The Bill Show: Episode Nine
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Our Top Story
We’re doing a Fire and Ice prequel series
As it has just been officially announced, now Bill can admit one of the many things he’s been working on for the past half-a-year. The Ralph Bakshi estate, in association with the Frank Frazetta estate (in the form of the Frazetta Girls), has arranged to do a six issue Fire and Ice comic series. They’re partnering with Dynamite Comics on this.
Bill is writing the series. It might be more accurate to say Bill has written the series.1 It seems they really have been working at this for some time. How were they able to keep so mum about it for so long, especially with a Chatty-Kathy like Bill doing the scripts? Who knows? Maybe they had something on him.
Some details: It’s a six issue comic book series. It’s a prequel story, showing some of the events leading up to what happens in the iconic 1983 Fire and Ice film. Bill has promised he’s done his best not to contradict anything that happens in the film. He says: “A prequel is a tricky animal. It’s one of the hardest sorts of tales to write, because the temptation to reveal things that are only revealed in the original is vast. They mostly fail on exactly that level. The new Dune novels spoil so many things that came as surprises in the original Dune novel that I had to stop reading them. The many Star Trek prequel series have rewritten their history so often that it seems everyone in the universe ‘got there first and did that first’ before Kirk and his crew made those discoveries in the Original Series. It’s almost as if the purpose of prequel stories is to systematically remove all of the mystery and revelation of the original tale — to render the original sterile and uninteresting. With Fire and Ice I was determined not to steal anything that had yet to occur until the film. It wasn’t easy. Try turning off your knowledge of things you know are coming up.”
Bill continues: “But the film did raise some intriguing questions about these characters and the history of their lands. Some examples: We never see Teegra’s mother in the film, but it’s heavily implied she’s no longer with us. So what happened there? Could that be an adventurous story? And what was one of Frazetta’s trademark panther girls doing in the royal family of a high tech (for its time) fire-based civilization?
What if Teegra’s mother came from a different tribe in this world, and her marriage to King Jarol was a political arrangement? What’s the source of the weird (and strained) mother/son relationship between our villains Juliana and Nekron? Why does the forest witch Roliel have an idiot troll son? And how does Darkwolf fit into all of this? And so on. There were many interesting avenues worth investigating, without stepping all over the stuff that has yet to happen in the original film. ‘Tell an exciting story, with real consequences, without crapping all over the original material,’ was my official remit, and I tried diligently to stay within those parameters.”
How did this project come about?
According to Bill (and why wouldn’t we believe him, since this is his show?), it started with an out-of-the-blue phone call from Frank Frazetta’s granddaughter Sara. “She was an explosion on my phone,” Bill recalls. “Her enthusiasm was impossible to ignore and infectious. And she brushed away all of my objections about the difficulties in doing a good prequel story.”
“Nonsense,” Sara Frazetta said. “Those are problems any decent professional writer can overcome. Now that you know the mistakes to avoid, avoid them. Case closed.”
And with that, they got to work.
Who’s drawing the series?
Leonardo Manco. We’ll delve deeper in the future, but for now, we here at the Bill Show officially declare him to be brilliant, capturing the dark mood and feel of Frank Frazetta’s original designs without trying to ape his style.
Our Closing Benediction
Please keep a sharp eye out for more updates about this new Fire and Ice series. And next time the Bill Show will faithfully return to its more standard format.
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Oh yeah? If Bill is truly all done writing this series, why hasn’t he turned in that last issue yet? Could it be that he can’t let go? Might it be possible he knows, “The moment I turn in the final issue I’ll think of ten million things I should’ve included, but didn’t.”? Quit stalling, Bill. Quit noodling with that final issue and hand it in. If it turns out there’s more to be said, that’s what a sequel to the prequel is for.