Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Lost At Sea With Sinbad

One of my very first posts in this blog (the third, in fact), back in September of '06, was about the legendary Persian mariner Sinbad, and my affection for movies that featured the character. I wrote then about my love of the Ray Harryhausen Sinbad trilogy, the Doug Fairbanks Jr. film, and even the goofy Lou Ferrigno version. I also mentioned at that time that a publisher had expressed interest in a Sinbad graphic novel that I had plotted and that the great Eduardo Barreto had agreed to draw.

Well, that publisher turned out to be, let's say, somewhat less than trustworthy, and when the promised contracts failed to materialize, and then he stopped answering my e-mail and phone inquiries... well, it doesn't take a house to fall on me. Not usually, anyway.

After that fell through, I continued to shop around the proposal for our graphic novel, The Coils Of The Serpent, for the next year or so. Unfortunately no one seemed to be interested. The biggest reason seemed to be that nobody could "see a movie in it." Their argument was, that since Sinbad is a public domain character, no studio would want to buy our story as a film property because they could come up with their own story for free. Well, sure. But I wanted to do a comic, not a movie – and apparently that's not the business we're in anymore.

Sigh.

We did find one other publisher that was interested, but his offer turned out to be unacceptable on numerous points, so we passed.

In the past year, at least two small publishers launched their own Sinbad comics miniseries. One, Bluewater Comics, has Sinbad, Rogue of Mars, allegedly based on an unfilmed Ray Harryhausen treatment. It's possible, I suppose, and he's certainly put his name on it, but I have difficulty imagining Ray coming up with a story so damned dull. Another outfit, Zenescope Entertainment, has something called 1001 Arabian Nights: The Adventures of Sinbad out now, as well. I haven't actually seen it, but the cover art on their website is frankly underwhelming.

Well, even with all the new competition, I haven't given up. I'm still pushing to make my Sinbad book happen. For one thing, I want to read a new Sinbad adventure that thrills me the way Harryhausen's films did when I caught them on Saturday afternoon TV showings as a kid. For another, I really want to have Eduardo Barreto draw a story that I've written. For my money, he's one of the best – if criminally under-appreciated – comic artists alive, and I've been a huge fan of his work since he took over DC's New Teen Titans back in the 1980's.

I'm talking to some people now, and I'm hopeful. One way or another, I'm going to make this happen, and when it does, it's going to be something very special. If you don't believe me, click on the Barreto illustrations accompanying this post for a bigger view....

Wish us luck.

9 comments:

NoelCT said...

I've actually got a copy of the screenplay for SINBAD'S VOYAGE TO MARS from the early 70s. I'm sure it's authentic since it's filled with little notes like "Check with Ray for location photos," or, "Sequence to be choreographed by Ray."

I haven't read the comic adaptation yet, but the script certainly was horrible. Maybe it was just an early draft that would come together as Ray worked his magic. Who knows?

Also, did you see the animated SINBAD film from a few years back? It's not great, but I had fun.

Andy said...

Sinbad (Like "John Carter, Warlord of Mars") deserves more exposure in today's market. Good luck, Chris!

bish8 said...

Great Illustrations! I love Sinbad. He's always seemdd to have a certain sense of fun and a sparkle in the eye missing from similar characters. Best of luck with the new negotiations!

laughingwolf said...

hope you get it going, chris... and yes, a good tale needs the best art to enhance it :)

Charles Gramlich said...

I really liked the Harryhausen Sinbads. Great stuff. The "Rouge of Mars certainly sounds intriguing. I'm sorry to hear it wasn't very good. Good luck with your own Sinbad work. I should write a story with Sinbad myself.

Craig Zablo said...

Yeah, you, Eduardo and Sinbad. That would work.

Anonymous said...

Why not create your own character instead of hinging on someone else's creations and then making your interpretation of a story already done? Why be a hack? It's pathetic.

Frank said...

I like your idea, and I hope your are successful with it! However, as far as I know, no big publisher has ever produced a comic depicting the world-famous seven voyages of Sinbad the Sailor, based on the actual Arabian Nights tales. This would include Sinbad's adventure with the Roc, the giant Cyclops, the wicked Old Man of the Sea who enslaves Sinbad by riding on his shoulders, the killer elephants, etc. Wow! Now that would be some fantastic comic or graphic novel!

ianengle said...

I hope your Sindbad sees print some day. It looks fantastic.