I haven't looked at the "funny pages" in years, so I'm not familiar with Mark Tatulli's comic strip Li?. From what I can tell, though, it's a bit like Calvin and Hobbes but instead of a tiger, the kid is friends with macabre figures like the Grim Reaper. And they're not as much part of the boy's imagination. Now that I've looked at a bunch, I'm pretty much hooked. It's definitely not the best strip I've ever read, but considering my old favorites are no longer being produced, Li? is a fair alternative to much of the junk filling the comics section these days. Anyway, because I'm hooked on the strip, which has apparently been around for a year and a half now, I'm also excited about the news that it's being turned into a live-action movie. According to Variety, producer David Kirschner is working with Universal Press Syndicate to bring the boy and his creepy companions to the big screen. It's certainly fitting since Kirschner is the guy who gave us both Fievel Mousekewitz and the Chucky doll. He will be working with Corey Sienega, who he partnered with on Seed of Chuckyand the upcoming Martian Child.

The only thing I'm concerned about is the story, and whether or not it could maybe be told without dialogue. See, Li? is a primarily pantomimed strip and it would be most appropriate if the movie were the same. Of course, Hollywood would never go for a silent adaptation. Besides, it's a lot easier for each strip to be dialogue-free, since there's no on-going plot. Not that the movie would necessarily require dialogue, but it could definitely use some. The important thing, however, and this is only if I'm getting the strip correctly based on about 10 examples, is to keep the supernatural friends rather mysterious and/or ambiguous. As far as I can tell, we shouldn't know how or why Li? is pals with them. Also, the dialogue would have to be easily translated into foreign languages, since the strip's speechlessness has allowed it to become a hit overseas. In talking about adapting Li?, Kirschner has mentioned models in The Addams Familyand Edward Scissorhands. So, can we assume he's already tried to contact Tim Burton's people (with Sonnenfeld's number on the back-burner)? Also, can we get this in time for a double-feature with the Edward Gorey movie?
categories Movies, Cinematical