When Imitation Is NOT The Most Sincere Form Of Flattery

Kate Kotler writes for Bleeding Cool.

Hey Bleeding Cool – how’s it hanging? I know it’s been a while, sorry – I’ve been busy doing stuff like falling down the stairs and sustaining a bloody head wound.

Did everyone have nice hols? Good. Let’s get down to business, then…

One of the comic series I’ve been most excited about pulling and reading since Image launched it this past summer has been Tim Seeley and Mike Norton’s Revival. In fact, I love this comic so much I have raved about here, here and here in attempts to get the general comic reading public on the same page as me in regards to how unique and exciting the latest of projects from Four Star Studios in Chicago really is.

In fact, in my 28 October 2012 column, which I hate to call a “review” because I’m so clearly completely biased, I asked the creators of this comic if Revival – The TV Series was forthcoming. And, in fact, both Tim and Mike indicated, without directly saying yes, that they’d been approached by major networks about developing the comic into a series.

Since that time, while Revival has continued to grow in popularity and excel in quality, there has been no further news about the development of a television series. In fact, when I attended the Four Star Studios holiday party in December, it was intimated to me that a major studio (*coughABCcough*) had passed on the series. They didn’t think it would resonate with viewers “at this time.”

Imagine, then, my surprise to wake up this morning, rub the sleep out of my eyes, pour myself some coffee and jump on these here innerwebs to find a link to an article in Variety‘s TV News section:

ABC developing Plan B supernatural drama: Returned from scribe Aaron Zelman hails from ABC Studios

So, let’s see… ABC passed on Revival, a comic about supernatural forces at work in a small Midwestern town and people returning from the dead, so they could produce The Returned, a TV series about supernatural forces at work in a small Midwestern town and  people returning from the dead? What are the chances?

I’m told that The Returned is based off of a novel of the same name. Interestingly enough, the novel hasn’t been published yet. It’s not due to hit bookstores until September 2013  and it was announced for publication in May 2012. That’s after Revival #1 had already been sent to the printers by Image Comics.

Let’s not forget that ABC Television has already been accused of being completely willing to appropriate concepts from comics and re-package them without giving credit or royalties to the original creator of said concept.

When contacted for his reaction to this breaking news, Tim Seeley said the following:

It’s an unfortunate thing for us, as we had worked with some very talented people to get Revival on the small screen, and we were completely unaware that this novel/script existed. But, I choose to believe that these things just happen some times, and we plucked a low hanging fruit, or simply fell upon a concept that was “in the air.”

Revival is a project I’ve put my heart and soul into, and even if we’re not going to be totally unique in the entertainment world, conceptually,  I still think it’s some of the best stuff Mike Norton and I have produced, and our characters and dedication will stand out.

We appreciate the fans and readers who got good and outraged for us.

I’ve gotta say, Seeley and Norton prove themselves a lot classier than I am.

Whether or not this concept was already “in the air” or not, I know – for my part – that I will not be watching this or any other show on ABC for quite a long time.

And, that hurts my heart because that means I won’t be getting my weekly Nathan Fillion fix… those ABC bastards.

Kate Kotler is a columnist for Bleeding Cool and the host of the weekly Comix Chix podcast on GeekNation. You can keep up with what she’s doing by visiting her website or following her on the Twitters.