Popular sleuthing show makes the comics scene

Publishing

September 08, 2002|By Knight Ridder / Tribune

TV's hottest show will be coming to a comic-book shop near you early next year.

IDW Publishing plans a five-issue CSI: Crime Scene Investigation comic-book series, based on the hit CBS series. The comics series will launch in January. If it is a success, don't be surprised to see it continue.

"We're certainly open to that," said Kris Oprisko, editor-in-chief of San Diego-based IDW. "The plans for this moment are simply for the miniseries."

The limited series will be consumed by a single story arc dealing with a Jack the Ripper copycat killer, Oprisko said. Max Allan Collins, the author of several CSI novels, will write the comic book. Collins is a hot talent these days: He also wrote the graphic novel Road to Perdition, which provided the foundation for the movie.

"He was the one we thought of from Day 1," Oprisko said of Collins. The comic book will have not one but two artists. Gabriel Rodriguez will provide most of the inside art. Ashley Wood will handle the covers along with the interior flashback and forensics scenes -- similar to how the TV show offers a distinct style for those scenes.

"What we wanted to do is reproduce the feel of the show as much as we could," Oprisko said.

There's a lot of cross-pollination among TV, film and comics. TV and movies often harvest comics for ideas, such as the small-screen Smallville and the big-screen Spider-Man. There's a long history, meanwhile, of licensed comics based on TV shows and movies. Arcade Comics recently announced plans for a series based on ABC's Alias. Dark Horse Comics has Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Matt Groening's Bongo Comics publishes a host of Simpsons comics. Such titles have the potential of reaching beyond the usual comic-book crowd.

"CSI is just a hugely popular hit, and the novels have done well," Oprisko said. "So we're certainly hoping that we'll get a lot of people interested that maybe haven't picked up a comic before."

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