SAN DIEGO, DAY TWO: Fiona Avery turns 'No Honor' into TV series for Showtime

Writer Fiona Avery has come full circle -- from television to comics to TV again, as she updated fans on the adaptation of her Top Cow series "No Honor" into a TV series for Showtime.

"It seems so obvious, since I came from TV," Avery said, laughing. "I worked on 'Babylon 5' and 'Crusade' and 'Earth: Final Conflict,' you'd think I'd realize the potential here for a TV series. But I was just so excited to actually be working in comics, I never thought of it."

Fiona started by explaining the premise of "No Honor." It's the story of an art thief who, in the course of trying to steal an ancient Japanese katana, accidentally cuts himself on the sword and frees the spirit of the samurai warrior trapped within it... who then promptly enters the body of the art thief. "But not completely," Avery added. "It's back and forth -- sometimes it's Tanin the samurai warrior in control, sometimes it's Random, the art thief."

Avery was surprised and delighted at the reception for her first-ever comic book story, the initial "No Honor" miniseries with art by Clayton Crain, which debuted at #40 in the Diamond rankings. "I thought, my gosh, people really like samurai stuff!"

One of those people was Gale Anne Hurd of Valhalla Productions, who co-produced "Aliens" and the original "Alien Nation." Hurd in turn introduced Avery to her co-writer for the television pilot, Brent Friedman. "Brent and I had lunch and really hit it off," Avery said. "Normally I don't play well with others and I thought, you know, this poor guy is going to have to put up with me... but we complement each other very well. I work from character to plot, and he works from plot to character, and we sort of meet in the middle without colliding." With an initial outline and pitch in hand they started trying to get a network interested, and Showtime Cable Networks was the one that said yes. "About ten minutes into our pitch they said, 'we want it.' It was amazingly easy."

There is a second comics miniseries planned as well, "Makyo," with art by Romano Molenaar and a bonus pinup by Stan Sakai. A trade paperback of the first "No Honor" miniseries is due in August, and Showtime is expected to greenlight the final script and begin casting for the series in November.

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