When Ben Edlund brought The Tick to television for the first time, it was a brand new world for the comic book creator. He didn't know what he was doing, and as such, relinquished a lot of the control he had over the live-action project in 2001 to the studio and more seasoned producers on the project.
Now, in the new renaissance of comic book adaptations and a mainstream culture willing to embrace and support the most obscure characters, Edlund is confident he'll be able to make the live-action adaptation of The Tick that he wanted to make more than a decade ago. Having worked for more than a decade in television now, however, Edlund is ready to tackle the series again.
The Collider interviewed Ben about his project:
30 years ago, a young fan named Ben Edlund created a big blue parody of superheroes called The Tick for his local comic shop’s newsletter.
Needless to say, the character caught on.
Decades later, the Tick has proven to be as enduring as the many comic tropes he parodied, going from his own series (still being published by New England Comics from new creators), to a Saturday morning cartoon on Fox to a short-lived live-action version on that network with noted tall, deep-voiced comic actor Patrick Warburton.
After our initial talk about the origins of the new Amazon show and its contrast with the two previous TV series and the original source comic book, our chat with Edlund continues as he goes over how working with Joss Whedon on Firefly and Brian Michael Bendis on Powers, along others, influenced the film.
But The Tick has always been Edlund’s most personal project, and with the Amazon pilot starring Guardians of the Galaxy’s Peter Serafinowicz in the lead role, he’s hoping the now-streaming episode will expand into the boldest version of his creation yet. CBR spoke with Edlund about the show, how years in genre TV’s biggest writing rooms helped shape his vision for the series, what a comedy show like The Tick can offer in terms of superhero drama and what he has planned should he ever return to comics.
Amazon just announced a full-season pick up of the live action superhero comedy The Tick, but showrunner Ben Edlund is already thinking ahead through five full seasons of the “Big Blue Bug of Justice” and his sidekick Arthur Everest.
“After something like a four- or five-season arc, the story will be complete, and you’ll understand everything about the yin-yang elements that are the story core of The Tick and Arthur, and what The Tick is, and what The Tick is to Arthur,” Edlund told us. “They will save the world, I guarantee it.”
"For sure", Edlund revealed. "There’s a plan for the introduction of characters in to the universe. The continuity of this is going to be very real. I’ve been working largely in hour-long genre stuff for years where what happens really matters, and people want to get into storylines and characters to get a feeling of meaning. That’s something we’re trying to do in this show, which is along the lines of what we’ve done in our most radical experimentation. We’re really trying to make you care about stuff that should be ridiculous. [Laughs] I’m very intrigued to see how it’s received."
Edlund revealed at NYCC 2016: The New Tick Series Will Feature a Punisher Parody:
The Terror (Jackie Earle Haley) “is definitely going to be an important part of the first reason and how Arthur (Griffin Newman) emerges as a hero.” He also promised a lot of new characters, including one parodying the Punisher.
Other outlets covered the Comic Con appearance. Tor.com reported The Tick Makes a Keen Appearance at New York Comic-Con 2016! Polygon also reported The Tick creator says first season will be full of terror and violence.
Finally, the last question came back to the the impetus for bringing the Tick’s adventures to 2016, when a fan asked, “What is the kernel for this particular Tick?
“The most important thing is that now, The Tick is Arthur’s story. The Tick is very important, but it’s become the story of a person, a normal person, who feels that their world has gone insane, and they try to find a way to deal with it. But they earn the label of being crazy for trying to do that. Taking The Tick more seriously has turned out to be the funniest thing we could do.”
The accountant with mental issues is Arthur Everest (Griffin Newman), while that strange blue superhero is the Tick, portrayed by Peter Serafinowicz. The actor is best known as Pete in Shaun Of The Dead, the voice of Darth Maul in The Phantom Menace, Garthan Saal in Guardians Of The Galaxy and a wide variety of British TV comedies.