The clas­sic board game Clue is now of­fi­cially a comic book

The Hamilton Spectator - - A&E - DAVID BETANCOURT

When Paul Al­lor be­gan writ­ing “Clue,” a new comic book minis­eries based on the pop­u­lar board game from Has­bro, he had many ver­sions of the game to look to for in­spi­ra­tion.

Clue the game has also been “Clue” the movie, the novel, the stage play, and even the VCR game (for those old enough to re­mem­ber what a VCR is).

But Al­lor says Has­bro and pub­lisher IDW wanted the comic book, which will be a six-is­sue minis­eries, to stand out on its own yet still appeal to fans of the game and clas­sic com­edy-mystery movie.

“We wanted (“Clue”) to be un­mis­tak­able as a comic book,” Al­lor told The Wash­ing­ton Post. “As we get fur­ther along in the story, you’ll see things hap­pen that can only hap­pen in the unique for­mat of comics.”

It’s fit­ting that Al­lor is writ­ing a comic book based on a game of even­tual con­fes­sion, as he con­fesses to hav­ing never seen the “Clue” movie be­fore writ­ing the first comic-book is­sue.

He re­mem­bers bits and pieces of the film and was fa­mil­iar with the quirky hu­mour, why fans en­joyed it so much and the in­fa­mous mul­ti­ple end­ings, but he de­cided not to watch the movie un­til af­ter he’d writ­ten the first story.

“I went back and seeded in some fun ref­er­ences in my re­vi­sions,” Al­lor said. “For fans of the movie, I would say that the comic has a very dis­tinct, very wicked sense of hu­mour that’s dif­fer­ent from the movie’s, but also very com­pat­i­ble with it. If you liked the movie, I think you’ll re­ally dig this book.”

The first is­sue be­gins with peo­ple from all walks of life — politi­cians, rap­pers, mil­i­tary mem­bers, phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal bros and those from old money — be­ing in­vited to a man­sion. Mur­der oc­curs by book’s end when the man­sion owner, Mr. A. Boddy, is found dead. Read­ers are left to go back to pre­vi­ous pages to see what clues have been pro­vided un­til the next is­sue pub­lishes.

“Clue” No. 1 has mul­ti­ple vari­ant cov­ers, each one pro­vid­ing a dif­fer­ent end­ing.

“The end­ings don’t split the time­line apart, as in the movie,” Al­lor said. “But they do pro­vide dif­fer­ent clues — or pos­si­bly red her­rings — as to what comes next.”

Al­lor’s ally in his comic-book game of de­cep­tion is “Clue” artist Nel­son Daniel. Al­lor had to be up­front with Daniel, spar­ing no se­cret and re­veal­ing who the killer re­ally is so that they could work on the best way to pro­vide clues, whether through word bal­loons or Daniel’s art­work.

“It was a very in­ter­est­ing, in­cred­i­bly fun col­lab­o­ra­tion,” Al­lor said. “Hope­fully that fun comes across on the page.”

Serv­ing as a guide through­out this mur­der mystery is the but­ler, Up­ton, who breaks the fourth wall and speaks di­rectly to read­ers. When asked if be­ing the nar­ra­tor elim­i­nates the but­ler as a sus­pect, Al­lor only says: “Hmm. Good ques­tion.”

Al­lor ad­mits to wor­ry­ing that he may be leav­ing hints that are too big and might ruin the sur­prise.

“It’s tough. There’s al­ways a worry that peo­ple will fig­ure out the mystery well in ad­vance,” Al­lor said. “So I just fo­cused on telling a com­pelling story, with in­ter­est­ing char­ac­ters that peo­ple will hope­fully grow to know and love — and then, in some cases, mourn. I can’t wait to see this story un­fold in the pub­lic eye over the next sev­eral months.”

As for when read­ers will find out the killer’s true iden­tity, Al­lor says there will be mini-rev­e­la­tions through­out the se­ries, but in clas­sic mystery fash­ion, the big pic­ture and fi­nal an­swer won’t be re­vealed un­til the very last is­sue.

“This is one se­ries where you def­i­nitely want to stick around un­til the very last page,” Al­lor said. “We have an end­ing planned that I think is go­ing to de­light and quite pos­si­ble con­found our read­ers.”

COUR­TESY OF IDW

The board game Clue is now of­fi­cially a comic book.

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