Comic books are compulsive reading, and contrary to popular opinion they’re not just for nerds. Plenty of Hollywood celebrities have made their living from comic books… Well, from playing comic book characters on the big screen. But there are celebrities out there who’ve also used their A-list clout to get their own comic book creations published.
Two celebrities probably most famous for their comic book writing are living legends Joss Whedon and Kevin Smith. Both are hugely talented writers and experts when it comes to superheroes. Joss Whedon wrote the Astonishing X-men comic series, and he would of course later go on to direct the Avengers and it’s upcoming sequel Avengers: Age of Ultron. Kevin Smith, meanwhile, wrote stellar comic book runs for both Marvel and DC. He is credited as bringing new life into Daredevil and Green Arrow.
However, Smith and Whedon aren’t the only Hollywood celebrities to try their hand to the art of comic books. Numerous other comedians, directors, actors and even musicians have written comics. Some were independent books, while others were popular superhero comics for major publishers. Bets are you had no idea these thirteen popular celebrities are also moonlighting comic book geeks.
13. Seth Meyers and Bill Hader: Spider-Man, The Short Halloween
When Seth Meyers and Bill Hader starred together on Saturday Night Live they were responsible for many great characters and sketches. The duo teamed up on another project outside of SNL, and what it was might surprise you. The SNL stars wrote a Spider-Man comic together, the Short Halloween. The Short Halloween was about an average New Yorker who dressed up as Spider-Man for a costume parade and was mistaken for the real Spider-Man by some of Spidey’s most fearsome foes. The title of the comic is a reference to the famous Batman comic called the Long Halloween.
12. John Cleese: Superman: True Brit
Legendary comedian John Cleese wrote plenty of memorable sketches on Monty Python’s Flying Circus, and he is responsible for co-creating Fawlty Towers, which is considered by many to be one of the greatest sitcoms of all time.
Cleese showed his comedic skills transcended the screen when he wrote Superman: True Brit. This Superman comic is an Elseworlds tale which imagines what would have happened if baby Kal-El’s spaceship had landed in Somerset, England rather than Smallville, Kansas. In this parallel universe, an English couple called the Clarks finds Kal-El, and Superman is Colin Clark rather than Clark Kent.
11. Jennifer Love Hewitt: Music Box
While Jennifer Love Hewitt didn’t actually script the five-issue miniseries titled Jennifer Love Hewitt’s Music Box, the comic book miniseries was based on her original ideas. The series was published by IDW and scripted by X-men and Alpha Flight writer Scott Lobdell.
Jennifer Love Hewitt’s Music Box was a mix of horror and fantasy, and the comic focused on a new character in each issue. The characters in the comic encountered a strange music box that would send them back in time or to an alternate reality.
10. Thomas Jane: Bad Planet
Thomas Jane is a familiar face to comic book fans since he starred in the 2004 film the Punisher, based on the Marvel Comics anti-hero. Jane would later reprise his role as Frank Castle in a Punisher fan film titled Dirty Laundry. Jane even voiced the Punisher in a Punisher video game for Xbox and PlayStation 2.
During filming of the Punisher, Jane became good friends with Punisher artist Tim Bradstreet who suggested Jane pitch some of his own comic book ideas to publishers. The suggestion came to fruition when Jane’s ideas were accepted by Image Comics and became a comic called Bad Planet.
The six-issue sci-fi epic told the story of an alien invasion and another alien’s attempt to save Earth. Jane purportedly got the idea while high on vicodin that he was taking after a car crash. The painkillers cause him to have fever dreams about “horrible alien deathspiders.”
Jane has founded a publishing company called RAW Studios to release more of his comic book creations.
9. Samuel L. Jackson: Cold Space
Samuel L. Jackson is well known to comic book fans as Nick Fury in a number of Marvel Studios films including Iron Man, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and, of course, the Avengers. The choice of Jackson being cast as Nick Fury dates all the way back to 2002. At that time, comic book artist Bryan Hitch drew the new version of Nick Fury to look like Jackson in a comic book series called the Ultimates, which was a reboot of the Avengers that was written by Mark Millar.
But did you know that Jackson is actually a comic book writer himself? Jackson wrote and co-created a comic book called Cold Space. Cold Space was published by BOOM! Studios, and Jackson’s likeness was also used for the main character in the comic book series.
8. Rob Zombie: El Superbeasto
Rob Zombie has used his creativity and imagination to great effect in Hollywood; he’s no longer simply a rock star. Zombie has become a prolific horror icon by directing films like House of 1000 Corpses, the Devil’s Rejects and the Halloween reboot. He’s also created a comic called the Adventures of El Superbeasto, which was later turned into a direct-to-DVD animated feature.
