Twenty years ago, animator Don Bluth introduced video game players to his animated intergalactic cowboy known as Space Ace and his fearless dragon slayer, Dirk the Daring, in a set of unique laser-based arcade games. Now the characters are making a comeback in a series of comic books and planned feature films.
On August 6, MVCreations (http://www.mvcreations.com) and CrossGen (http://www.crossgen.com) will release the first installment in an all-new six-issue comic book miniseries titled Dragon’s Lair: Singe’s Revenge. The set signals the return of Dirk and Princess Daphne as they return from an exciting adventure in the Free Realms only to be attacked by the great dragon Singe and his evil minions. Armed only with his courage and skill, Dirk must brave the Dark Kingdom and all its evils in order to save his love. Fabio Aguna serves as lead artist on the books.
Then on August 20, Space Ace will be back in an all-new adventure with the debut of Space Ace: Defender of the Universe #1., the first in a six-issue miniseries to be written by Robert Kirkman (Invincible, Tech Jacket) and illustrated by former Disney artist Paulo Borges. The comics will reintroduce Space Ace, his main squeeze, Kimmy, and their baby, Borf in storylines that will take a deeper look at the Space Ace Universe.
“We never explored it as much as we could have,” Bluth tells Animation Magazine Online. “The books will add a bit more depth to the story than the games did so that you get involved with the characters.”
“We tried to do almost a sequel that maintains the characters from the original games but stays away from the storylines of the upcoming films,” adds Bluth’s partner, producer/director Gary Goldman.
According to Bluth, they are currently pursuing funding for a Dragon’s Lair feature and scripts have been written for both properties. The pics are part of full slate of feature projects in the works at The Bluth Group. The company will be employing both 3D and 2D animation with five of the movies set to be traditionally animated with some CG elements.
Bluth is astounded at how well the properties have held up. “The reason for keeping these legends alive is that the games remain popular in stores. They should have been off the shelf 18 years ago, but whatever is happening, it’s there and we want to take full advantage of it,” he says.
Both Dragon’s Lair: Singe’s Revenge #1 and Space Ace: Defender of the Universe #1 can be ordered in the CrossGen (http://www.crossgen.com) section of the June Diamond Previews catalog.