Wednesday, March 14, 2007

I need HELP(er)...

Back in 2003, when I was writing a weekly script for on Codename: Kids Next Door and working on Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale, I had another project, a monthly comic book with DC called THE 7TH HELPER.

And since you’ll never see it, I can safely say it is the best work I’ve ever done.

The superhero series told the story of a young guy who inadvertently becomes the 7th Helper, a hero of tremendous power and even more tremendous enemies. The villain of the piece turns out to be the President of the Untied States, an adorable 9-year old boy who lost the general election, but won the coveted 18-35 demographic (he turns out to be a cannibalistic alien bent on earth’s destruction, so in that way the story was prescient).

The whole book was a romp, filled with double-crossing robots, a literal supermodel, HYPERBOY (the victim of a Ritalin accident), and all kinds of mayhem lovingly rendered by Dietrich Smith and inked by Walden Wong.

An article about the book can be seen here.

So, what happened? Well, in 2002 I’d done some work for DC (on their 9-11 book and Bizarro World) and I had a chat with Paul Levitz about creating a monthly. At the time, they were looking for something action packed yet slightly satirical that would take place outside of the DCU (i.e. where Superman and his pals didn’t exist). Over the next year or so we diligently worked, the book was scheduled for release, THEN…

Literally the week or so before release, we were informed that all new comics had to take place within the DCU. The project was scrapped.

DC said they’d release it as a B&W manga, which I don’t believe, but still hope for.

It was a fun, special project for Dietrich, Walden and I. To bad no one will see it.

(for another take on superheroes, check out my YA short story THE UNBEATABLE in Everyman for Himself, a book that has been published.)