SDCC 2018: Behind Black Mask Studio’s Mr. Robot Mini-Series
by Gary Catig
Originally described as a secret at San Diego Comic Con, Black Mask Studio let the cat out of the bag a little early. They announced their Thursday afternoon panel would be related to a new mini-series based off of the hit television show, Mr. Robot. Publisher co-founder, Matteo Pizzolo and writer, Jeff McKibben held an intimate discussion about the process of creating the series and provided a little bit more details of what fans can expect. This will be the publisher’s first time adapting a television show as a comic, but they felt the tone and activism of Mr. Robot would be a good fit for them.
McKibben first described his history before receiving the comic job. He is a TV writer and has previously worked on The Walking Dead. Currently, he is now writing for Mr. Robot, where he has been since season 2 so he is very familiar with the universe.
He had some difficulty transitioning to the new medium because in TV he has the luxury of bouncing off ideas in the writer’s room but now it’s just himself. He also had problems condensing the brevity of the show to comics and also matching the show’s pace.
The mini-series will be a prequel to the pilot episode and will tell the origin of fsociety. The plot ideas come from show creator Sam Esmail and it is up to McKibben to create the scripts. Hopefully the comic will fill around the edges of the show and allow the readers to gain a better understanding of the characters’ motivations leading into the pilot. Viewers of Mr. Robot will see familiar locations. In addition, characters will have their TV likeness and are written in their voice. Since it is a prequel, readers might already know how the story ends but McKibben wants them to focus on the journey of how the characters got there.
The comic and season 4 are being written concurrently. The mini-series will be six issues and is a totally encapsulated story. The art team will include Antonio Fuso and colorist, Tyler Boss. Though no release date has been set, Black Mask is hoping to have it out by the end of the year. If the series does well, there is a possibility of more mini-series from the Mr. Robot world.