9 Celebrities Who Have Written Comic Books

Dia Dipasupil, Getty Images
Dia Dipasupil, Getty Images

A career onscreen or in music doesn't necessarily translate to talent with a pen, but the comic book industry is a great place for celebrities to indulge their creative ideas or cut their teeth as writers. Here are just a few of the names that have graced comic covers to the surprise of everyone.

1. MARK HAMILL

Mark Hamill attends the premiere of Disney Pictures and Lucasfilm's 'Solo: A Star Wars Story' at the El Capitan Theatre on May 10, 2018 in Los Angeles, California
Frazer Harrison, Getty Images

If you don't know Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker, you know him as the voice of the Joker from the DC Animated Universe. And if you don't know him from that, then you know him as the proprietor of one of the greatest Twitter feeds known to man. But if you don't know him from any of those place, you probably remember him as the guy who wrote The Black Pearl for Dark Horse.

2. RASHIDA JONES

Rashida Jones is a student of the Carrie Fisher school of being beloved onscreen, but doing far more behind the scenes than anyone realizes. The former Parks and Recreation star is a prolific screenwriter and editor who made her comic book debut with Frenemy of the State under the independent Oni Press label.

The story, which follows a CIA agent who uses the guise of a tabloid celebrity to complete her missions, was optioned for a movie deal by Universal in 2009. While Jones is on board to write the script, there's been no real development news on the project in the last decade.

3. AND 4. BILL HADER AND SETH MEYERS

Executive producer/actors Bill Hader and Seth Meyers speak onstage during the 'Documentary Now!' panel discussion at the AMC/IFC Networks portion of the 2015 Summer TCA Tour at The Beverly Hilton Hotel
Frederick M. Brown, Getty Images

This Saturday Night Live dream team may have parted ways on television back in 2013, but they're remained good friends and regular collaborators. In 2009, the pair teamed up to make a Marvel one-shot, Spider-Man: The Short Halloween.

A riff on Batman: The Long Halloween, the story they wrote involved Spider-man being knocked out of commission in a Greenwich Village costume parade, leaving a drunk reveler in a Spider-man costume to take his place.

5. WILLIAM SHATNER

Even since Star Trek star ​William Shatner wrote the TekWar novels, he has made it a hobby to personally expand the franchise and universe through more books, television movies, a trading card game, and, yes, a comic book tie-in series that Shatner himself penned. It's about as crazy as a comic written by William Shatner sounds.

6. JOHN CLEESE

John Cleese attends the 55th Rose d'Or Award at Axica-Kongress- und Tagungszentrum on September 13, 2016 in Berlin, Germany
Clemens Bilan, Getty Images

If there's one thing that Brits do better than any other culture, it's cultural self-deprecation. The entire style of British comedy is based squarely on disillusionment with their own environment and an inability to take any of it all too seriously—an attitude that was clearly evident in the rambunctious lads from Monty Python.

John Cleese, a core member of the group, brought this style and sense of humor to Superman: True Brit, a comic that pondered what Superman might be like if his rocket had landed in the British countryside instead of rural Kansas. The result: Superman rarely uses his powers because "What would the neighbors think?"

7. KEVIN SMITH

Clerks creator Kevin ​Smith has never made a secret of his love of the comic world, which is part of what has helped him become a geek culture icon. Using both his celebrity status and legitimate writing talents, Smith has had a prolific career in comics both as a regular and guest writer.

The Fatman on Batman host's biggest accolades include Batman: The Widening Gyre, Batman '66 Meets the Green Hornet, and a slew of titles tying into his View Askewniverse including the fabled Bluntman and Chronic series.

8. GERARD WAY

Gerard Way of My Chemical Romance performs at Roseland Ballroom on December 3, 2010 in New York City
Cory Schwartz, Getty Images

Gerard Way, former lead singer for My Chemical Romance, has had his hands in the comic book industry since 1993, when he was credited with the creation and writing of the short-lived On Raven's Wings. He wouldn't try his hand at the medium again until 2007, when he released the critically-acclaimed The Umbrella Academy series.

