Seemingly one of the busiest creative minds out there is The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman, whose career with Image Comics and Skybound Entertainment knows no bounds. With both the ever-expanding Dead franchise and Invincible on the small screen, and movie takes on Invincible and the Dracula character Renfield heading to the big screen, Kirkman already has his hands extremely full outside of the various monthly comic books he's writing. But what if he had all the time in the world and could focus on adapting other comic book creators' works as TV shows?
Just such a question was posed to Robert Kirkman during his solo panel for this year's [email protected] panel, and he gave a solid trio of answers that would all earn chefs' kisses if they were to be adapted for TV. And maybe even a something more lewd when it comes to the first choice below.
Sex Criminals by Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky
First published in September 2013, Sex Criminals is a hilarious and smart raunch-fest from the award-winning writer Matt Fraction (Hawkeye, Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen) and artist Chip Zdarsky (Daredevil, Stillwater). Having concluded in 2020 with issue #69 (naturally, even though it's actually only the 31st issue), Sex Criminals is essentially about Suzie and Jon, a mostly-couple that independently discovered they had time-freezing abilities post-orgasm, and how they decide to use those abilities. The series won all kinds of awards during its run, and was nominated for plenty more, and it was the first comic series that Robert Kirkman mentioned. In his words:
I mean, when I was reading Sex Criminals for the first time, I was like, 'Man, this is brilliant. This would make a fantastic TV show.' There's stuff like that that I read where I'm just like, 'Oh, this is all there.'
While one might not think a show with a central location called "Cumworld" and an antagonist named Kegalface would successfully deliver deep storytelling and engaging characters, Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky can make any kind of plot seem addictive. A Sex Criminals TV show was in development for a time around 2015, with Fraction having a deal with Universal TV at the time, but nothing substantial ever came out of it. So obviously the ball is now in Robert Kirkman's court.
The Fix by Nick Spencer and Steve Lieber
Similar in balls-to-the-walls debauchery to Sex Criminals is the NSFW crime caper The Fix, from writer Nick Spencer (Morning Glories, Captain America: Sam Wilson) and artist Steve Lieber (Whiteout, Civil War: Frontline). Anyone familiar with Robert Kirkman's Die! Die! Die! will feel right at home with the crooked cops Roy and Mac, the dog Pretzels, and the increasingly convoluted high-profile cases they're investigating. The provocative dialogue and sequences aren't for everyone, but Kirkman would be down to spin the self-aware story into a TV series. (In a perfect world, anyway.) Here's how he put it:
I think The Fix by Nick Spencer and Steve Lieber was absolutely brilliant, and on the page, it was like everything is there. You could just turn the dials and add some things here and there and just be off to the races. That was a cool comic.
Savage Dragon by Erik Larsen
First introduced within the comic Graphic Fantasy back in 1982, the character Savage Dragon is the superpowered humanoid cop creation of writer and artist Erik Larsen, and didn't technically take on his proper moniker until the self-titled 1992 comic launch at Image. And it makes sense why Robert Kirkman would want to deliver a full-on Savage Dragon TV series, since the character showed up within Kirkman's Invincible comic series for the "Invincible War" arc. Here's how Kirkman put it:
I think Savage Dragon. I would love to do a Savage Dragon thing. I think it would be great as an animated series. I think it'd be a really cool story. There's also a ton of material there, and I love it.
Unlike the other two comics listed above, Savage Dragon actually did get its own TV show back in 1995 as a two-season animated series on USA. Also unlike the above choices, Savage Dragon has a better shot of coming to fruition, as creator Erik Larsen has already claimed he would allow Robert Kirkman to use the character within Invincible if need be. So what's to say he wouldn't also be totally into turning his creation into a totally new TV show?
Again, each of these ideas will likely lead to nothing, since Robert Kirkman is constantly busy with one project or another. And since he was a big part of Telltale's The Walking Dead character Clementine getting her own upcoming graphic novel, I can't argue with that workhorse behavior. But it certainly is nice to dream. Especially before the nightmares come to the Walking Dead protagonists when Season 11 kicks off the first of three eight-episode bursts on Sunday, August 22, at 9:00 p.m. ET.