Posted by: Loren Coleman on July 18th, 2006
I’ve written, in depth, about the definition of cryptid, a word that was coined in 1983, by John E. Wall of Manitoba. Now, a mere 23 years later, it has become such an important part of our popular culture that one of the most incredibly well-designed graphic novels to capture the topic of this blog is set to appear! Are you prepared for Cryptid?
Secret Lab Studios, in association with Thrill House Comics, and the world renowned award winning Weta Workshop Design Team of New Zealand have announced that they are currently collaborating on designs for Cryptid, a new and original intellectual property that is currently in development as a feature film, video game, graphic novel and toy line.
Richard Taylor, one of the original founders of Weta, has personally overseen the initial designs for the environments, creatures, characters, armor and weapons involved in Cryptid.
“Working with Richard Taylor and his Oscar winning design team is a dream come true for all of us involved in Cryptid. Their conceptual designs have a breathtaking style and aesthetic quality that bring a sense of gritty realism to the project while retaining the romantic elements of fantasy” said Michael Todd, Creator of Cryptid and President of Secret Lab Studios. “Obviously these artists are the best in the film industry and I feel honored that they have joined us as part of the Cryptid team.”
Cryptid is an intellectual property created in the spirit of the classic pulp fiction action adventures of Tarzan, The Shadow, Doc Savage and The Phantom. Kipling McKay is a soldier/safari hunter who is recruited by a secret society of Cryptozoologists to hunt down and capture creatures not yet known to science, also known as Cryptid.
The brainchild of Michael Todd, Cryptid has been in development for over a decade with some of the biggest names in the entertainment industry. But the project has picked up a tremendous momentum with the completion of the graphic novel script and Weta completing the initial phase of their production designs. The Cryptid license is a universe of stories to be told across multiple forms of media developed by Michael Todd and Ronald Shusett, co-creator of the Alien franchise. The saga begins with a six issue graphic novel, co-written by Michael Todd, Ronald Shusett, Michael Town and David Elliott, utilizing the designs produced by Weta.
As well as Weta, Secret Lab Studios also boasts the talents of Frank Frazetta, Simon Bisley, Mike Mignola and Alex Horley to the team of artists and designers working on Cryptid.
Thrill House Comics will be showcasing Weta’s designs at this years San Diego Comic Con, July 20-23. Thrill House will also be giving away 5,000 copies of a Cryptid preview book highlighting the comic artwork from the graphic novel, sculptures, computer game renderings and a selection of Weta’s production designs. The 5,000 are part of a print run of 10,000 with half of those going directly to comic store retailers through Diamond Comics Distributors. Thrill-House Comics can be found at booth number 2103 in the main hall at San Diego Comicon.
Official Press Release (Credit: Arune Singh)
I will have more to say about Cryptid in the coming weeks, including some discussion on the stimulation and model for this entire project, the cover of John A. Keel’s paperback book, Strange Creatures from Time and Space (NY: Fawcett, 1970).- Loren