After his big break in the industry wheelhouse, Way has been courted by DC and Vertigo and, in 2014, began writing for Marvel's Edge of the Spider-Verse.

9. PHIL "CM PUNK" BROOKS

Phil "CM Punk" Brooks may have burned all his bridges with the WWE, but he's still one of the most accomplished and experienced wrestlers in the world. With professional wrestling essentially being live-action comics, it makes sense that he'd be able to translate his in-ring mic skills to a side job writing comics.

He penned 2015's Thor Annual #1, where Loki makes the God of Thunder wrestle Hulk in a luchador mask, and has continued to periodically partner with Marvel since.

Look Back at All 23 MCU Films With the Infinity Saga Box Set Trailer

Marvel Studios
Marvel Studios

While there had been plenty of popular Marvel movies prior to 2008’s Iron Man, everything changed when Robert Downey Jr. stepped into the role of Tony Stark and began the Marvel Cinematic Universe. With that came the Infinity Saga, the culmination of all 23 films of phases one, two, and three of the MCU, concluding with the bittersweet Avengers: Endgame earlier this year. While fans are no doubt excited to follow Phase 4 with all the new, exciting films to come, nothing will ever be the same again.

Now that it’s all over, Marvel Studios is releasing an Infinity Saga box set of all the MCU films so far, and according to ComicBook.com, the upcoming release has also come with an emotional trailer. After debuting at San Diego Comic-Con earlier this summer, fans can now see the trailer on YouTube. 

The trailer features the biggest moments in the Infinity Saga leading up to Iron Man snapping the universe back into place, and sacrificing himself in the process. “What a world—universe, now,” Tony’s voice narrates. He’s got that right.

With Phase 4 of the MCU not picking back up until May 2020 with Black Widow, buying this box set might not be a bad idea. A release date has not been announced yet.

'The Far Side' May Be Making a Comeback Online

tilo/iStock, Getty Images Plus
tilo/iStock, Getty Images Plus

For the first time ever, it’s looking increasingly likely that cartoonist Gary Larson’s "The Far Side" will be available in a medium other than book collections or page-a-day calendars. A (slightly ambiguous) announcement on the official "Far Side" website promises that “a new online era” for the strip is coming soon.

From 1980 to 1995, "The Far Side" presented a wonderfully irreverent universe in which hunters had much to fear from armed and verbose deer, cows possessed a rich internal life, scientific experiments often went awry, and irony became a central conceit. In one of the more famous strips frequently pasted to refrigerator doors, a small child could be seen pushing on a door marked “pull.” Above him was a sign marking the building as a school for the gifted. In another strip, a woman is depicted looking nervously around a forest while cradling a vacuum cleaner. The caption: “The woods were dark and foreboding, and Alice sensed that sinister eyes were watching her every step. Worst of all, she knew that Nature abhorred a vacuum.”

Unlike most of his contemporaries, like Berkeley Breathed ("Bloom County") and Bill Watterson ("Calvin and Hobbes"), Larson has resisted reproduction of his work online. He famously circulated a letter to "Far Side" fan sites asking them to stop posting the single-panel strips, writing that the idea of his work being found on random websites was bothersome. “These cartoons are my ‘children,’ of sorts, and like a parent, I’m concerned about where they go at night without telling me,” he wrote.

Many obliged Larson, though the strip could still be found here and there. That he’s seemingly embracing a new method of distribution is good news for fans, but there’s no concrete evidence the now-retired cartoonist will be following in Breathed’s footsteps and producing new strips. ("Bloom County" returned as a Facebook comic in 2015.) The only indication of Larson’s active involvement is a new piece of art on the site’s landing page depicting some familiar "Far Side" characters being unthawed in a block of ice.

Larson’s comments on a return are few and far between. In 1998, he told The New York Times that going back to a strip was unlikely. “I don’t think so,” he said. “Never say never, but there’s a sense of ‘been there, done that.’” In that same profile, it was noted that 33 million "Far Side" books had been sold.

[h/t A.V. Club]

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER