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31.8.08

REDUNDANT PITCHES #8

They're just doing their jobs.

6.8.08

REDUNDANT PITCHES #7

Here's the deal: every so often I get ideas for an established cultural property which I'll never get to implement, either because continuity has moved on from where they would be applicable, or because the owners would never let me anywhere near it. I haven't posted any for a while, so here's a double bill.

1.
Any sequel to Watchmen would, of course, be redundant by definition. You could catch up with the surviving characters, and make a stab at extrapolating the world of the series 23 years on, as once again a twisted mirror of our own - the Cold War replaced not by global harmony but rather a lot of paranoia about secret agendas, terrorism, and scientific progress run amuck - but even if executed with the same stylistic flourishes and meticulous attention to detail and structure, it would be at best a gloss on the original, more likely a travesty thereof.

That said, part of me did always wonder what might have become of these guys:



They only actually appear in about six panels of #8, and we don't see them again after that - but just at the point in the series when all hell is about to break loose and masked adventurers are in the news again for the first time in years, they stumble on a murder scene, in fancy dress, in time to see the culprits running away...

Sounds like the origin of a junior vigilante team to me.

Nothing ever ends...

2.
I liked this miniseries proposal so much I was hanging onto it, just in case. But DC now have other plans.

In Africa there is a legend.

It is told as fact in the refugee camps; journalists and diplomats share it as a joke in the foreigners-only bars; governments alternately dismiss it as nonsense and use it as cover for their own atrocities. From war zone to war zone, the legend prowls the continent, its power growing, death and madness trailing in its wake.

It is THE LEGEND OF THE HAUNTED TANK.

The Haunted Tank is a WWII Panzer that went astray in the desert and was somehow cursed to wander. The abominable secret of how that happened is another story (perhaps suitable material for an ongoing series if the reaction warrants it, but for now best left to the reader’s imagination): in this series we are concerned with the legends. Each issue is a self-contained story in which the Haunted Tank is largely an offstage presence until the final scene: in some it is a mindless engine of destruction, in others an instrument of nemesis. For example:

  • In a nation crippled by famine, a missionary hears the legend of the Haunted Tank when it is blamed for interrupting aid supplies. He seeks to prove that the corrupt government is responsible, rather than some phantom – but then comes face to face with it...
  • In a failed state where bandit tribal militias vie for control, a charismatic miracle-worker is employed to make one group’s soldiers bulletproof. Their rivals fall into terror and disarray, and for a while they seem genuinely unstoppable – until the Haunted Tank appears...
  • A ruthless dictator blames the Haunted Tank for the massacres carried out by his own security forces. The opposition and the outside world scoff at his claims, but what can they do? But then atrocities start happening that the tyrant doesn’t know about...

This is a horror comic, and Jeb Stuart has nothing to do with it.