FROM BATMAN TO THE BARD: Theatre company is focus of new comedy graphic novel

Two entertainment execs with super-hero backgrounds do a comedy about a different kind of men in tights.
By: Cheapjack Partners, LLC
March 30, 2010 - PRLog -- Shaun McLaughlin, producer of Emmy Award winning television animation and Gabriel Benson, producer of the film “Gene-Fusion” and author of the acclaimed graphic novels “Fade From Grace” and “The Ballad of Sleep Beauty” announced the formation of Cheapjack Partners, LLC, a partnership that will create graphic novels that will be serialized initially online and then collected for print and exploit these properties in filmed entertainment, merchandise and other media.

The first project will be “Cheapjack Shakespeare” Best described as a Judd Apatow movie made by Whit Stillman, will be serialized in 12 chapters and then be collected in a more traditional format. The first chapter is available free at the website  Further chapters will be released every 2-3 weeks, and will be  priced at .99. The 12 12-18 page chapters will be collected into a paper edition after the initial digital run. “Cheapjack Shakespeare” will be available as a .PDF download readable on any computer at and for the Kindle e-reader at

Stories will be in full color, but readable on non-color devices. This comic is formatted especially for easy reading on a computer screen or mobile device.

“Cheapjack Shakespeare” is a college comedy set in an outdoor summer Shakespeare festival in Buffalo, NY. In the first issue we know we’re not looking at a high falutin’ festival when two actors jump off the stage and attack hecklers. From there we follow the summer of Warren Savage, professor and founder of the Nickel City Shakespeare festival whose mid-life crisis involves either sleeping with another student or moving to the big city. Renee, the leading actor who hopes to become the “biggest star in the tri-city area” and Charlie and Heather, the young couple with similar concerns – plus infidelity.

The project began as a script for McLaughlin’s MFA. “I’d always intended it to be a film,” McLaughlin said, “and that’s still the final goal. But when I began using 3D programs to storyboard it, I began to realize that there were other options. I started moving the characters into comic book style layouts and then I showed it to Gabe who saw the possibilities.”

“The cool thing about what Shaun has done with Cheapjack, is that it’s blurred the line between what comes first – the comic or the movie – as what you are seeing in the comic is basically a draft of what you will see eventually on screen,” Benson adds.  “And the great thing about producing online intially, is that allows anyone the ability to find it, sample it, and see if it is for them without having to make a big financial commitment at the comic shop.”

The chapters have been formatted and the pages designed to work especially well digitally, allowing a full-page view with easy reading. This will allow for collection in the popular manga format even though the art is not in the manga style.

“This is something we’ve talked about with other projects,” McLaughlin said, “but there’s always the problem of getting an artist. The people I know are usually pretty busy and you get tired of calling for favors and a 144-page book with out any upfront money is a little more than a favor. Having the 3D program allows us to get something out, something we’re proud of and I don’t have to annoy any of my friends!  From the advance copies we’re sending out, it also seems to resonate particularly well with a non-traditional comics audiences.”

For More Information Please Contact:

Shaun McLaughlin began his career writing “Aquaman” (the non-maimed version) for DC Comics. He went on to write for DC, Malibu, Disney and Dark Horse. In 1994 he moved to Warner Bros. Animation where he produced over 400 episodes of television (5 Emmy Award Winners) including “Batman Beyond”, “Static Shock”, and the various incarnations of “Justice League”. Besides “Cheapjack Shakespeare”, McLaughlin is writing an animated feature for Omens Studios and preparing a live-action feature with Benson.

Gabriel Benson worked on numerous feature films that people might have seen during his years in Hollywood, including a lengthy stint developing Terminator 3: Rise Of The Machines.  Benson is also the writer of the graphic novels “The Ballad Of Sleeping Beauty,” “Fade From Grace” and the animated feature “Gene-Fusion” which will be released in 2010.  And finally, Gabriel is still working on the screenplay adaptation of “Fade From Grace” which he and McLaughlin are going to turn into a live-action Oscar winner soon.
Source:Cheapjack Partners, LLC
Tags:Theater, Shakespeare, Comedy, Comics, Comic Books, Movies
Industry:Arts, Books, Entertainment
Account Email Address Verified     Disclaimer     Report Abuse

Like PRLog?
Click to Share