Graphic Novels Deserving of Television Treatments

The Walking Dead was a debatable hit for the AMC network. Adapted from graphic novels by Robert Kirkman, with author-sanctioned liberties, and produced by Frank Darabont (director of The Shawshank Redemption), Walking Dead centers on Southern sheriff Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) trying to survive a zombie apocalypse while searching for his family. Time sickeningly called it “a doomsday story with all the things zombies crave: brains, guts and heart.” Really?

Kirkman is still releasing fresh material for the zombie saga and if you have been faithfully reading them through out, you’re aware of his ability to craft a good twist-and-turn. You might also be aware of how bad “author-sanctioned liberties” can be for a storyline.

I’ve decided to bring your attention to other graphic novels that are in need of television adaptations or just some recognition in general. The post Harry Potter/Lost generation needs some further enlightenment and entertainment.

Some of these you might have heard (Y-The Last Man, Hellblazer) and others are probably completely off your radar. Take the time to look through this list and get some cultural knowledge. The stories vary from the self-destructive, supernatural and grotesquely hilarious.

Listen and Carry On

Passive by A Perfect Circle from Constantine (aka Hellblazer)

The Alcoholic

How would you describe yourself?
A. Boozed Up
B. Coked Out
C. Sexually Confused
D. Hopelessly Romantic
E. A Novelist
F. All of the Above!
If you answered ‘F. All of the Above’ than you would love the television adaptation of The Alcoholic. Or you’re actually Jonathan Ames, the writer responsible for this who bares a slight resemblance to the fictional main character.
Our main character Jonathan is similar to David Duchovony’s character on Showtime’s Californication, is a drunk novelist, except the writing comes a little easier for Jonathan. But, the hard parts of life remain the same: love and hope.The Alcoholic tells a hilarious, excruciating, universal story about the human struggle to put things back together after everything falls apart.


This poetic tale follows the life of a resilient obituary writer who spends his days chronicling the life and death of ordinary people. But, at the end of every issue our protagonist meets his own grim end at a different point in his lifetime. It’s a beautiful and moving story and each issue deals with a separate issue in life, ranging from being overshadowed by the work of ones parents to the birth of ones first child.


If flesh-eating met CSI you would have Chew. The detective in this graphic novel has a very peculiar talent; anything he eats he can see its life. If he eats a carrot he can see how it was raised. If he eats a burger he has the joy of witnessing its caged life and its ultimate death by meat farm.

Ex Machina

This thought-provoking, decidedly adult comic, about a super-hero turned politician melds hot button issues with gravity defying action (via flashbacks) and explores the compromises a hero makes to become a leader.

From the beginning Ex Machina was about a man that was infected by an alien virus that gave him powers over machines. (hence the title). On 9/11 he was able to save one of the towers. A heroic act the set the table for him to run for Mayor.

The crux of this series is how do you take the capital of being a super hero and turn that into politics and by the end of all 50 issues, you suddenly realize Brian K. Vaughan is doing this amazing commentary on in-fact the ease of being super-heroic compared to the sacrifices and the horrible moral contradictions that you wind up making to be a politician.

Y The Last Man

Y-The Last Man follows the last man on earth. The rest of male species (all mammals not just humans) were wiped out in a simultaneous mass death. I won’t be telling you what caused it. Society is plunged into chaos and the surviving women try to cope with the loss of the men and the knowledge that the entire planet will inevitably die out without men.
Yorick, the last man, must make his way across a ruined world, usually disguised in a gas mask, and stay alive long enough to reunite with his girlfriend (aw) in this acclaimed series. This actually got picked up to be made into a movie 4 years ago but nothing has happened since. The original director refused to do only one movie, finding the source material needed three movies to do it justice.

Locke & Key

After a tragic incident involving the murder of their father, a family moves to the child-hood home of the father to escape the scene of the crime. The novel centers around the Victorian mansion that houses keys granting special abilities. Such as opening ones head, literally, to remove memories or gain knowledge by stuffing a history book in.

This dark murderous fantasy tale comes from writer Joe HIll, son of horror legend Stephen King, and artist Gabriel Rodriguez. The characters are well established archetypes. There’s the guardian older brother; the middle sister who acts as a mother; and the rambunctious little brother who will be the vehicle for discovery as the mysteries of the house unfold.

They actually finished shooting the pilot with positive reviews: “It’s beautiful. Everybody agrees on how well made it is and how atmospheric and how it will definitely win acclaim for the way it has been filmed and edited. There’s magic in the story as you know and it actually feels magical on screen. The pace really picks up in the second half and the amazing images and ideas start coming thick and fast.”


Also known as John Constantine: Hellblazer or Keanu Reeves if you saw the film adaptation. Hellblazer is set in a contemporary world, albeit a world of magic and supernatural conflict behind the scenes of ordinary life. Yes, like Harry Potter. Just with more cigarettes.

Constantine is portrayed as a kind of confidence man who does morally questionable things, arguably for the greater good. He usually triumphs through guile, deceit, and misdirection, but often makes more enemies in the process than he defeats. Indeed, it is a common theme in the book that Constantine is unable to effect any lasting change or enjoy unequivocal victories. While sometimes striving for the good of mankind, Constantine is often manipulative and a dangerous person to have as a friend, as the lives and souls of those around him become perilously involved in his misadventures. He takes pains to protect himself from direct attacks, but his friends and relatives are often endangered in order to strike at him. The spirits of deceased friends haunt him, individually or as an entourage.

There have been around 300 comics written in the Hellblazer series (he’s made numerous other appearances) which gives plenty of source material for a television show that could rival Doctor Who.

DC Comics announced a sequel to the 2005 Constantine movie was in the works, with producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura linked to the project. He stated: “I’d love to do it…We want to do a hard, R-rated version of it. We’re going to scale back the size of the movie to try and persuade the studio to go ahead and make a tough version of it.” Fuck yes.


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Categories: Art, Literature, TV

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