NOTE: The following deels with adult themes and situations.
In the beginning, there was porn.
Then indie publisher Terminal Press started their HARD/CORE line of comics, fundamentally re-imagining famous porn titles. So far, they've adapted blue film classics such as "The Devil in Miss Jones," "Deep Throat," "Candy Stripers" and "Debbie Does Dallas."
Terminal's most recent release is "Tell Them Johnny Wadd Is Here," a one-shot noir tale written by Tony Fleecs ("In My Lifetime") and pencilled by Dave Wachter ("The Guns of Shadow Valley"). The book is an adaptation of a film about the titular private dick Johnny Wadd, originally played by porn legend John Holmes.
"When they remake movies that are already awesome, there's no point in that," Fleecs told CBR News, explaining what makes "Johnny Wadd" such a unique comic. "They should remake bad movies. I don't want to be the guy who says ['Johnny Wadd'] is a bad movie to start with, but the point of the movie wasn't to have a cohesive plot; it was for [Holmes] to have sex a lot. The other books from the line are sort of drastic reinterpretations-'Debbie Does Dallas' has zombies and mech suits, and it's set in post-apocalyptic Dallas."
Fleeces went on to explain that while "Tell Them Jonny Wadd is Here" is a re-imagining of the Holmes film, it's more grounded in the original concept than other books from the HARD/CORE line.
And while the books do feature sexual themes there's no graphic sex, making them "non-porno porno comics."
Surprisingly, Fleecs faced arduous research when he got the gig. "I watched [the movie] strangely opposite the regular way you watch porn, because I fast forwarded through all the sex and went straight for the plot," he said. "In other words, fucking is not the motivation to the story."
Changes were also needed to update the story for a modern audience. "You don't want to make your protagonist too much of a scumbag right off the bat," Fleecs explained. "And we're already dealing with the 'it's based on porn so of course it's scummy' [stigma]. So he hasn't hit anyone yet in the Johnny Wadd comic book universe. Well, not chicks, but he hits dudes. Dude on dude punching is fine by me."
To celebrate the release of "Tell Them Johnny Wadd Is Here," Terminal Press is holding a Show Us Your Badass 'Stache contest. "You send in a picture of yourself with a badass handlebar, Johnny Wadd-style mustache to email@example.com, and the best 'stache gets a prize pack from Terminal Press," Fleecs said. "And if you're a lady, or a girly-man who can't grow a mustache, you can draw one on, use pipe cleaners. Creativity counts."
The prize pack includes the "Johnny Wadd" comic book, a DVD of the movie it's based on, and mystery prizes from both Terminal Press and the company that owns the Johnny Wadd movie franchise. The deadline is April 20, 2009.
"And the porno companies really know how to do prize packages," Fleecs said. "When they sent me my reference package, they also sent me a box of the sort of Amazon wishlist of titles that other people who got the movie also bought."
"Tell Them Johnny Wadd Is Here" is available at the Terminal Press website and at conventions.