It's not everyday someone gets offered the keys to one movie producer Joel Silver's cars, but comics writer Marc Andreyko currently finds himself behind the wheel of "The Ferryman," a Joel Silver creation made for comics. Silver, the producer of such action blockbusters as "Lethal Weapon," "Die Hard" and "The Matrix," has given Andreyko something that is shiny and fast, and with the help of new comics artist Jonathon Wayshak, Andreyko plans to break a few laws.
"If people give 'The Ferryman' a try, they'll love it," Andreyko said from his home in Los Angeles. "It has that Joel Silver feel to it -- they'll see how that translates to comics. I'm exceedingly proud of this series."
"The Ferryman" is a five-issue miniseries from Wildstorm about a former homicide detective (now dead) who makes a deal with the devil. That homicide detective becomes a "Ferryman," or a modern-day Charon, the same man who ferried dead souls across the River Styx in Greek mythology.
"Joel Silver has always been fascinated with Charon," Andreyko explained. "He wanted to do a spin on what that character would be like today. We settled on this story."
Silver and Andreyko's Charon is Gideon Thorne, a 1970s homicide detective who works tirelessly hunting "The Bleeder," a serial killer. After Gideon is shot and killed, he makes a deal with the devil so he can come back and seek revenge on The Bleeder, who has also killed Gideon's wife. As normally happens, there is more to the deal than what was originally thought, and Gideon finds himself with one more assignment from the devil - to ferry in someone known as "The Outcast."
"Gideon knows next to nothing about The Outcast, except that he's almost a legend, like the Loch Ness Monster," Andreyko said. "I think the reveal of The Outcast will really shake things up. It will make people say, 'That was unexpected.'"
Issues #1 and #2 of "The Ferryman" were both released in October; issue #3 is in stores now.
"I'd classify it as 'Die Hard' meets 'Devil's Advocate,' Andreyko said of the project. "It's a big-budget movie with supernatural overtones. If you liked 'Wanted' or 'Die Hard' - it's like the big summer movies. There are no deep moral truths hidden here."
Andreyko had the good fortune of being paired up with Silver through Erik Olsen, vice president of Dark Castle Entertainment ("Gothika," "RocknRolla"). Olsen knows Andreyko's manager -- the two got to talking and then Andreyko was asked to pitch an idea based on the outline Silver provided.
"When I heard the initial germ of an idea, I thought there was something there. It remains to be seen if I'm the right person to expound upon it," Andreyko laughed. "But the project has been fairly speed-bump free. When you consider a licensed comic could be a nightmare, this book has been a dream. The notes sessions, the brainstorming sessions have been awesome, we make serious progress."
Andreyko's face-to-face dealings with Silver have been limited, but Silver does read the scripts for final approval. "His multi-million dollar movies take precedent, obviously," the writer said. "I met him [at Comic-Con International in San Diego], we did a panel together. To have him say to me, 'It's a pleasure to work with you,' (I think to myself) 'No, it's not!' I mean, I'm nobody! This is Joel Silver. There's certainly a 'wow' factor for me."
Marc Andreyko has also been wowed by the artwork of Jonathon Wayshak, a newcomer to the comic book industry. Discovered by Wildstorm editor Scott Peterson, Wayshak comes to the medium via the advertising world.
"[When I first saw Wayshak's art], I thought they found a really interesting choice, but could he do sequential art?" Andreyko explained. "When I saw what he could do, I was impressed. He's the love child of Sam Kieth ("The Maxx") and Ralph Steadman ("Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas)."
Indeed, Andreyko believes it's just a matter of time before Wayshak is a very big name in the industry. "There are touches he brings to the book that I wish I could take credit for," the writer confessed. "For example, the '70s flashback scenes, he put in these tabs like from an old 1970s photo album. He takes the story and runs with it. He brings in a lot of details without making things fussy. He's energetic. I met him in San Diego and we got along famously."
Though Andreyko's critically lauded series "Manhunter" was recently cancelled, he knows he's fortunate to be working with such a name as Joel Silver. "Silver has so much diversitym" he said. "He's known as the action guy, though. He's responsible for two of the most influential action movies of all time, 'Lethal Weapon' and 'Die Hard,"
But Silver's best movie ever? That's a tough choice for Andreyko. "I thought 'V for Vendetta' was a great adaption. And 'Speed Racer,' I think in ten years from now, people will get it," Andreyko remarked. "If I had to choose my two favorites, though, I'd say 'The Hudsucker Proxy' and 'Die Hard.' Check out 'The Hudsucker Proxy' - it's an undiscovered gem. And that's a weird combination, I know, that's like saying I like onions on my peanut butter and jelly sandwich."
|Pages from "The Ferryman" #2|
|"The Ferryman" #3-5|
"The Ferryman" #1-3 are on sale now. Issue #4 hits stands December 24 from Wildstorm.