Li­cense to Toon!

Comics pub­lish­ers find a hot niche with hip adap­ta­tions of new and old an­i­mated show. By Tom McLean.

Animation Magazine - - Comic- Con -

“I wanted some­thing that I could read with my chil­dren that I could find en­ter­tain­ing as well as them so i wanted to cre­ate a true all ages book,” he says. “I was also dis­ap­pointed with the di­ver­sity scene in comics and I wanted to make sure any comic I made for all ages showed more di­ver­sity than your stan­dard Western comic.”

Set­ting it in the oceans seemed ideal, with Tay­lor cit­ing the re­cent dis­cov­ery of gi­ant squids that show just how lit­tle is re­ally known about the wa­ters that cover 70 per­cent of Earth.

Work­ing to­gether, Tay­lor and Brouwer de­vel­oped The Deep as a se­ries of orig­i­nal graphic nov­els. The first two were pub­lished by Gestalt Comics and quickly gained the at­ten­tion of Stephen Wend­land at Tech­ni­color, who was spear­head­ing the com­pany’s jump be­yond pro­vid­ing an­i­ma­tion and film­mak­ing ser­vices to de­vel­op­ing orig­i­nal con­tent.

“We saw it first as a graphic novel and I have to say that ev­ery­one on my de­vel­op­ment team had the ex­act same re­ac­tion to the first graphic novel,” says Wend­land. “We all said this is great writ­ing, beau­ti­ful vi­su­als and there’s noth­ing else like it out there.”

Tay­lor is writ­ing many of the scripts for the 26-episode se­ries, which is be­ing pro­duced in Aus­tralia via A. Stark Pro­duc­tions. Brouwer is art di­rec­tor on the se­ries, and the look is one that very much at­tempts to stay true to the comic.

A New Look

“So much of the an­i­ma­tion is dic­tated by the en­vi­ron­ment, the set­ting, which is un­der­wa­ter,” says Tay­lor. “So we’re see­ing these very, very big blues and bi­o­lu­mi­nes­cence com­ing in and then these small co­ral forests that ev­ery­thing goes through. So it’s hard to de­scribe, it’s hard to say it looks like Max Steel or some­thing be­cause it re­ally is its own thing, and hav­ing James as the art di­rec­tor as well means we’re try­ing to make it look as much like the graphic nov­els as well and we’re re­ally suc­ceed­ing.”

Ac­cord­ing to Wend­land, the show has on board sev­eral high-pro­file broad­cast part­ners in a num­ber of ter­ri­to­ries.

And while Tay­lor may be too busy to make the trek this year to Comic-Con be­cause The Deep is in the midst of pro­duc­tion, he’s not giv­ing up comics by any stretch and he’s poised to be­come a hot talent in an­i­ma­tion, too.

“Just last week, I fin­ished read­ing one of his re­cent scripts and I can say it was a gen­uine page turner,” says Wend­land.

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