Chuck Dixon - The Vanishers on Cartoon Network
by Benjamin Ong Pang Kean
Date: 30 July 2008 Time: 01:11 PM ET
Dixon - The Vanishers on Cartoon Network
It used to be “The Best Place For Cartoons” and now, Cartoon Network is drawing on comic books for movies.Last Wednesday, it announced that the network has acquired the rights to three comic titles and is currently developing them as part of their slate of original movies. Fans of Firebreather, The Mice Templar and The Vanishers can look forward to seeing their comic books come to life on the Cartoon Network soon. We’d already talked to the creators of The Mice Templar. Be sure to check back for an interview with the creators of Firebreather here at Newsarama.com in the coming days. Today, we present a chat with veteran comic book writer Chuck Dixon about the live-action film adaptation of The Vanishers, which is a tale about fifth graders Andy and Arvis and their trans-dimensional adventures through time. Newsarama: First of all, who made the connection with Cartoon Network in the first place? Chuck Dixon: That would be IDW, I believe. I’m not much of a Hollywood hand. I’m a comic book guy through and through. NRAMA: Unlike the animated treatments for Firebreather and The Mice Templar, The Vanishers is going to be turned into a live-action feature film. Will you be involved with the production of the film in any capacity at all? CD: It’s very early days yet. I imagine I’ll have some contact with the production. But I don’t picture myself hanging out in the set or anything like that. NRAMA: We've had film adaptations of The Chronicles of Narnia, The Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, The Spiderwick Chronicles, The Golden Compass, The Seeker: The Dark is Rising, Nim's Island in recent years. Do you have your own vision for the upcoming film version of The Vanishers? CD: The Vanishers is more science fiction than fantasy. It being a time travel story, much of the action takes place in the real world even though much of that real world is in the past. So, I don’t picture the kind of squishy, CGI-driven worlds of those movies. In fact, the more realistically The Vanishers is portrayed, the more it will bring the different time periods to life. NRAMA: The Vanishers was first published by IDW Publishing as an original graphic novel in 2002, right? How did you come up with the premise in the first place? What're some of the influences? CD: It was initially published in Europe. So, IDW’s is the first edition in English. I love anything having to do with history and I love time travel stories. The idea was to present a story of time travel and paradox aimed at the tweenie audience; kids twelve and under. Obviously, Wells’ The Time Machine was a big influence as were the Back To The Future movies. Those are the template for telling this kind of story in my opinion. Throw in a little Terminator and go nuts! NRAMA: The characters were taken on a trip through various historical periods such as the Old West, Medieval France, and Ancient Rome. At the same time, they encountered giant robot spiders as well. What did you hope to achieve with The Vanishers? Was it fulfilling a childhood dream of yours or something else altogether? CD: As I kid, I would often fantasize about being able to travel back in time and actually see for myself what the past was like. Really witness a pirate ship or a dinosaur. That has to be a common fantasy, right? The Vanishers plugs into that dream as seen through the eyes of Andy and Arvis. The whole thing is pure escapism; a fast-paced adventure story with the whole world at stake. NRAMA: When did Andres Klacik come into the creative picture? CD: The key to success on this one was finding an artist who could draw convincing and appealing kids of the age I needed for the story. Andres has made a career of this both in South America and Europe. I met him on a trip to Buenos Aires and he was the first artist I thought of when I came up with The Vanishers. NRAMA: With a movie in the works now, do you plan to revisit the world that you created? Are you working on a follow-up to the first OGN? CD: I’ve already talked to IDW about this and we’ll be putting together some follow-ups. I need to coordinate with the team doing the movie so we’re all working off the same scenario. But I can’t wait to get back to this and continue Andy and Arvis’ story.