What’s missing from the world of entertainment today? Thomas Jane and Tim Bradstreet have their answer with the projects they are pursuing with their production company, RAW Studios. I had the chance to talk with Jane and Bradstreet at Dallas Comic-Con on their six-issue alien invasion comic Bad Planet, working with their own heroes on adapting their film Dark Country and bringing back Alien Worlds, and developing the “mind-blowing” Devil’s Commandos. Check out our conversation below:
Sci Fi Mafia: You are both here at Dallas Comic-Con to talk about your production company, RAW Studios. Tom, you are now going “behind the camera” to being fully involved in the creative process behind the production of several projects. How did RAW come about and what drives you to pursue the types of projects RAW is taking on?
Thomas Jane: We’ve always been genre fans. Elevated genre, as we like to call it, is our favorite type of entertainment. It’s a genre that has depth to it I think. Like 2001, that would be a case of elevated genre or the movie Alien. That would be genre that is elevated. That’s the movement we’re shooting for. We’re a young company. We’re getting our feet wet and we’re learning how to create that kind of material.
Tim Bradstreet: Tom definitely had a dream about of doing comics. He’s a huge comic book fan growing up.
Thomas Jane: Yeah. [RAW] started with me and Tim and Bad Planet. I told Tim I had this idea that was too big to be a movie. It had to be a comic book. I wanted to get into it. Tim became my partner on the project and ended up inking it and also turned me onto Steve Niles who I ended up writing the project with. Tim helped me find a letterer and a colorist and laid out the book himself. It was very much a Tim Bradstreet/Thomas Jane co-production. We had such a good time on it, we were expanding [our partnership] to other books. We’ve got a couple more books coming out.
I got Thomas Ott, who I’m a huge fan of. He’s doing an adaptation of a movie Tim and I did, Dark Country. He started it now and I’m very excited about it. We’re going to do a special release of the book with the movie inside the graphic novels.
Tim Bradstreet: It’s like getting one of your art heroes to do your book.
Thomas Jane: Yeah, Thomas, I’m a big fan of his. His work inspired the look of the film so I think it’s an interesting experiment because Thomas has not seen the film and he won’t see the film until he’s finished the book. So the look of the movie is inspired by Thomas Ott and now I’m having Thomas Ott actually adapt the movie without seeing it.
Tim Bradstreet: We’re also working with Bruce Jones on stuff. We’re bringing back Alien Worlds which is an E.C., Warren-inspired series from the 80’s, those Tales from the Crypt-style, ironic ending, sci-fi-horror,… we’re bringing in some of the greatest artists. Our thing, too, is all about wanting to work with our heroes. We’ve got Bill Stout, Richard Corben, and as many of those guys that we can find and blending them with some of the newer talent today.
Thomas Jane: We’re kinda creating a look and feel that is inspired by the stuff that we were inspired by as kids. And hopefully, the goal is to inspire some kids that are going to find this book today. We don’t see much of what we were inspired by anymore.
Tim Bradstreet: It was kinda the impetus for doing Bad Planet. There weren’t any sci-fi books that… we couldn’t walk into a comic book shop and find the sort of comics [that we were inspired by.] It was more about, this doesn’t exist anymore. Let’s create it again.
SFM: To fill the void.
Tim Bradstreet: Yeah.
[Above: Todd Farmer, Tim Bradstreet, Tom Jane at the RAW Studios panel at DCC]
SFM: Another project you guys are working on is the script for Devil’s Commandos, a project based on Tim’s idea. How are you guys and Todd Farmer proceeding with it and what can you tell us about the project?
Thomas Jane: Tim had this great outline in a long email and he sent it to me and I loved it and we were working with Todd Farmer on Alien Pig Farm 3000. We decided that he would be the perfect guy to adapt this story and he’s been working on the damn script for two years. But he is working on it and the draft keeps getting better and better. It’s World War II soldiers on a lost island in the Pacific and they encounter some bad ass things.
SFM: Things otherworldly?
Tim Bradstreet: Things that will blow the audience’s minds.
Thomas Jane: Yeah, it’s really fun. It’s a WWII gothic horror. It’s a war horror. It’s inspired by Weird War.
Tim Bradstreet: Weird War Tales and Twilight Zone… Outer Limits meets combat.
SFM: Sounds intriguing. Can’t wait to see that play out! And Tom, going back to Bad Planet, you’ve mentioned before that one of your projects, Bad Planet, was inspired by an actual dream you had?
Thomas Jane: That’s right. Yeah, you can read about it in the forward in the hardcover book (2010). I got sick and I was eventually cured, but I got sick with Hepatitis C. Only one in ten thousand people actually have a reaction to getting infected with Hepatitis C and I got jaundice and I couldn’t move. Went to the doctor and he said ‘You got Hep C,” but while I was on the couch literally dying, I had this very vivid dream and that became Bad Planet. I went to the doctor and it turned out that I was being invaded by a virus and my dream was about these twelve-legged spiders coming down on earth and chewing up the whole planet when in fact that was actually happening inside my body. And my body was reacting by going into shock and jaundice. It’s a rare case that you actually have a reaction to Hepatitis C. You usually end up curing it. Your body resolves it. It knows that there is an enemy and it fights and one of you dies. Fortunately, the virus died. I’ve been virus free for six or seven years now.
SFM: Oh my gosh, I didn’t know. I am glad you are well now!
Thomas Jane: I’m very lucky.
[Above: Tim Bradstreet, me, and Thomas Jane]
Texas-sized thank you’s to Thomas Jane and Tim Bradstreet for taking the time to speak to SciFi Mafia and for being so frank with their inspirations. Keep your eyes peeled on RAW Studios for more from Jane and Bradstreet. I’ll also have more from Tim Bradstreet coming up soon!