The day after "Earth 2100"


Well! That was pretty cool. The final show was a lot more "viewer-friendly" than the show I was originally brought on to write. For one thing, they integrated a lot more "solutions" into the "collapse" narrative, rather than saving them all for the end. They also soft-pedaled some of the more dire/horrifying peeks into the future. In the end, they pretty much changed every word of dialogue Sari & I wrote, while still keeping the basic storyline and "action sequences." Even so, other than the occasional cringe-inducing line of dialogue, we didn’t hate it; in fact, there were many instances where the new dialogue worked better than what we’d come up with. And the art and animation was stellar! Great work from Messers. Infurnari, O’Connor, Purvis, Hamilton, Bair, and the Guerilla FX crew.

And, yes, Lucy’s love interest was indeed named Josh. Truth be told, all the characters (including the hurricane which struck Miami) were named after people or their loved ones in the creative staff. They made me name Lucy’s hubby Josh, but it was a surprise that Infurnari, et al. actually drew him to look (vaguely) like me! I got a kick out of that. And of course it was satisfying to "die a hero."

I’ve yet to read any mainstream reviews of the show, though there has been some early blog reactions, most of them fairly negative. (One in particular felt that the comics element — big surprise — lowered the program’s overall IQ.) Early word is that the show drew in around 2.5 million viewers. Not bad, except that was fourth place in the network battles. Of course, we were up against an Obama interview and two shows with the word "Mental" in the title. (Note to self: maybe we should’ve named the show Mental 2100?) Also, seems the show has been bought by the History Channel, so expect to see reruns over there shortly enough.

All in all, a fun dip into the TV world. And it gave me and Sari an excuse to at least get a skeletal version of the Dojo Graphics website up.

Earth 2100 — ABC next Tuesday

Publicity, Work

Earth 2100When ABC News’s Documentary Group approached me last fall to collaborate on a motion comic for an upcoming primetime show about climate change called Earth 2100, I was excited. Through an imagined future scenario — intermixed with interviews with scientists, a global summit simulation, and user-generated videos — the two-hour special explores the effects of catastrophic climate change, and educates viewers on possible solutions. Earth 2100 will air nationwide next Tuesday, June 2, from 9–11pm. (Here’s a promo.)

Earth 2100’s producers asked me (and my new studio Dojo Graphics) to create characters and scenarios that would put a human face on the hot-button issue. For me, this was a perfect match. Throughout my cartooning career (A.D., Titans of Finance, A Few Perfect Hours, and American Splendor), I’ve been drawn to documentary-style storytelling. And for my wife and collaborative partner Sari Wilson, this was an opportunity to use her strengths as a fiction writer and comics scripter to breathe life into my concepts and characters.