Picks and Pans Review: Spotlight On...
AS CARTOON SUPERHEROES GO, THE Tick is something of an anomaly. Peabrained, pompous and preening in his muscle-accentuating blue tights, he battles villains with names like Chairface and El Seed, while declaiming: "Wicked men, eat my justice!"
Such spoofery has been tickling the fancy of a cult audience since 1994, when The Tick leaped onto Fox as a Saturday morning show. Now fans can catch their Dudley Do-Wrong hero in weekday 6 p.m. (ET) reruns on cable's Comedy Central, where, says programming vice-president Michele Ganeless, "It is the top-rated acquisition for us." There's even a new book out, The Tick: Mighty Blue Justice!
That's mighty heartening news to Ben Edlund, 28, who created The Tick as a satirical comic book in 1988, and then, four years—and 12 issues—later sold Fox on the idea of an animated series. "Our plan was for it to be six shows and then be a noble failure," the cartoonist says. "Now it's 36 shows and a noble failure."
Not exactly. Yes, Fox yanked The Tick last April, but only so Edlund and cowriter Richard Liebmann-Smith could retool it as a prime-time special. First they had to smite that dastardly villain, Writer's Block. For a long time, says Edlund, who shares a Manhattan apartment with girlfriend Karen Kelly, a film editorial assistant, he and Liebmann-Smith "were staring at each other with nothing to say." Now the project is taking shape—slowly. Sighs the artist: "I've been given too many consecutive days off."
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