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New Perry Bible Fellowship book announced

A new Perry Bible Fellowship collection is due out in November. The new book is entitled The Perry Bible Fellowship Almanack and features an introduction written by Juno screenwriter Diablo Cody. The book will include a complete run of PBF including the strips that came after Nicholas Gurewitch, previous collection “The Trials of Colonel Sweeto.”

Publishers Weekly has posted an interview with Nicholas in which they discuss his involvement in writing a pilot for the BBC based on PBF.

PWCW: Colonel Sweeto prompted Dark Horseâ??s largest order ever from the U.K. Diamond distributor. Why do the Brits love you so much?

NG: Well, they have Perry Bible Fellowship in the [British newspaper] the Guardian. And people have said that the [stripâ??s] humor has a British flavor.

PWCW: Speaking of which, youâ??re also working on a television pilot for the BBC thatâ??s based on PBF. Howâ??s that coming along?

NG: I’ll be adapting a couple of the strips for the pilot, and I just got the news the other day that they wanted to make it longer because they liked the 12-minute treatment I sent. They want to make it a 30-minute pilot. I’m actually working with a British television company, Endemol Entertainment. A number of people there had ordered some prints from me, and apparently someone brought them into the office. It became known amongst them that they really liked the comic, and [making the pilot] was just a decision that came about organically because of that. They all realized they liked the strip, and said, â??Why don’t we do a show?â?

Community Comments

#1 J.G. Moore
July/16/2008
@ 2:35 pm

WOW!! He got a show on the BBC. See, American media won’t give these webcomic cats the “time of day”, meanwhile the BBC has PBF in the “pipeline”. Good stuff.

#2 Rod McKie
July/16/2008
@ 5:49 pm

Ah, you forget the BBC is run by bungling incompetant fools. The most recent comic strip adaptation by the BBC was Private Eye’s Celeb strip, which was so appallingly bad that they just stopped showing it after about 2 episodes. It vanished without trace.

What do they care? They tax every TV owning household in Britain and we can be sent to jail if we don’t pay up. PBF is good, but the BBC will almost certainly ruin it.

#3 Malc McGookin
July/17/2008
@ 12:47 am

Endemol is a Dutch company and it created Big Brother, so there’s your guarantee of quality.

#4 Tom Heintjes
July/17/2008
@ 7:04 am

PBF is brilliant, and no bungling by the BBC will change that. Gurewich can’t be held responsible for the thick cotton batting inside TV execs’ heads. Very excited about the new book–I LOVED the Sweeto collection!

#5 Rod McKie
July/17/2008
@ 8:43 am

Of course during its short run PBF was a really good strip Tom, but its audience in the UK, outside the people who bought the book, are the small amount of Guardian readers who saw it on the odd days it appeared. And that itself is worrying because according to British Guardian readers on the UK cartoonist site, who Malky, there, and I directed to the PBF archive, they never even got to see the really good strips. From what I gather (because I stopped buying it), the Guardian ran mostly the jelly-baby-people strips, at a rate of one a week. So if gathering an audience has anything to do with viewer familiraity that will not help the show.

There was a similar problem with the quite awful Celeb, which had only the percentage of Private Eye’s 200,000 or so readers who bother to read that strip to rely on for episode 1. By episode 2, even those people didn’t bother tuning in again.

This lack of foresight is fairly standard for both the Guardian (which runs a lot of articles on strips and graphic novels but publishes only about 2 strips) and the BBC, who are always desperate to appear hip.

For a while now the Guardian arty people seem to have been lurking on TCJ site – which is, I believe how they learned about PBF. And it looks like the BBC does too. They probably became engorged with excitement when James Kotchalka first flagged up PBF, praising it to the hilt a long while back – and when they saw that it got a big thumbs up and hailed as the ‘new big thing’ by the comics fans there, they probably set their plans in motion – because they move painfully slowly.

Of course they didn’t know that the strip would go on a lengthy hiatus that may or may not last…forever, who knows?

Anyway, I’d like to see any strip doing well on TV, and I’ll tune in to see what has been developed, but I’m not holding out great
hopes. You know, they use British tax payers money for these things and it might be nice, even as a token gesture, if the BBC could maybe use some comic strips and cartoons in its publications now and again, and maybe even look at the possibility of lifting a British cartoonist out of poverty.

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