Hot on the heelsof the recent announcement of a Starman TV show Comics2Filmchecked in with the comic's co-creator, Tony Harris. Harris was very positiveabout the prospect of a TV series from Tollin/Robbins Productions, the folks whocreated Smallville and Birds of Prey.
"I understand that Tollin and Robbins and those catsare fans of the book. I would think they would have to be," Harris told C2F."In my mind I wasreally surprised to hear that they're developing it because there are a lot ofproperties out there that I would have thought, personally, were more commercialand popular than Starman, that they would have gotten to first."
On the otherhand, Harris admits that Starman shares themes that seem to appealto Tollin/Robbins' sensibilities. "The whole family line in Starmanis even stronger than Smallville."
In the Starmancomics, Harris and series writer/co-creator James Robinson (The League ofExtraordinary Gentlemen, Comic Book Villains) created asense of family, or even dynasty, by tightly integrating their Jack Knightcharacter with all the previous comic book incarnations of Starman.The comic book artist admits that it will be difficult to retain all of thecomic mythos for the TV show.
"Obviously,with a lot of television viewers who don't know [DC Universe history], you don'twant to bog down the series in a lot of crap that they're not going toget," Harris said. However, he remains hopeful that there will be some nodsto familiar characters, not unlike what is seen with Birds of Prey."Obviously if Ted's going to be a character in the series, which he is, youcan't have [him] and not have some JSA history there."
As of right now,Harris' comments are mostly speculative. Neither he nor Robinson have had anyinvolvement with the show. However, the creators are looking into thepossibility of being involved with the Starman TV series on somelevel. The pair actually own an equity stake in the character, an unusualarrangement that Harris credits to editor Archie Goodwin.
"That's theone project in my whole 13 year career that is probably closest to my heart.I'll be flat honest with you, I'd be heart-broken if we weren't involved on somelevel," Harris said.
Harris wasinvolved with the creation of Jack Knight from the inception. He and Robinsonhave received numerous letters from fans who appreciated the very personalstories. "We touched a lot of people with that series, with the wholefather/son relationship," Harris said. "My relationship with myfather, when I was young, was not an extremely good one. I think, in a lot ofways, working on that book helped me get a lot closer with my old man."
Fan support onthe internet remains strong in spite of the fact that the book ended last year.Harris said that he and Robinson are planning a new comic story with thecharacter.
"We're talking about doing a'Far East' story," Harris told C2F. The book had previously beenplanned as a graphic novel but latest talks with DC have shifted towards amini-series format. The book may be set during the run of the main series, orpossibly as a post-Opal adventure. "It'll all take place in Japan and it'll be fully painted."
Harris has abusy schedule in comics. He tells us he's just finished up work on the sequel toJSA: Liberty Files, which he co-wrote and did covers for.
He also reportsthat he's just been hired to pencil, ink and color a three-issue run of Legendsof the Dark Knight, which Tom Peyer (Legion of Super-Heroes)will write.
"It's agreat script. It's a 'Year One' story and we're introducing a new villain."
Harris and hisstudio mates Tom Feister and J.D. Mettler can be found at their official websiteat JollyRogerStudio.com.