ANIMAL PLANET Options IDW's Animal Zombie Series Starring President Obama ... No, Really

The Other Dead Obama variant
Credit: IDW Publishing
Credit: IDW

The television channel Animal Planet made a name for itself with documentary and reality-TV style programming revolving around animals, but today in a surprise announcement they're moving into animal-on-human violence pulled straight from comics. Deadline is reporting that the United States-based network has optioned the IDW comic book series The Other Dead as a live-action series scheduled to debut in early 2016. The comic series, created by Joshua Ortega and Digger Mesch, tells the story of a zombie plague that infests animals, leading various creatures such as alligators, dogs, elephants and more to attact people -- including President Obama himself.

"Our stylistic and creative ambitions as a network happily found their echo in the pages of The Other Dead,” Animal Planet's Vice President of Development Kurt Tondorf is quoted as saying. “We’re rabid about bringing Josh and Digger’s bold, wry and unrelenting vision to life.”

While the idea of animal-on-human gore might seem odd for a television series, in the 1990s FOX garnered tremendous ratings for the sensationalistic documentary specials When Animals Attack! and the movie Jaws launched the career of director Steven Spielberg.

Credit: IDW Publishing

Speaking of IDW, the California-based publisher just announced that it will be launching a comic series based on prose novelist Douglas Adams' popular character Dirk Gently. This comes on the heels of IDW's announcment it was in developning a Dirk Gently television series with Max Landis as its showrunnner. Here is the full press release:

In partnership with Ideate Media, IDW Publishing is proud to announce that Dirk Gently will be appearing in his first-ever comic-book series in 2015, helping to prove the interconnectedness of all things, the precept by which Dirk Gently, Douglas Adams’ beloved fictional “holistic detective” lives.

Following the recent announcement that Gently will be developed for television by IDW Entertainment and Ideate Media with Circle of Confusion as Executive Producers and Max Landis as showrunner, IDW will also launch an ongoing series of all-new Dirk Gently adventures as comic books.

The series launching in spring 2015, will be written by Chris Ryall, IDW’s Chief Creative Officer/Editor-in-Chief and creator/writer of series such as Zombies vs Robots, Groom Lake, and The Hollows. The series artist will be Tony Akins (Fables), and Chew co-creator Rob Guillory has contributed a first cover image, too. Full story details and release information will follow soon.

“I know that an American writing Dirk comics is going to get a certain segment of British Adams fans a bit brassed off,” said Ryall, “but, much like in the case of the oft-referenced Schrödinger’s cat in the Dirk novels, we can all agree that until the world opens these comics, they are both good and not good, right? And certainly Adams’ writing transcends all borders and has rightfully earned him a worldwide following. I can’t wait to bring Dirk into the world of comics.”

"Douglas was best known for Hitchhiker, but his real creative passion was always Dirk. Of the two series, this was his secret favourite. I know he would have smiled upon its re-incarnation as a comic book,” said Ed Victor, Douglas Adams’ longtime agent and friend.

Adams’ Dirk Gently, who appeared in Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, Dirk Gently’s Long, Dark Tea-time of the Soul, and the unfinished Dirk Gently fragment that Douglas was writing at the time of his death The Salmon of Doubt, is a charismatic, mysterious, troubled, brilliant, figure—cursed with a relentless intellect, psychic powers he doesn’t fully understand or want, a gift for self-mythologizing, and a supernatural ability to detect disturbances in the fabric of reality. Dirk has found a strange calling as a private detective for impossible crimes, the likes of which will take many forms in the comics.

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