeks, Brady, and Haley and put them in different alternate comic book worlds. And there all sorts of fun, inside jokes for the fans.”
But will crossover fans be confused or able to take in the characters they've come to love in such unusual scenarios and surroundings?
“I think it will be clear in the reading of it,” Espenson says. “If you like the show, you’ll like the comic books. But, also, if you just like comic books, you’ll like the comic books. We are a mainstream property. The worlds we depict will appeal to everyone.”
Espenson also says she "loves Easter eggs" and so fans may see references from the comic appearing in future episodes of Husbands. And Bell is even more coy when asked if comic book idea will appear "We may have considered that...[wink]" he responds—a cheeky grin (he says, since we are talking by phone).
Cheeks and Brady have been interpreted in chiseled perfection so far by artist Ron Chan (see the cover art below), but the comics will include a variety of different artists, so it will be a surprise for readers to see how the characters transform from live-action to comic format (the digital digital series will be collected in a hardcover edition available March 27, 2013). The biggest test, of course, will be how the Husbands audience responds to the comic book.
So far, one fan already posted an enthusiastic take on an online message board when news of the comic broke: "Husbands has a comic book? Take that, Two and a Half Men!"
Cover art by Ron Chan