On Friday afternoon at Comic-Con International in San Diego, IDW Publishing announced plans to release a 5-issue comic book adaptation of “Shadow Show,” a prose tribute to Ray Bradbury released in 2012 and edited by Mort Castle and Sam Weller. This November, IDW’s limited series adapts stories by writers including Neil Gaiman, Joe Hill and Harlan Ellison, among others, with art by Charles Paul Wilson III, Maria Frohlich, Eddie Campbell and more.
CBR News connected with IDW editor Carlos Guzman about IDW’s comic book adaptation of “Shadow Show,” revealing which stories from the anthology they plan to adapt, how they selected their artists and more.
CBR News: Carlos, what is “Shadow Show” and how did it wind up with IDW?
Carlos Guzman: “Shadow Show” started as short story collection that paid tribute to Ray Bradbury, himself an incomparable master of short fiction. It features stories by a murderers’ row of incredible authors: Neil Gaiman, Joe Hill, Harlan Ellison, Audrey Niffenegger, just to name a few. Mort Castle and Sam Weller, the editors of the collection, wanted to bring these stories to comics as well as prose. IDW loved the idea, and now we’ve lined up a 5-issue limited series that will adapt several stories from the book!
Which stories are being adapted?
Our lineup includes the previously mentioned stories by Neil Gaiman, Joe Hill, Harlan Ellison and Audrey Niffenegger, as well as Charles Yu and Alice Hoffman. We’ll be adapting seven stories from the book, as well as two stories from Mort Castle and Sam Weller that were not in the original collection.
What was the genesis of this project?
Our Editor-in-Chief, Chris Ryall, helped moderate a panel on Ray Bradbury at San Diego Comic-Con 2012. He’s always been a tremendous Bradbury fan and, after talking to Mort Castle and Sam Weller once the panel ended, wanted to bring these tribute stories to comics.
Which stories are you most looking forward to?
Joe Hill’s “By The Silver Water of Lake Champlain” is a standout, a beautiful story of childhood, loss and memory. Jason Ciaramella and Charles Paul Wilson III are adapting it for the series, and have done a stellar job of capturing the wistful, foggy, far-away feel of the story. Another favorite is “Conjure” by Alice Hoffman, a stunning short story that just leaves the most bittersweet aftertaste. It’s probably one of my favorite things I’ve read all year, everyone should go out and read it!
What artists do you have on this project for which stories? How did you decide who got what story?
Still working out artists for the later issues, but we have Charles Paul Wilson III on issue #1 and Maria Frohlich will adapt Neil Gaiman’s “The Man Who Forgot Ray Bradbury” while Eddie Campbell will adapt Audrey Niffenegger’s “Backward in Seville.”
It’s always been a matter of getting a feel for the tone of the story and finding the right fit to bring the style and mood of the respective piece to the comics page. In some cases, we got lucky: Joe Hill worked with Charles on “Wraith,” so he was a natural fit; Audrey Niffenegger and Campbell worked a short comic for The Guardian newspaper and this gave them a chance to work together again. Perfect fits, both. In other cases, we carefully considered our options before opting for the best fit: in Maria Frohlich’s case, her confident linework and fantastic coloring felt like an excellent pairing for Gaiman’s story.
What are your personal favorite Ray Bradbury works?
I remember reading a wonderful collection when I was younger, calledÂ “The Science Fiction Hall of Fame, Volume 1.” It had some of the best short stories I had ever read, but even among so many of the greats, “Mars is Heaven!” by Bradbury stood out. I remember the twist at the end leaving a particularly strong imprint, starting with a thought in the middle of the night, a fevered, paranoid suspicion that proved all too true in the end. I’ve enjoyed many, many more Bradbury stories since then but the memory of reading that story so long ago has never left my mind.
Look for “Shadow Show” from IDW Publishing in November.