It was announced a few months ago that IDW would release a new Samurai Jack comic book, one that would pick up where the cult animated series left off after it was cancelled in its fourth season by Cartoon Network. Written by Jim Zub (Skullkickers) and drawn by Andy Suriano, who worked as a designer on the TV series, the comic was originally planned as a five-issue mini-series. However, after a positive fan response to the announcement and, most importantly, strong order for the first issue, IDW has doubled their minimum commitment to ten issues.
“I’ve been told that if sales level out well we’ll be able to make it an ongoing comic series, but we’re not there yet,” Zub told Cartoon Brew during the New York Comic-Con last week. “All of us on the team are working hard to make that a reality though. We’re all in for the long haul.”
So, with the goal of an ongoing series in mind, Zub and Suriano have even more to pin on this new Samurai Jack adventure, titled The Threads of Time and designed to honor the world that creator Genndy Tartakovsky unveiled in 2001. It’s an undertaking that Zub admits is equally daunting and inspiring. “I’m ecstatic about contributing to its legacy and am pushing myself to deliver great stories that capture the feel of the show without retreading what’s already been done.”
A melting pot of genres that brings together science fiction, mythology, pulp and fantasy, the original series focused on the continuing adventures of the titular character facing new challenges and locations in almost every episode, a rotation of environments and supporting casts that, not surprisingly, will be continued in the pages of the comic. “The Threads of Time story introduces a slew of new antagonists and takes Jack to new locales,” exxplains Zub. “The stories we have planned after that are energized with new opponents and unexpected twists.”
But is it realistic to believe that an animated series known for fifteen-minute fight scenes, cinematic pans of lush backgrounds and long moments of extended silences can live on on the comic page? Zub believes so. “We want to use the strengths of the comic medium to deliver sweeping epic atmosphere and sharp action. Andy’s using panel size, shape, and angle to bring a lot of mood to the comic and punctuate the fight scenes in a similar fashion.”
As someone who has watched every episode of the show and taken “copious notes,” Zub is thrilled by the challenge of matching its stoic but humorous tone and creating characters and adventures that are equally memorable as the original series. “I’m a huge fan of the cartoon and want to make sure these new stories feel like they build properly on the four seasons of episodes that came before them. I hope we can create obstacles for Jack that people have never seen before and will never forget. We want the Samurai Jack comic series to deliver on every level.”
Samurai Jack #1 will be available from IDW in comic shops across North America beginning this Wednesday, October 23rd.