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Ben Edlund comments from alt.tv.the-tick

"UNSOLICITED PROPAGANDA FROM BEN EDLUND REGARDING THE TICK PRIME TIME TV SHOW


"Hello. I'm Ben Edlund. No joke. For a while I wrote and drew a comic book called The Tick. Then I helped make a Saturday morning cartoon series called The Tick. And now, fourteen years after I gave painless birth to this freaky blue sub-icon, The Tick threatens to arrive again.

"For the last several months, I've been working on a live-action Tick TV pilot for possible airing on Fox this fall. Barry Sonnenfeld is directing the pilot, and has drawn together an impossibly talented group of people to bring The Tick to twisted life. I know that in some odd pockets of the world -- including mine -- the prospect of a live-action Tick is met with trepidatious anticipation. At this point, we've finished shooting the pilot, and I feel now is as good a time as any to talk to those who give a damn about the strange golden egg we've been laying here in Los Angeles. So:

"THE NEW TICK KICKS ASS! PATRICK WARBURTON (who played Puddy on 'Seinfeld') is perfect for this role. He has the firmest of grips on the secret pilot light of the Tick's soul. His costume (designed by COLLEEN ATWOOD) is especially good. Big. blue, and extra-muscled! He looks like a giant immaculate toy! AND HE HAS REMOTE-CONTROLLED ANTENNAE! These antennae alone will hypnotize many into tantrums of pleasure and a rabid mob-frenzy of ancillary merchandise consumption. They move with a fluid grace never before seen atop a lead actor's melon.

"AN IMPORTANT NOTE - The costume differs slightly from the cartoon and comic book versions. This difference occurs in and about the face area. While previously the Tick has had pupil-less white eyes set in a blue face mask, this new version exposes the Tick's eyes and brow. I imagine some of you will be deeply disappointed by this departure from Tick scripture. That's OK. But I believe absolutely that the right aesthetic choice has been made. Patrick is an excellent comedic actor with a very expressive face. There was no way to cover his eyes and get the same range, intensity, and specificity of emotion. With face unfettered, Patrick has created a three-dimensional, hilarious., totally convincing Tick. Embrace the new and give him a chance to win your hearts. DO!

"Arthur (played by DAVID BURKE) is ideal. He embodies the vaguely charismatic everyman Arthur was always meant to be. David's ability to make his character's reactions real in the face of relentless absurdity will prove invaluable to the development of the Tick's better half. In his hands, Arthur will reach a new level of beleaguered humor and humanity.

"PLUS - the pilot will introduce two new characters: Batmanuel (played by NESTOR CARBONELL) a suave, Eurotrash hero who has a torrid off-and-on relationship with Captain Liberty (played by LIZ VASSEY) a beautiful but violent superhero with dubious connections to the CIA and other shadowy government agencies.

"There are some other changes. Chief among them, sadly, is that the material from the cartoon series has passed into the ownership of interests outside this current endeavor. But, in a way, this situation has served us well. We were forced to re-investigate our motives for making this thing, and had to engineer it from the ground up, applying what we've learned over the last few years to creating a better, stronger Tick. The show will be closer in tone to the comic book, favoring character over action, painting a superheroic portrait of genuine human lameness. We will all miss various things from the cartoon. I, personally, will miss SPEAK most of all. But I am extra-hot on the new stuff in this prime time beast.

"If we get to make this a series, the four core writers of the cartoon show (myself, RANDOLPH HEARD, RICHARD LIEBMANN-SMITH, and CHRIS McCULLOCH) will be back in business, thrown into a tiny, smelly room to squirm, thrill, and vomit out the first stabs at this new expression of the Tick's message. And I suppose other, better-groomed men and women will join in as necessity demands.

"BARRY SONNENFELD (who directed Men In Black, among other films, and who can make his finger smell like cheese simply by rubbing it behind his right ear) is now the highest ranked General in the army waging slow war against a non-Tick world culture. He, too, KICKS ASS. The thing couldn't have a better helmsman -- a true disciple of inspired weirdness, and a dude generous with his ample talents. BO WELCH was our production designer, which means the pilot looks beautiful. Know this if nothing else: we all of us made an honest attempt to do the Tick justice.

"IMPORTANT AGAIN TO NOTE - This is only a pilot, and awaits FOX's final judgment before it can go to series. Maybe our warped fruit will tumble out of your TV screens sometime in October. I hope it will, and I hope that you will decide to jump on the big Tick hay-ride to Happyland. That would certainly help me pay my mortgage.

Sincerely

BEN"


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© 2002 Michael Legg unless specifically noted.
All Tick images are owned by New England Comics, Fox, and Ben Edlund