The Muktuk Wolfsbreath graphic novel was the result not just of my need for a master’s thesis and a desire to revive the character, but also of an email I got in the fall of 2010 inquiring if the film rights to Muktuk were available. The email was completely out of the blue–Muktuk had not appeared in print since 1997, and I assumed interest was restricted to the few aging, nostalgic comic geeks who’d encountered him way back then. It turned out one of those comics geeks was working for Jack Black and he wanted to acquire the option.
Obviously, this was exciting news, and the timing was perfect, since I needed a project to finish my degree. I figured that at the very least, when the news was made public, there’d be a lot of interest in Muktuk and it would behoove me to have something out there to actually sell. Sealing the deal was actually way more complicated than I’d anticipated–Muktuk had at various times been published by 3 comics companies, including DC, which meant I had to get all the rights back. Fortunately, that went off fairly smoothly. Negotiating the contract, though, took nearly 8 months. Luckily, I found an excellent lawyer who was willing to do it for a percentage of the final project. I don’t know if he wants to be publicly named, but bless him.
Anyhow, a deal was finally made and I got my (paltry) payment. I was told not to make any formal announcements, so I satisfied myself with telling family and friends and watching Jack Black movies with new appreciation. Time and the project dragged on, and then, in November of 2011, I got a call from the guy who’d originally contacted me to say he was leaving Jack.
Bummer. I know from long experience that when the person who’s excited about your project leaves, your project is probably doomed, and since he was the only one over there who had any appreciation of what was otherwise a completely obscure property, I figured my chances of hanging out on the set with the glitterati, or even sending out a press release talking about the option before the online comic ended, had just plummeted to pretty much zero. Everyone said they were still excited etc., but the months accumulated, and every time I called Jack’s other assistant to see if anything was up and if I could actually make a formal announcement, I was told no. Then October rolled around and the option was up. I wasn’t surprised when they passed on renewing it, but of course, a little sad. It was a nice fantasy to live with for a year and half, infinitely satisfying to bring up in bars and at parties, and I felt sad for my lawyer, who’d done a month of work for less than he usually makes in an hour.
So, that’s that. I don’t know what’s next for Muktuk Wolfsbreath–if you’re interested in the film rights, they’re available. I have other projects happening right now, and won’t be adding much to this site in the near future. But you can still read the first chapter on the slideshow page and if you like it, the Muktuk Wolfsbreath Hard Boiled Shaman: The Spirit of Boo paperback is still available on Createspace and Amazon. The paperback is a lush, full-color book with 124 pages of everyone’s favorite shaman, including the 3 original stories that appeared in Cud and Cud Comics. It really does look super-nice and even though it’s basically the same as the pdf, you can put it on your shelf, don’t need a battery to read it, and it might actually be accessible 20 years from now. Anyhow, I know there are a lot of folks out there who just like print. I’d be happiest if you got it on Createspace ‘cuz I get a slightly bigger cut…every copy I sell makes it more likely I’ll do more!