I had no idea until this week that Virgin has a comic book line, but Virgin Comics indeed exists and it's putting out series created by filmmakers such as John Woo, Shekhar Kapur and Guy Ritchie, whose title is being made into a movie by Warner Bros. Virgin has announced another new comic to be co-written by indie filmmaker (and Saving Private Ryan actor) Edward Burns. The book, which has the weird name Dock Walloper, is being co-written by Jimmy Palmiotti and is being drawn by Siju Thomas. It's about an Irish-American gangster and takes place in 1920s New York. The comic book will serve as a foundation for a feature film that Burns will write, direct and co-star in, playing a crime boss named Mad Dog Madden. About the movie, Burns says he always wanted to make a New York period piece but always thought it would be too expensive to do. Now, though, he can shoot the whole thing with green screen, a la Sin Cityand 300.

Sounds like the furthest thing from The Brothers McMullenI can possibly imagine. I find it interesting that in the currently comic-obsessed film industry, that even someone like Burns has to jump aboard the wagon. And I find it quite sad that filmmakers are now having to put out pre-production comic books just to have that appeal of making a comic adaptation. I don't even know if Dock Walloper will be allowed to be considered an adaptation if the comic is basically based on an idea for a movie, which will then be adapted from the book. It does confuse me, just as the other trend of preceding a movie with an internet series does confuse me. What next, a comic that's a precursor to a Jenna Jameson porn movie? Oh, wait, Virgin seems already on top of that idea, too. Hmm, if there's a more ironic name for a company for Jameson to be associated with, I don't know it.