Big news for fans of Gary Spencer Millidge’s Strangehaven after we heard yesterday that it had been optioned for film and television by IDW Entertainment.
Now, obviously optioned means just that, no word on possible production just yet, but IDW Entertainment’s track record does include Wynonna Earp for the SYFY Channel, Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency for BBC America, and Locke & Key for Netflix, so it’s looking hopeful that we’ll see the wonderful strangeness of Strangehaven coming to screens at some point. Although personally, I’m going the route that this is one that would be far better suited to TV than film, given how involved and complex the storyline is.
Strangehaven is created, written, and drawn by Gary Spencer Millidge and was described by Alan Moore as “soap opera noir.”
Strangehaven, for those who know, is a fabulous series, albeit one that’s needed a high degree of patience from fans, with a long, long publishing history. It was first published in comic form in 1995, with three self-published volumes, Arcadia, Brotherhood, and Conspiracies available, and the fourth volume currently being serialised in the Meanwhile anthology from Soaring Penguin Press.
But, if ever there was something that lives up to the old adage of do you want it fast or do you want it good? Strangehaven is it.
Over the last quarter century plus, Millidge’s tale has unfolded deliciously, a mystery, an enigma, something evoking the strangeness of The Prisoner and Twin Peaks to a soundtrack of the Kinks’ Village Green Preservation Society and Ralph Vaughan Williams.
Strangehaven appears to be just the perfect little village in the South West of England, evoking a memory of something idyllic and pastoral, but appearances are deceptive. Into this little peaceful idyll comes Alex Hunter, careering into the village courtesy of a car crash, a bad marriage, and a strange apparition in the road. Whilst convalescing something seems to just click and he decides to stay, or rather he finds it nigh on impossible to leave.
And that’s just the beginning. Over the course of the four volumes, we’ve gone through twists and turns, meeting the residents, learning just how strange Strangehaven really is. A kitchen sink soap opera with touches of weirdness transforms into a full-blown tale of passion and resentment, leaving a village smouldering with dangerous eotions. And all of that brings us to the events of book 3, where everything comes together and the story suddenly picks up the pace, and everything changes, with Millidge throwing such a curve into the story that it just stopped me in my tracks, amazed that he pulled it off so beautifully well. It’s a spectacular piece of storytelling in a fantastic series.
As for the new Strangehaven Book 4… well, it’s just as fascinating, just as mysterious, just as damn good.
Frankly, it’s one of those series that was always screaming out for a TV adaptation, it’s just that the ambitions and abilities of program makers has finally caught up with the imagination and brilliance that you see on page after page of Gary Spender Millidge‘s Strangehaven.
In other Strangehaven news, Millidge also has a bright and shiny new website, full of goodies for one and all, including an updated shop where you can, and dammit you should, pick up all the books from him – just head to millidge.com.
As for that ongoing fourth volume, the great news is that Meanwhile… #10, featuring Strangehaven: Destiny episode 9 has been fully funded on Kickstarter and will be coming your way shortly. And from that…