Jane Espenson’s ‘Husbands’ Gets Comical

by Tami Katzoff (@tvtamijo)

Whedonverse veteran Jane Espenson is very familiar with the comic book world – the TV writer/producer has been involved with “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” comics for years. So when her web series “Husbands” started attracting a lot of attention, the idea of a new comic seemed perfectly logical.

“People were making jokes about my sci-fi connections,” says Espenson, who created “Husbands” with Brad “Cheeks” Bell. “We got a lot of interview questions of people winkingly going, ‘What’s next – Husbands in space?’ And it started sounding good!”

“Husbands” follows a newly-hitched couple, actor Cheeks (Bell) and athlete Brady (Sean Hemeon), as they deal with the challenges of being gay, famous and married. After the show’s second season wrapped, Bell and Espenson started scripting a six-issue Dark Horse digital comic.

READ: Jane Espenson’s “Husbands” To Feature Whedonverse Favorites

Bell quickly learned that writing comics is very different from writing television. “I looked at a comic book script for a ‘Buffy’ comic that Jane gave me as a template, and I could barely follow it,” he remembers. “There was so much description and then there’s the dialogue and then you have to explain where everything is in the panel… It was all very confusing.”

But Bell soon developed a feel for the writing style and eventually scripted the sixth issue of “Husbands” on his own. “He’s much more visual than I am,” says Espenson. “He was all over it.”

The first issue of the comic, which premiered on October 24th, starts with Cheeks and Brady opening their wedding presents. Suddenly they’re inexplicably transported to what Bell describes as “a Sky Captain-esque 1930’s retro future” where Brady is a superhero named Light Fantastic. Subsequent issues will place Brady and Cheeks in other exotic settings and exciting predicaments.

“They are given a mysterious gift that launches them into this series of adventures,” Espenson explains. “Will these adventures split them apart, or will they make them closer together?”

READ: Joss Whedon Puts On An Act For “Husbands”

The “Husbands” comic series features the work of several different artists: Ron Chan, Natalie Nourigat, M.S. Corely, Ben Dewey and Tania del Rio. It will be compiled into a hard copy collection, available on March 27th, 2013.

Bell promises that the comic will be “fun and thrilling and hilarious and sexy.” And Espenson expects that the adventures of Cheeks and Brady will continue. “I don’t think the final page of that hard copy issue will be the last you’ll see of ‘Husbands,’” she says. And after a web series and a comic, theorizes Bell, the possible incarnations are limitless. “It could be a chocolate bar! With a concept album! In 3-D!”

Previously on The Weekly Whedon:
» Charge up the freeze ray: Here comes Dr. Horrible!
» Maurissa Tancharoen: agent of W.H.E.D.O.N.
» ’Firefly’ anniversary: saluting Serenity’s big damn heroes
» Joss Whedon’s ’Much Ado About Nothing’ triumphs at the Toronto International Film Festival’
» Joss Whedon’s ’Much Ado’ isn’t ’scary Shakespeare’

MTV News producer Tami Katzoff presents The Weekly Whedon, a column exploring all corners of the Whedonverse from “Marvel’s The Avengers” to “Buffy” and beyond. Assemble your reactions in the comments section!