“The Walking Dead” can move over. It seems that Rosario Dawson has her own horror comic to bring to the small screen. Dawson is teaming up with Gale Anne Hurd, producer for “The Walking Dead.” Instead of AMC, they’ll be working with A&E.
While women are attached as executive producers for this show, Dawson who is known for her roles in such movies as Sin City, Clerks 2 and Death Proof, just may have planned the whole thing. First, let’s look at the official comic book description of issue #1.
Rosario Dawson (star of Sin City and Clerks 2) breaks new ground as she co-creates and stars in the Occult Crimes Taskforce!
When N.Y.P.D. detective Sophia Ortiz (modeled after Rosario Dawson) stumbles upon a bizarre murder scene, she is quickly brushed aside by a covert police unit – – the Occult Crimes Taskforce. Versed in the black arts and equipped with mystical weaponry, the O.C.T. keeps the streets of Manhattan safe from the unholy creatures of the night. Can Sophia help them stop this supernatural killer? Find out when this action-horror thriller hits the stands!
Yeah, that was the official plot summary. Almost seemed like a message to “Stay Tuned for More Action!” It’s a pretty awesome move when you have the power and opportunity to create your own comic book in your own image. It’s as if Dawson really wanted this to be made into a movie starring her; which it almost was, but Dimension films dropped it for some reason.
Sure, if Dawson wanted to ensure she was to be cast as lead; if the story were ever to be adapted back in 2006; she didn’t have to get drawn into the comic. It’s also not a guarantee. The magical, chain smoking John Constantine was modelled after musician Sting, but yet they cast Keanu Reeves. What keeps her in the spotlight is her ownership of the intellectual property.
The story in itself seems like someone slammed together a lot of popular movie themes into one serial. The comic only ran for four comics, but there are derivatives of movies that did well in there.
1) Ghostbusters; they even said it in the comic; where they deal with the supernatural.
2) Then there’s the Men in Black, where they substituted aliens and science for magick. The story begins with Ortiz stumbling onto a scene of a super natural crime in progress and survives. Later she’s inducted into the super secret force, tasked with being the last line of defence against things that go bump in the night. As the new guy, she’s shown a wild and bizarre world hiding under mere mortal noses. Here come the O.C.T.
3) The magic incantations the O.C.T. uses screams Harry Potter, or maybe anything related to magic. Instead of wands, they use their badges. When the center of the badge is dialled to the correct glyphs and the spell is spoken, the officer can wield magical power. “Conjunctis virbus incursio!” is a spelled Ortiz uses in the comic to channel magical energy through a shotgun. On a side note, I always thought it would be funny to see Samuel L. Jackson shooting someone while shouting, “Avada Kadavra Mother !@#$er!”
4) The taskforce is comprised of humans and special people/creatures referred to as Ceteri. Now this reminds me a whole lot of Hell Boy and the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense (BPRD).
5) Ortiz is special. For she is, “The One” who is prophesized to do something or other. It’s been played out a lot, but it still reminds me of Neo in The Matrix.
6) Magical happenings are focused in one spot, because evil enjoys living in Manhattan. This is much like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and it’s Sunnydale Hellmouth. The portion I enjoyed though was the back story. The Native Americans ditched Manhattan for such a low price because they knew it was spiritually messed up. Think of it as a diseased blanket.
To top it off, at the end of each comic, there are pages from the official Occult Crimes Taskforce Officer Training Manual. It contains diagrams, procedures and spells. Had the series really taken off, I wouldn’t be surprised if there was an actual training guide that would be merchandised afterwards. This should be around the time the Zombie Survival Guide began to take off.
This whole story sounds like a joke that went too far. I blame Kevin Smith as Dawson must have consulted him on this, as he’s one of the authorities on all things comic books in the Hollywood circles; plus I figured they must have stayed friends after Clerks II. The comic even depicts Ortiz’s partner, Detective Aaron Cain, as a ringer for what looks like a slightly slimmer Smith.
While cable networks are ready to jump on what they think is the next Walking Dead, or Game of Thrones, I hope they do their research on this. As the series only went four issues, there’s a lot to fill in; the story really jumped from scene to scene, so I can imagine it gives them a lot more writing wiggle room. The main thing to look at is the fan base. While I enjoyed the comic when it first came out, it also went by too quickly for me to get too attached.
Unknown artist, Tony Shasteen, the comics illustrator must have been going for the organic look that graphic novel Ex Machina had. Ex Machina, drawn by Tony Harris, was at the time very popular in comic book circles and it most likely didn’t hurt to emulate it. It gave the comic less of a cartoony feel, closing the gap to reality. It even seemed that Marvel comics was brewing their own organic variant at the time, using photos of models to draw from. It was weird looking at these images in their Ultimate series. It seemed that all the superheroines had permanently swaying hips. See, the problem was that Harris made it look good when he did it.
Aside from the cover, the artwork in O.C.T. almost looks as if it they were originally photos that were edited in Photoshop. It’s true that Harris may have used photographs of models set to scene, but again, it didn’t look like he traced over real photos. The imagery in the O.C.T. was closer to the Keanu Reeves movie, A Scanner Darkly, where they took real footage and then animated it; including special effects. So that’s what I see whenever I crack open the O.C.T. comic. The magic bits are just drawn in bits over the cartoon-yourself like photos. Dawson is beautiful, but I didn’t need detailed artistry of every single detail of her mouth; yeah, compare it to her real photo sometime.
In all honesty, I give this comic adaptation the same chance to take off like as I did Lost Girl. Not everyone’s heard of it, and not everyone likes it, but it must be doing well if it’s still on the air. Now Chew, that’s a comic I can’t wait to see come out as a television show.