In 2003, a horror anthology comic called Rob Zombie’s Spookshow International launched, featuring stories about characters from his films alongside original characters. He has also created a comic book called the Nail, and he even wrote a comic series about Bigfoot.
7. CM Punk: Thor Annual #1
There may be some similarities between superheroes and professional wrestlers, aesthetically at least, so it seems fitting that one of the biggest stars of the WWE would have a few ideas for a superhero comic book.
WWE superstar CM Punk is a huge comic book fan, and so is his wife WWE Diva AJ Lee. Last year, CM Punk teamed up with comic book artist Rob Guillory to make Thor Annual #1 for Marvel Comics. CM Punk says he has been reading comics his whole life and the opportunity to write for Marvel came about after talking to the company’s editors over a number of years at comic conventions.
6. Patton Oswalt: JLA: Welcome to the Working Week
Patton Oswalt is a certified nerd, so of course he would jump at the chance to write a comic book. The stand up comedian regularly discusses superheroes and comic books in his stand up routines, and he has pitched a number of ideas to the big two comic book publishers: Marvel Comics and DC Comics.
He wrote a short story about the Justice League called JLA: Welcome to the Working Week which appeared in Batman #600. Oswalt also wrote a short story that appeared in the Goon Noir #1 published by Dark Horse Comics. Fans of comic book-based movies and TV shows will also recognize the stand up comedian for his roles in Blade Trinity and Marvel’s Agents of Shield.
5. Paul Scheer: Deadpool Bi-Annual #1
It seems comedians are a perfect fit when it comes to writing comic books – especially comics about wise cracking heroes like Deadpool.
Paul Scheer, who stars on the League and is a founding member of the sketch comedy group Human Giant, wrote Deadpool Bi-Annual #1. The comic book saw the Merc with a Mouth take on a group of obscure comic book villains called Brute Force – a team villains that first appeared in Marvel comics in the early 90s. The team consists of an eagle, lion, kangaroo, bear and dolphin all wearing heavily armored and weaponized cybernetic suits.
4. Brian Posehn: Deadpool
Posehn is yet another successful stand up comedian who has lent his humor to the Marvel antihero Deadpool. In fact Brian Posehn, who starred in TV shows such as Just Shoot Me and the Sarah Silverman Program, is the current writer on the ongoing Marvel comic book series Deadpool.
The series launched in November 2012, and he co-writes the book with Gerry Duggan. He and Duggan also wrote a comic book together called the Last Christmas, which was published by Image Comics. Being the writer of Deadpool isn’t Posehn’s only connection to Marvel; he also had a cameo in the film Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer. He played the priest who officiated the wedding of Mr. Fantastic and the Invisible Woman.
3. Tom Morello: Orchid
Tom Morello isn’t just an extremely talented guitarist, he’s also pretty good at writing comic books. The Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave guitarist wrote a 12-issue comic book series for Dark Horse Comics called Orchid.
The comic book series tells the story of a teen sex worker who lives in a post-apocalyptic world filled with monsters and nightmarish creatures. For each issue of the comic book series, Morello released a brand new song that could be downloaded to accompany the comic. The comics served as a way for Morello to tell a story about sacrifice and heroism.
2. The Wachowskis: Doc Frankenstein
The creators and directors of the Matrix trilogy have always looked for ways to be creative through media other than film. The siblings created an anime series set in the world of the Matrix, and they created a Matrix comic book, too.
Even before they made it big in Hollywood they were prolific comic book writers working on series like Clive Barker’s Hellraiser, Clive Barker’s Nightbreed, Clive Barker’s Book of the Damned and Ectokid. They even started their own comic book publishing company called Burlyman Entertainment.
In 2004 they created a comic book called Doc Frankenstein, which they wrote all the issues for to date.
1. Rashida Jones: Frenemy of the State
Rashida Jones, the daughter of music producer Quincy Jones, has become a Hollywood favourite starring in several successful movies and TV shows including Parks and Recreation, the Office and I Love You, Man. She’s also a writer.
She wrote the screenplay for the romantic comedy Celeste and Jesse Forever, in which she starred with Andy Samberg. She’s also working on the script for Toy Story 4.
Jones also used her creative talents to conceive of and write a comic book series called Frenemy of the State, which was published by Oni Press. She sold the screen rights to the comic book to Universal Pictures, and she will write the screenplay for the movie adaptation of her creation.