Since its launch in April 2015, AfterShock Comics has, true to its name, made ripples within the comic book industry. Garnering attention in 2016 for publishing the first transgender superhero in Paul Jenkins’ Alters, AfterShock Comics continued to surprise and impress, recently winning the Diamond Comic Distributors’ coveted Gem Award for 2017 Publisher of the Year. Their creator-owned portfolio includes work from the likes of Cullen Bunn, Warren Ellis and Garth Ennis.
Now AfterShock Comics looks to continue their rapid ascent through popular-culture by conquering television, with two of their books recently slated for small-screen treatments. It’s no surprise given the pedigree of AfterShock’s executives, which include Lee and Jon Kramer, the company’s President and CEO, respectively. The former is a film/TV production and development executive; the latter an entertainment entrepreneur, with extensive worldwide experience. AfterShock’s strength thus far been their willingness to publish edgy creative material that most traditional publishing houses wouldn’t touch, and to do so with a surprising reach and strength behind the scenes. There’s no reason that approach can’t leap the format transom.
And with The Lost City Explorers, it’s likely to. A coming-of-age sci-fi series in which the fabled city of Atlantis is discovered right beneath New York City, the TV rights have been signed to Universal Television, with the series’ prolific writer Zack Kaplan (also of Eclipse and Port of Earth) to serve as Executive Producer alongside the Kramers, who had the following to say about the deal:
“We at AfterShock are excited for this first project with Universal and thrilled that they saw in The Lost City Explorers what we saw – an incredibly fun and thought-provoking story from a creator with tremendous talent.”
The Normals might fare even better. The sci-fi horror book, which centres on a man who finds out his life and family might all be an illusion – wishful thinking, if you ask me – has been described by its writer and creator Adam Glass (Supernaturals, The Chi) thusly: “Sci-Fi is always asking the question, ‘What does it mean to be human?’” said Glass. “Our story takes a look at that question and explores the idea that to be human is to feel fear; and that’s the lens we will be looking through in our storytelling.”
It’s the kind of blood-pumping tale of dark forces and destiny that AfterShock Comics likes, and by teaming up with Fox 21 and powerhouse producer Warren Littlefield (Fargo, The Handmaid’s Tale), it could find a major audience. “We’ve worked closely with Adam on three projects to date and could not be more excited to extend our relationship with him as we take The Normals to TV,” said AfterShock President Lee Kramer. “The chance to also work with a gifted producer of Warren Littlefield’s calibre is an incredible bonus. Add to that partnering with Fox 21 and this just gets better and better.”
Jonathon is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has been Senior Editor and Chief Critic of the outlet since 2017.