March 16th saw the release of the tie-in comic to this summer’s sword and sorcery comedy, Your Highness. Titled, Your Highness: Knight and Dazed the one-shot was written by one of the film’s stars, Danny McBride (Eastbound and Down, The Foot Fist Way, Pineapple Express, and also the co-writer of his latest film along with Ben Best), and is being released through Dark Horse Comics with art by Sean Phillips.
McBride says he used the book as an introduction to the film’s two leads: noble knight and heir to the throne Fabious (James Franco) and slacker Thaddeus (McBride). Of his character, McBride describes Thaddeus as another in a line of big-talking underachievers—think Kenny Powers in ye-olden times. “He tends to kind of slack off, spends his time in the pub, smoking weed instead of being a good knight and slaying dragons,” explains McBride.
The book was inspired by his love of classic tie-in comics like Star Wars during the Marvel days, allowing him to parlay his film and writing experience into a new medium. McBride appears to be something of a lapsed comic fan who’s rediscovered his passion for the output of the big two and the indies, pointing to his Hot Rod co-star Bill Heder as the reason he returned to reading comics.
It’s actually through this reintroduction that he became aware of the book’s artist, Sean Phillips (Criminal, Sleeper:), who’s being inked by Paul Beart. Based on his enjoyment of the artist’s work, Phillips was one of the first people they reached out to for Knight and Dazed. On working with Phillips, McBride says “It was great seeing myself as a comic book character. I felt like I was a character in Criminal or something.”
McBride wants fans to know that Your Highness the film and comic aren’t spoofs of fantasy films, but instead a deliberate homage to 80’s basic cable staples like Krull and the Marc Singer epic Beastmaster. Viewers familiar with the bloody finale of Pineapple Express—itself a bloody buddy action movie—will know how fine the line can be between parody and homage.
Your Highness: Knight and Dazed is on shelves now, and Your Highness the movie will be in theaters on April 8th.