Indie Comics That Need Their Own Cell-Shaded Animated Film Like Spider-Verse

by Tito W. James

As a follow up to my last article about comics that should get animated adaptations like Spider-Verse, I decided go beyond superheroes and dive into indie characters.

Battling Boy

In The Battling Boy, humans gain superpowers by using mystic artifacts while monsters abduct children by night. The world created by Paul Pope is like a superhero story in a funhouse mirror. It’s bizarre, a little scary, and adventurous. Too many animated films have overly pretty characters and worlds. Rendering Pope’s gritty line-work and clunky characters in 3D would stand out from other animated features.


Although I originally wanted to see Hellboy in a stop-motion, I was blown away by the vision of Hellboy being cell-shaded. What is so wonderful is that this technique is faithful to Mike Mignola’s groundbreaking art while also adding a sense of depth and dynamism to the iconic character. Do we need an animated version of Hellboy in addition to the live-action reboot? Well, if it looks this good then I say, “Hell yes!”

The Darkness/Witchblade

We’ve had R-rated live-action superhero films, so it’s not too far-fetched to imagine an adult-oriented cell-shaded film. The characters in The Darkness and Witchblade would work much better in animation than in live-action, seeing as the powers would have to be rendered in CGI anyway. The Darlings in particular are best suited to animation. If they can get a Darkness/Witchblade movie right, we could have a CG film that would appeal to the teenage horror audience.

The Maxx

The Maxx, or as my roommate described it, “That show that was on MTV that I was way too young to be watching.” I’m still not sure what The Maxx is about or even if I like it. What I do know is that the visuals and the music are able to elicit deep emotion. I hope this gets revisited just so I can finally understand what’s happening.


Jeff Smith’s Bone is a classic that has endeared itself to generations of young readers and comic creators. There are already plans for an animated film. I would petition that it should be cell-shaded like Spider-Verse. Sony managed to make Spider-Ham look 2D in a 3D world. I hope that an adaption of Bone manages to capture all of the fantasy, whimsy and danger of the book.

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