Well, it was bound to happen, the British comedy series No Heroics is flying over the Atlantic to the U.S. — capes and all — to be adapted for a comedy pilot for ABC. The initial announcement was back in February when The Hollywood Reporter announced that ABC picks up comedy pilot ‘No Heroics’. The show is to be co-written by Jeff Greenstein (Will & Grace, Desperate Housewives, Friends) and the British series creator Drew Pierce. The two are also executive producers, along with Andrew Zein. ABC Studios is producing the show.
But, this last week the news was heard a little louder when it was announced that Freddie Prinze Jr. was cast to star in the U.S. adaptation.
“Sigh.” Those of you that are familiar with me and my work know where I’m going to go with this…
As far back as 2002, shortly after the second issue of (Super) Hero Happy Hour — the self-published comic book co-created by myself and Chris Fason — was released I found myself with “Hollywood” representation and I was meeting with various producers and production companies about turning our little comic book about super heroes hanging out in a bar into a TV show about super heroes hanging out in a bar. This was really the first foray into comic book creating and publishing that either Chris and I had ever made. (Super) Hero Happy Hour (Huh? I just found out that Hero Happy Hour has a Wikipedia page. Neat!) It was exciting times. I found myself making the forty minute to an hour drive up to L.A./Hollywood for meetings that I felt completely out of my league with. Back then, the plan was to do Hero Happy Hour as an animated series with big-name talent providing the voices. I was amazed at some of the names that would be thrown about — Bruce Willis, Pierce Bronson — it was crazy. It was almost dreamlike. I thought I had it the jackpot right off the bat with my very first comic book.
But, it was about that time that I received an overnight letter from both Marvel and DC, and I thought, “Hell, yes! I’ve been noticed.” Well, I was noticed alright. I was noticed for trademark infringement. Marvel and DC co-own the trademarked term “super hero” and they weren’t to thrilled with me using it in the title of my self-published comic book that was starting to get a little Hollywood attention. I was served with a cease and desist letter. That is when we changed the title from Super Hero Happy Hour to Hero Happy Hour. Whether there was a connection or not (I doubt it), after a couple of years the Hollywood talks began to slow down to a crawl and eventually dried up altogether.
Then about a year ago or so, I heard about the new British comedy No Heroics — about super heroes hanging out in a bar. Now, I’m the last person who’s going to argue that it’s the most original idea in the world. But, the similarities between Hero Happy Hour and No Heroics caught me a little off guard. And, it was a little show over in Britain — some 5,448 miles away. Now No Heroics is coming over here to my neighborhood, and I can’t help but feel a bit disappointed. It’s an opportunity lost. An opportunity that had it happened could’ve changed my entire life.
But, there’s no point in crying over spilled beer at a bar where super her– Oops. My bad. Sorry Marvel and DC. There’s no point in crying over spilled beer at a bar where heroes hang out at. I still do hope to publish more Hero Happy Hour comic books. I have scripts in the can, and notes and ideas for numerous more issues. Unfortunately, my partner in crime, Chris Fason is unable to belly up to the bar and tackle the artist duties due to being a good father, husband, and providing for his family with a paying solid job. (You go, Chris!) If I’m able to find the right artist to help out there will be more Hero Happy Hour comic books.
In the meantime, until No Heroics makes its U.S. premiere feel free to check out these issues and collections of Hero Happy Hour that you can find and/or order online…
Hero Happy Hour #1 — Written by Dan Taylor. Art by Chris Fason. Cover by Scott Morse. Imagine pulling up a stool to the bar and sipping a frosty pint of your favorite beverage as you listen in on the conversations of the “regulars” that frequent the neighborhood tavern. But, this establishment is unlike any other bar. The Hideout Bar & Grill caters to the super heroes of First City, and provides more than just a place to wash away the troubles of serving and protecting society as crime-fighting crusaders. For these regular heroes it is “a place where everyone knows your name” — secret identity or not. Available for free at wowio.com.
