Comics Adaptations That Never Happened: Freak Brothers & The Incal

The decision to animate Gilbert Shelton's Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers in stop-motion is perfect. Shelton's art on Freak Brothers is lots of hatching and line and obsessive detail of the cruddy details of the real-world and even super-expensive animation wouldn't be able to replicate it and casting a movie with real-life actors would be fun and maybe even successful, it'd end up having little to do with the original comic. Stop-motion, besides just almost always being awesome, fits the other-wordly quality of the comic and allows for it to be comic-booky but realistic too. Check out this still and you'll see all the water-damage, trash on the floor, paint-peeling reality that could've been.

If you look in the background, you'll see a person--I think it's Shelton actually--peeking through the door at 3-D versions of his creations and in the teaser clip above, there's some really weird like meta stuff, like the guy peaking up from under the road as Fat Freddy's Cat looks around, and the end...who knows if the plot is some weird our reality/their reality claymation head-trip (let's hope it is) but it says "Copyright 2006" and although awesome animation like this probably takes forever, maybe this project hasn't been dead-ed, but there's not really any info on it since this initial teaser.

The animated Incal movie on the other hand, is undoubtedly forever incomplete and it's a total bummer because it looks like a pretty close to perfect transfer from comic page to animation cels. It's surprising how little information there is on this project--even like, what exact year this promo/teaser comes from--and what, how, and why it never got finished.

Extra sad because so many small details that often get lost in the shuffle towards converting something into a movie seem to still be there. They maintained the near-faded color-scheme of the comics, the animation's really fluid and rubbery which is a good translation of Moebius' art to animation, and the music, this chugging trance of 808 snaps, it's perfect. The animation style fits too in part because it approximate the Moebius style on Incale well enough but also because in the late 80s, Moebius' work got increasingly clean and pure and often looked like stills from lost or never-were fantasy films, especially his Magic Crystal stuff and some of Silver Surfer: Parable.

1 comment:

Dag said...

Moebius is an amazing artist. His Airtight Garage, and Incal, including so many of his other drawings and stories could be made into movies, if not animated movies. He played conceptual artist on so many movies including Alien, Abyss, Dune and more. He's one of my all time favorite artists.