Quick note: This one does deal w/ Adult themes, so y’know: beware.
If you’re an aspiring artist/writer, Tony Fleecs is a guy you should get to know. I’ve had the pleasure of being buddies with Tony for a few years now, and I can honestly say he’s one of the nicest, funniest, and talented mo’fos I know.
Tony has been working for a number of years now and lucky for us, his body of work just continues to grow– if you’ve been reading Phil Hester and Andy Kuhn’s Firebreather, you’ve seen Tony’s work in the ‘Lil Firebreather backups. Additionally, Tony recently provided one of the variant covers for Archie’s 600th issue. He’s also currently working with Tumor’s author, Josh Fialkov on a book for Oni Press.
But that’s just the artist side! In addition to his award winning Autobio comic “In My Lifetime,‘ Tony has also written a book for Terminal Press called Tell Them Johnny Wadd is Here.
Wadd is an adaptation of the 70s porno movie starring John Holmes as Johnny Wadd, Private Investigator (or, Private Dick, if you will)– Naturally, this was back in the Boogie Nights days when porn was filled with ham fisted plots (note: maybe they still are?)– Tony’s challenge was to present the story without the porno/sex element.
Any work of adaptation takes research– and Tony found himself with a very strange set of circumstances in regards to Wadd:
“I watched [the movie] strangely opposite the regular way you watch porn, because I fast forwarded through all the sex and went straight for the plot. In other words, fucking is not the motivation to the story.”
Obviously, changes were made to the story as well “I don’t want to be the guy who says [‘Johnny Wadd’] is a bad movie to start with, but the point of the movie wasn’t to have a cohesive plot; it was for [Holmes] to have sex a lot.” By removing the porno aspect, it’s up to Fleecs to ground the plot as a dusty/gritty crime story–It’s a simple, but unique concept– and it really works.
The book was illustrated by Guns of Shadow Valley artist Dave Wachter– who does a great job evoking the sleezy 70s.
I had talked to Tony about getting the Wadd script, and I was stoked that he actually sent over his original pitch for the comic as well– The Pitch is REALLY worth checking out– Our previous examples (Costa’s Hawksmoor and Warren Ellis’ Planetary) don’t fit the typical mold of what you should be writing in a pitch doc– Tony’s Wadd pitch is much closer to what you should be aiming for.
Additionally, since Tony has done it all (Art, Lettering, Coloring, etc,) his script is well worth checking out– Because he’s worked in various positions on other writers scripts, he knows how to call attention to certain details that might be overlooked. In particular, I really dig how he highlights notices for the colorist.
If you’d like to do a script to page comparison (or, would just like to pick up the book) you can order it direct from Terminal Press here.
Tell Them Johnny Wadd is Here – Pitch
Tell Them Johnny Wadd is Here – Script
You can follow Tony’s comic book adventures on Twitter @Tonyfleecs