Hero Happy Hour #2 — Written by Dan Taylor. Art by Chris Fason. Cover by Jim Mahfood. It’s Tuesday night, and it’s Ladies’ Night at the Hideout Bar & Grill, the local watering-hole for the super heroes of First City. Join a quartet of super heroines as they let down their hair, deconstruct the “boys club” of being a super hero, and unwind after a hectic day of saving the world from madmen, maniacs, and monsters. Available for free at wowio.com.
Hero Happy Hour #3 — Written by Dan Taylor. Art and cover by Chris Fason. It’s time for “Another Round” at the Hideout Bar & Grill, the local watering hole for the super heroes of First City. The evening starts out quietly enough with the crime-fighting duo of Night Ranger and Scout joining Guardian and new-super-hero-in-town, Randal. But, that’s all about to change when a less than desirable clientèle shows up to ruin the heroes’ happy hour. Available for free at wowio.com.
Hero Happy Hour #4 – Written by Dan Taylor. Art by Chris Fason. Cover by Ragnar. Could it possibly be last call at the Hideout Bar & Grill? Phantom Dread and a band of super villains show up to crash the Hero Happy Hour. Add six parts super villains, five parts super heroes, one part nervous bartender, shake well, and you’ve got… the ultimate barroom brawl. Available for free at wowio.com.
Hero Happy Hour #5 — Written by Dan Taylor. Art by Chris Fason. Cover by Dave Crosland. Worlds collide when reality television invades the Hideout Bar & Grill in “Reality Shots.” The loyalties of the “dysfunctional duo” of Night Ranger and Scout are put to the test when they’re personal agendas, as well as their own unique (if not skewed) perceptions of reality clash with one another. Available for free at wowio.com.
Hero Happy Hour: Super Special Flashback — A bunch of comic book creators walk into a bar… The Hideout Bar & Grill. Join Tom Beland (True Story, Swear To God), Dave Crosland (Everybody’s Dead), Scott Morse (Soulwind, Southpaw), Todd Nauck (Wildguard, Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man), Steve Niles (30 Days of Night, Batman: Gotham County Line), Gail Simone (Birds of Prey, Wonder Woman), Ben Templesmith (30 Days of Night, Wormwood Gentleman Corpse), Dan Wickline (1001 Arabian Nights: The Adventures of Sinbad), and many other comic book writers and artists as they belly up to the bar to offer their take on patrons of every super hero’s favorite hangout. This collection contains all of the original stories from the Hero Happy Hour Super Special 2004, as well as an additional healthy pour of bonus material. Available for free at wowio.com.
Super Deluxe Hero Happy Hour: The Lost Episode — Available at last–the long-lost episode, “The Fall and Rise of Kingfish,” with bonus material and special features! Return to every hero’s favorite watering hole, The Hideout Bar & Grill, and join Guardian, Night Ranger, Scout, Rusty the Bartender and the rest of the regulars as they defend First City from the marauding Shadow-Soldiers from Dimension Z. Happy hour turns sour as one of their own loses their life in the line of duty and the group has to come to terms with the loss of a colleague. This re-mastered “lost episode” includes never-before-seen specially enhanced scenes, interviews with the cast, outtake and blooper scenes, and additional bonus material. Available for purchase at IDW Publishing.
Hero Happy Hour: Omnibus 01 — Did you miss any (or, dare we say, all) of the first five issues of Hero Happy Hour? Well, unlike missing out at “last call,” you’ve got the chance to partake in all five of the original rounds with the super hero gang from the Hideout Bar & Grill. This special digest-sized collection contains the “super” feature stories from the first five fan-favorite issues. “I actually wish I would have thought of it.” – Brian Michael Bendis. “With a concept that’s as ingenious as a two-for-one happy hour and laughs that hit faster than a shot of Wild Turkey to your dome, HHH won’t leave you skunky.” – Wizard Magazine. Available for purchase at Indy Planet.
Oh, and to Jeff Greenstein and Drew Pierce… Feel free to pick up a couple of issues for yourselves. Let me know if there’s anything in there that you like. I’ve got more, plenty more. And, to be honest with you, I would might writing for a television show with a subject matter that I’ve already done years (not to mention pints) of research on as well as being very dear to my heart.