Saturday, August 02, 2008

Hollywood is getting steamy... but where's Baker Street?

io9 rates upcoming sci-fi flicks on their steampunkness. The film adaptation of The Adventures of Luther Arkwright sounds promising, but what I really want to see is Guy Davis and former Caliber Press head Gary Reed's* seminal yet tragically often overlooked Baker Street brought to life.

The unique thing about Baker Street, and why I connected with it [aside from Davis' distinctive and highly detailed art... he's like the goth Moebius...] is that it's about real punks, and delves deep into late 20th Century punk culture - despite being based on the work of Arthur Conan Doyle and set in a Victorian influenced alternate universe complete with transvestites and fantastic dirigibles...

It features an alternative Sherlock Holmes mythos where the values and class system of Victorian era England carried over into a late 20th Century where WWII never occurred. The story mainly concerns a group of punks attempting to solve a series of murders reminiscent of the Jack the Ripper killings of the late 19th century.

Baker Street was kind of like Love and Rockets meets The Difference Engine meets The Decline of Western Civilization meets The Hound of the Baskervilles, but wholly unique. Thinking about it, I'd be concerned about Hollywood getting its mitts on this. It was conceived at the height of goth/post-punk, and I'd be afraid about any director without roots in that time schlocking it up with contemporary references. I still think it would make a great movie, and it certainly deserves the recognition more than most comic books being made into films.

*Full disclosure: John Tenney and I met Davis and Reed at a comic convention about fifteen years ago. We were working on our first graphic novel, a four book series called Four Miles From Home. When we showed them the initial pages, they seemed so relieved that it had nothing to do with buff super heroes that they lit up. [John was reading a lot of Theodore Sturgeon and I was in a heavy Dave McKean/Ted McKeever phase at the time... er, never-mind... still am.] They were both incredibly cool to talk with and told us to get in touch with Caliber when we got it done. Unfortunately, I was starting my first "real" job and John had just opened his store Neo Tokyo, so we never got around to finishing the project. It's still on the to-do list though.

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