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Comics That Would Make Great Cartoons

In terms of entertainment, no two mediums are as similar as cartoons and comics. Put some motion into a comic and you have yourself a cartoon. Pause a cartoon on TV and write in marker above the character’s head what they’re saying and you have a comic. Don’t do that though. 

However, not all comics have become cartoons. Yeah, a lot definitely should stay on the page, though there are those that would make for great translations. Here are just a few of them.

Johnny the
Homicidal Maniac

by Jhonen Vasquez

Johnny the
Homicidal Maniac
is about just that – a homicidal maniac named Johnny. There
really isn’t too much of an encompassing plot to the comic, as its set up is
something akin to Animaniacs. Segments featuring different characters, many of
which feature Johnny, are all incredibly gory and incredibly funny. I’m sure
most of you are familiar with Jhonen’s Invader Zim that aired on Nickelodeon
for a criminally short time. If you aren’t, well, too be honest I’m pretty sure
you are all aware of Invader Zim so I suppose there is really no reason to go into it.
The show was canceled prematurely due to creative differences between the
network and Vasquez, so giving cartoons another shot may not be in his future.
Still, it would be great.

League Dark

by Peter Milligan and Mikel Janin

I realize
Justice League Dark is only on its first issue, but it’s already clear that it
would make a great cartoon. The comic tells the story of a group of
anti-heroes, most of who dabble in magic, coming together to fight the forces
of whatever they need to fight at the time. It’s a lot of fun, and John
Constantine is a member, who is a personal favorite. I see the cartoon as a
more adult version of the Justice League show of a few years back. If the show
could find itself a home on perhaps an Adult Swim or FX, I think it would have
enough room to make it as edgy as it needs to be.

Mouse Guard
David Peterson

If you
haven’t read the Eisner-winning Mouse Guard by David Peterson, you haven’t
experienced one of the most badass and most adorable comics on shelves right
now. Think Lord of the Rings meets Stuart Little, or perhaps a Redwall novel
would be a close representation of what you’ll receive with this one. Even from
just that description, I’m sure you can see how this would make one awesomely
cute and violent cartoon. There is two ways the translators could take this, however. They could go for the fans, and make a solid and literal adaptation. They could also pander to the younger market, and go heavy with the Stuart Little aspect. If the adaption would be loyal, this lesser known comic could be a huge hit as a cartoon. 

Brian K. Vaughan and Adrian Alphona

In terms of
modern comics that managed to stay out of the limelight, Runaways is up there
with the best. Centered on a group of teens that rebel against their super villain
parents, it already contains an incredibly strong concept. The comic itself has
great story arcs, though the show could really take it to another level,
especially since the comic had a relatively small run. There have been whispers
of a movie in development over at Marvel, though the talk seems to have died
down. If they won’t do a live action film, an animated series could be a really
interesting way to spread the word on a great series that has been in the
background for too long.

Bill Willingham

Fables is about
all of our favorite story book characters being driven out of their realm and
setting up shop in modern day New York City. Willingham is an amazing writer,
and the stories and characters in this one are some of the freshest ideas
around. To be honest, the fact that Fables hasn’t been adapted on the screen is
pretty surprising in itself. It’s been in development a few times for TV, but
never saw the light of day. There is a show with incredibly similar ideas premiering soon *cough Once Upon A Time cough*, though somehow I doubt it will be as original and
endearing as Willingham’s story book mash up. 

Well? Any suggestions? Questions? Comments? Concerns? Adaptations are a hot button issue, so I’m sure some of you have some opinions about this list. Let me know in the comments or over in the forums. And make sure you check out the ying list to this yang, Tim’s Cartoons That Would Make Great Comics.

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