After numerous delays, the new Bruce Campbell movie, "My Name Is Bruce," has finally announced an October release date, but for comic book fans, the first taste of the long-awaited film will come a month earlier. A one-shot comic book companion to the movie, written by Milton Freewater, Jr. and penciled by Cliff Richards, is due out on September 24th from Dark Horse Comics.
Both the movie and the comic will feature Bruce Campbell, the sarcastic star of the campy, cult-horror movie "Evil Dead"... as himself. Kidnapped by a fan who believes that he is Ash (his character from "Evil Dead") and can defeat the demon plaguing a small Oregon town, the actor is forced to face down a real monster -– which turns out to be more difficult than it looks in the movies. (After the jump, an interview with the writer and an exclusive three-page preview!)
Even aside from the upcoming adaptation, "My Name Is Bruce" has multiple ties to comics; not only was it produced by Dark Horse Entertainment, the movie arm of Dark Horse Comics, but the script was written by Mark Verheiden, co-executive producer of the current "Battlestar Galactica" television series and writer of the "Evil Dead" comic book miniseries, published earlier this year by... yup, Dark Horse Comics.
Freewater says that when he got the call from Dark Horse to write the "My Name Is Bruce" comic, “it was tied to a Bruce Campbell movie, so I couldn't pass it up… I love Bruce's work. I've followed him since 'Evil Dead.' I think he's been in every movie made since about 1987,” he jokes. “And he was the only good thing about the train-wreck that was 'Spider-Man 3.'”
The process of condensing a full-length movie into 22 illustrated pages is no simple feat, however, and Freewater describes the one-shot as more of “a comics-haiku version of the actual movie. There was a lot of stuff I had to leave out in order to just get to the meat of the story.” And though it follows the plot of the movie closely, the comic also features two original characters not included in the film, a pair of Chinese ghosts who serve as narrators.
According to Richards, the comic isn’t intended to mimic the movie exactly, but rather provide a different experience for Campbell (and comics) fans. “Every time you translate a movie to comic book or a game, you have to adapt it to that medium,” he explains. “You can’t watch a movie and then expect that the book would be exactly the same.”
Instead, the creators hope the differences between the movie and comics versions will attract attention in both directions, bringing Campbell fans into comics stores as well as getting comics readers excited for the film release.
“I view the comic as a sort of appetizer for the movie,” says Freewater. And for countless fans still salivating for the cinematic main course, it just might hit the spot.
Are you a Bruce Campbell fan? Planning to see "My Name Is Bruce?" Let us know your thoughts on the premise of the film and the exclusive art you see here!