Wednesday, April 16, 2014
By Ray Routhier firstname.lastname@example.org
Superheroes are famous, right? Everybody knows them, right?
‘Indestructible’ introduces a kind of antihero superhero – a slacker mistaken for a superhero who gets a taste of the lifestyle and doesn’t want to give it up. “It really started with my fascination with the Kardashians, and how long they’ve been able to maintain their celebrity status without really doing anything,” says creator Jeff Kline.
JEFF KLINE, CREATOR OF NEW “INDESTRUCTIBLE” COMIC BOOK SERIES
WHEN: 3 p.m. Saturday
WHERE: Coast City Comics, 634 Congress St., Portland
HOW MUCH: Free
WHAT ELSE: Kline, who lives in Cape Elizabeth, has been the producer of such animated TV shows “Transformers” and “G.I. Joe” and says he will be happy to talk about any of his TV work, as well as sign his new comic book.
So in a sense, they are celebrities. So you’d figure they could probably get the best table at any restaurant, free tickets to the big game, and free drinks in any bar, right?
They could if they were real.
And that’s the basic premise behind “Indestructible,” a new comic book series written by Cape Elizabeth resident Jeff Kline. Kline is veteran TV producer whose credits included animated superhero shows like “Transformers” and “G.I. Joe.”
In the series, which was launched in December, superheroes are celebrities who have cadres of agents and lawyers getting them merchandising deals. When a slacker is mistaken for a superhero, and gets a taste of the superhero-celebrity lifestyle, he decides to do whatever it takes to keep living that life.
“It really started with my fascination with the Kardashians, and how long they’ve been able to maintain their celebrity status without really doing anything,” said Kline, 47, who works in Los Angeles but spends as much time as he can in Maine. “The idea is what happens if someone gets a taste of that lifestyle and doesn’t want to give it up.”
Kline will be signing copies of “Indestructible” Saturday at Coast City Comics in Portland. He says he’ll be happy to talk to folks about any of the TV shows he’s worked on too.
In “Indestructible,” anyone who has superpowers is a superhero and has to register with the FBI. They don’t have fancy names like “The Flash” or “Batman” but instead work together in collectives, like doctors. Because they are famous, they sometimes get sued and harassed, therefore they have lawyers and agents and other handlers.
So when a guy with no superpowers gets treated like a superhero, and decides he likes it, the plot of the comic thickens. Most of the action involves this would-be superhero trying to live the celebrity life as long as he can.
“It’s about being torn, about wanting to go to just one more sporting event, or having one more girl be interested in you, before going back to your other life,” said Kline.
Kline has written the first installments of “Indestructible” but plans to turn it over to another writer at some point. He still works in TV, and he runs the company that publishes his comic book, Darby Pop Publishing.
The comic is illustrated by several artists, including Javier Garron, Chris Johnson, Jose Lopez and Bernard Chang.
“Indestructible” is just one of several comic book series, including ones by other writers and artists, now being published by Darby Pop Publishing. Kline started the company last year.
He hired former Marvel comics executive David Wohl as editor-in-chief, and struck a partnership to have the comic book distributed by IDW, one of the major players in the comics industry.
The company is named for Kline’s 10-year-old daughter, Darby.
“She’s very into graphic novels, and she draws well. I can’t draw at all,” said Kline.
Kline grew up in Brookline, Mass., and had vacationed in Maine. So when he and his wife were looking for a place to put down roots, a place away from the bustle of Los Angeles and with good schools, they chose Cape Elizabeth. They moved there in 2008.
During his 20 years or so in TV, mostly as a writing producer, he’s worked a large variety of shows including: Disney’s “My Friends Tigger and Pooh”; Transformers: Prime”; “G.I. Joe: Renegades”; “Harold and the Purple Crayon”; and the PBS series “Dragon Tales.”
Working on these series, he had met a lot of artists and writers, and the idea of creating comic books with those folks crossed his mind more than once.
“So I decided to start this company, to publish comic books by me and by my friends,” said Kline, who is still working in TV in Los Angeles as well. “Hopefully when I’m no longer going between two coasts, this is something I can do exclusively from Maine.”
Staff Writer Ray Routhier can be contacted at 791-6454 or at:
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