Friday, October 19, 2012
Are you ready for the epic 12-hour, six night television event, MANKIND THE STORY OF ALL OF US? I first reported on this event (which has been two years in making) after San Diego Comic Con and now just weeks away, I have more goodies to share, this time from New York Comic Con about the graphic novel series companion from Zenescope/Silver Dragon Books!
Writer, Arie Kaplan's story, "Story of the Ocean" is one to be very excited about. The story crosses a wide time frame from the shifting tectonic plates to the settlers that arrive at Plymoth colony in Massachusetts and covers the creation and perfection of boats, how that brought us together, and more. "I'm really fascinated by history," Kaplan said at New York Comic Con as he began to tell Hollywood the Write Way about his involvement in the series.
Kaplan went on to say, "In Speedracer: Chronicles of the Racer, the race car driver discovers that he is in the last in the long line of racers, champions who have been around since the dawn of human civilization. We alternated the present day to flashbacks. It was a fun, quirky, tongue in cheek, all ages comic but I did a lot of historical research for it. I discovered that Chariot racing was the Nascar of Ancient Rome. So when I got the call from Zenescope, I had worked with the editor, Joan Hilty over at DC Comics before...I knew this was such a great fit." As a fan of history and HISTORY, Kaplan added, "I found it really easy to adapt to the voice of the History Channel documentary. A lot of it is narrative captions. So you watch the History channel to get in the mood and do a lot of research and really try to do it justice." Well he definitely did HISTORY justice. Bravo, my friend. Bravo! You guys are in for a treat!
Another lover of history and HISTORY is writer, Charles Soule who also has quite an interesting story behind his involvement in the series. Growing up in Asia and having studied Chinese history as part of his undergraduate degree, Soule was the perfect candidate to tell a story from Asia. Soule said, "My story is about the invention of the fire arms, gun powder, and so on in Bejing, China. As a comic writer, you don't get to write about historical stuff very often so it was nice to have that information come in handy."
Bob Petrecca reconnected with Joan Hilty one night which led to his involvement in the series. "I wanted to authenticate everything that I possibly could" Petrecca said on his story, "I had to research a lot of ships, architecture, and I found out how well I can do in water," he laughed. In regards to making history fun and captivating for the younger audience, Petrecca said, "I think it was entertaining and intriguing just in the way that the story was told, through water travel and sea travel. So that enabled the timeline to gracefully flow, pun intended. It had a different kind of flow to it because it wasn't choppy. It was a mode of transportation from one era to another." One of my favorite elements about the stories told here is the inclusion of human emotion. Petrecca agreed, as we began to wrap up, adding, "Characters are what drive story, they are what drives history. So if you can enable them as characters within the realm of the story from the inside out rather than from the outside looking in, it flows better. So that's what we did." I can tell you that they did it very well. Just wait until you see it!
I am really looking forward to seeing HISTORY deliver one of its most in-depth television series ever with a comic book series companion. They've taken their storytelling to new heights in this overview detailing the history of the human race. HISTORY has also developed its largest outreach campaign to date with its first worldwide education program that includes a three-year partnership with UNESCO World Heritage sites. For more information visit www.history.com/classroom.
MANKIND THE STORY OF ALL OF US narrated by Oscar nominee, Josh Brolin premieres Tuesday, November 13, 2012 at 9pm ET on HISTORY.
Written by Melody Simpson at 7:08 PM