First we got the sequel to a science fiction classic that nobody would have expected. Whether you liked it or not, there were some really interesting ideas in Blade Runner 2049 that felt like something Philip K. Dick would have explored. And even that film had to do “backstory” videos online. In a lot of ways, this announcement makes sense. Realistically, the comics-reading audience is narrower than the movie-watching audience, and comics can go into side journeys that a big-budget film doesn’t have time to follow.
Notice, too, that this announcement lacks one big name associated with Blade Runner: Ridley Scott. Whether it’s because of time commitment, lack of interest (on either his or Alcon’s part), I’ll actually call this a good thing. If a universe like this is going to be expanded, put it in the hands of creators who have a passion to do it, and it’s been hard to think Scott has had much of a passion for either Blade Runner or the Alien franchise for a while — nor should he have to have it. He made his statement; let him move on.
Alcon Media Group and London-based Titan Publishing, a leading force in genre and pop culture publishing, are partnering in a new co-publishing venture initially focused on the Blade Runner universe.
In a joint statement by Alcon co-founders and co-CEOs Broderick Johnson and Andrew Kosove, and Titan’s co-founders, Nick Landau and Vivian Cheung, the partners stated that the companies will develop and publish a variety of both fiction and non-fiction print media. The program will feature new, in canon comics and graphic novels that dive deeper into the Blade Runner world as well as a variety of publications focused on the visual and technical sides of the production process.
Editorial duties will be handled by Titan’s David Manley-Leach, and Alcon’s director of publishing, Jeff Conner.
States Kosove and Johnson, “In partnering with the exceptional Titan Comics and Titan Books, we’re confident that the world of Blade Runner will continue to organically grow in a way that refuses to sacrifice the quality, tone and high standards of this beloved property.”
“We are extremely excited to be publishing Blade Runner comics and illustrated books,” said Titan publishers Nick Landau and Vivian Cheung. “The Blade Runner universe has barely been explored; there is so much more there. It’s an honour to be bringing this world to life in new ways for a new audience – and to reveal tales from that universe that you’ve never seen before.”
Titan has three-decade history of success in the pop culture sphere, from their celebrated Doctor Who publications (comics, magazines and books) to tie-in novels set in the Marvel and DC universes. They also release a robust line of original genre novels, from hardboiled crime to supernatural horror, cyberpunk to intergalactic adventure.