5 Celebrities Who Made Their Own (Deranged) Comics
One of the biggest perks of being a celebrity is that people are forced to listen to and consider your ideas, even when they're on the level of something you'd hear from a stoned teenager in a McDonald's parking lot at 3 am. And when subjecting their poor assistants to those ideas isn't enough, they can always turn them into comics and baffle thousands of people at once. Now, we're not saying all of these ideas are bad, but they are all definitely insane in some way. Starting with ...
Emilia Clarke's Menstruation-Powered Superhero
The first comic created by Game of Thrones' Emilia Clarke is a noble endeavor in that her specific motivation was getting more women into comics, not just as characters but also as creators (the entire creative team is female, helping balance out a historic disparity). It's also nuts.
M.O.M.: Mother of Madness (2021) was described by Variety as the story of "a single mom whose secret weapon is her period." As in, for a few magical days a month, she gains powers based on the common discomforts associated with menstruation, like boobs that swell so much that they can punch someone's head off. Clarke compared the character to Deadpool, but we don't remember him attacking villains by swinging his oversized sack around (admittedly, we might have just missed that issue).
The whole idea was turning the period from an annoyance to something that's literally empowering. The character gets different powers depending on her mood swings: "When Maya is scared, she goes invisible, when she's angry, she has superhuman strength. She can swing like Spider-Man from her armpit hair." Considering Spider-Man has always been a pretty obvious metaphor for puberty, that's probably an idea Stan Lee wishes he'd had. Not sure he would have liked the part about the "prehensile pubes," though.
Clarke's character kinda looks like her, so who knows, maybe if the comic is a hit, we'll see her swinging from CGI bodily hair in a movie someday soon! Best of luck.
Nicolas Cage Co-Creates A Horror Comic With His 16-Year-Old Son
Unlike Clarke, we're guessing Nicolas Cage has no intention to play his comic book creation in a movie since the character in question is a Black teenager, but then again, this is Nicolas Cage we're talking about, so who knows. Cage co-created the character with his son -- oddly enough, not the one named Kal-El but his metalhead brother, Weston.
Nic and Weston Cage's Voodoo Child is about the son of a New Orleans plantation owner who is almost killed by Confederates in the 19th century but kept in stasis via voodoo magic until he's revived right after Hurricane Katrina hit the city. Immediately after coming back, the kid stumbles upon a meeting between mobsters and the corrupt businessmen in charge of rebuilding the city and kills a bunch of them because he just instinctively knows they're bad. Then he uses his new powers to interrogate one of their corpses via a little voodoo doll. How did he know he could do that if he just came back? We have no idea, but to be fair, the comic does acknowledge his inexperience by making him blow two of his three questions to dumb technicalities.
The Nicolas Cage connoisseurs at the Cage's Kiss podcast described the comic as, "What happens when you cross Spawn and The Crow and take away anything interesting?" Hey, at least Cage's kid didn't literally trace other comics and pass them off as his own. Unlike ...
Gene Simmons' Kid Traces Some Bleach Pages And Calls Them "His" Comic
After appearing in the Gene Simmons Family Jewels reality show, 20-year-old Nick Simmons gained international fame as "the son of the guy from Kiss" and used that fame to get his own comic book published via an actual publisher, Radical Comics. Somehow, three issues came out before the comics community at large noticed that this thing was largely made out of artwork traced from the extremely popular manga series Bleach. He even helped himself to some dialogue while at it.
But he didn't copy everything from Bleach -- he also ripped off other mangas and even some random DeviantArt pages, while the plot itself had similarities to the Vampire: The Masquerade video game. As the evidence piled up and outlets like CNN or The New York Times reported on it, Simmons released a statement admitting that there were "certain similarities between some of my work and the work of others," but it's all "simply meant as an homage to artists I respect." He pointed out that "certain fundamental imagery is common to all manga."
Fans didn't buy the non-apology, and apparently neither did Radical Comics, which announced they were halting production of the comic "until the matter is resolved." That was in 2010, and issue 4 still hasn't come out, so those negotiations must be getting pretty intense by now.
Coldplay Teams Up With Kung Fu Panda's Director For A Dystopian Sci-Fi
What do you get when you put the director of the first Kung Fu Panda movie and several SpongeBob SquarePants episodes together with the favorite band of end-of-the-episode medical drama montages? A weird-ass comic, apparently. Mylo Xyloto is set in a world where sound and music are outlawed, presumably just to prevent Coldplay from releasing more albums. The protagonist is an anti-sound cop who joins the pro-sound rebellion after touching a "musical graffiti."
From interviews, it really sounds like Kung Fu Panda's Mark Osborne was hoping to make a movie ("a new kind of Yellow Submarine") but had to settle for writing the comic. We really don't envy the task of having to turn Chris Martin's half-baked ideas into a script: "There were always key words and phrases from Chris that drove the story process, things like 'glowing in the dark' and 'dreaming of paradise'," he said. Those aren't story ideas, those are goop-related intoxication symptoms.
Osborne's enthusiasm for a Yellow Submarine-type project makes a lot of sense when you consider that The Beatles barely had anything to do with that movie. We're assuming that if there was a Chris Martin character in this one, he would have been voiced by, say, Jack Black, or maybe the guy who does SpongeBob.
Roger Corman's B-Comics Line
In the '90s, B-movie legend Roger Corman (Death Race 2000, Little Shop of Horrors, Sharktopus vs. Pteracuda) decided to go into comics mostly because he was salty over losing the movie rights to Spider-Man in the '80s and having his cheap Fantastic Four movie buried by the studio. The result was Roger Corman's Cosmic Comics, which had series like Death Race 2020 or Caged Heat 3000 -- a futuristic sci-fi sequel to Jonathan Demme's surprisingly feminist 1975 softcore movie about a women's prison. The comic was essentially the same thing, only the prison happens to be set in space and the evil warden happens to be a giant-boobed nun with psychic powers.
Corman had an ambitious idea about characters jumping back and forth between comics and movies -- for instance, he made a film version of Caged Heat 3000 at the same time as the comic, and they were supposed to tie into each other at some point, presumably in highly erotic (yet socially relevant) ways. Unfortunately, the company folded in less than a year and most series didn't make it past three issues. The world wasn't ready yet. Maybe in 978 more years, when prisons really do look like that.
Follow Maxwell Yezpitelok's heroic effort to read and comment on every '90s Superman comic at Superman86to99.tumblr.com.
Top image: Georges Biard/Wikimedia Commons, Georges Biard/Wikimedia Commons