The come and go nature of comic projects is unremarkably common. Every now and then, though, one cancelled project stands out among the rest. A few months ago, artist Joe Quinones revealed his and, writer, Kate Leth’s grand plans for a Batman ’89 comic that DC rejected. Now writer Brian Sheffield has divulged the grand plans that were previously set in place to kick off a comic for another beloved series — Minecraft.
Work on the comic began in 2013, with Sheffield working closely with Mojang. “I had a story — very ‘Dragon Ball meets Adventure Time,’ in movie pitch terms, but set in the Minecraft universe,” he explained on his website. He wanted to make something different, by expanding the series’ universe and moving away from “Steve.” At this point, he had Mojang’s attention, but needed a “proper pitch.”
Sheffield met with artist Zac Gorman. Together, they brainstormed what would be the comic’s visual look, while Sheffield wrote up rough pages to give to the company once they put their pitch documents together. Again, Mojang was pleased with their sample pages.
The project was moving full steam ahead, the only hinderances were figuring out money, how the book would look, etc. However, before anything concrete was settled, Gorman decided the project wasn’t for him. The comic was without an artist and Sheffield was out a creative partner. For three years, most of the effort went into finding a new artist to match Mojang’s vision. Sheffield pushed the idea of getting a publisher involved with the project, to hire an artist, but things eventually slowed down.
The week leading up to GDC 2016, the writer was notified that Mojang was no longer interested in the project. He admits to being disappointed in the unfortunate outcome, but says because of his work on Minecraft he’s now more serious about writing comics. Since the project is officially cancelled, he chose to share some of the “character sketches, environment studies, and roughs from Zac.” He noted they spent a plenty of time “determining how the blocks and people would look — blocks would be rounded, with soft lines, not drawn with a grid in mind, and humans would be quite human-like, but everything would be just a little blocky.” Take a look at some of the concepts below.
You can see more concept images and pages, as well as read the full initial pitches written for the comic by Sheffield, here. Telltale Games has already proven a narrative can be derived from the series, would you have been on board for a comic book telling of this universe? Chime in down below.