Virgin Comics and Planetwide Media have put together a digital version of Guy Ritchie’s Gamekeeper online using Planetwide’s Comic Book Creator to turn it into an online, 22-page flip-book. Gamekeeper is part of Virgin Comics’ strategy of running tie-ins with celeb names such as Guy Ritchie and John Woo, with the company referring to them as ‘Director’s Cuts’ because the stories featured may well be heading for the cinema. I am a touch cynical about this strategy, to be honest, especially since the directors who have their names prominently plastered over the comics and the PR aren’t actually writing the comics, so if I was to be less than charitable I might think this is really more a marketing and branding exercise, using famous names to sell something. Then again, Kate Moss didn’t design her new fashion line but people still queued up to buy it, so perhaps from a business point of view it could be a solid move (although perhaps not from an artistic integrity point of view).
Gamekeeper may be a cut above the usual sort of celeb-endorsed nonsense, however, since Virgin has secured Andy Diggle as the writer for the series and Andy, fresh from his run on The Losers, is a damned good scribe, so perhaps I should reserve my natural cynicism (and ignore Guy Ritchie’s name, but to be fair that is a matter of personal taste since I can’t stand his films and am generally wary of celeb endorsements). The second (print) issue of Gamekeeper is due in store’s shortly, while the first batch of graphic novel collections from Virgin, such as John Woo’s Seven Brothers, will be appearing later this summer. (link via PR Web)