Family Guy creator secures rights to adapt new comic book from Cork artist Will Sliney

One of the big players in the world of entertainment, Seth MacFarlane has signed up Cork artist Will Sliney’s book, says DYLAN O’CONNELL
Family Guy creator secures rights to adapt new comic book from Cork artist Will Sliney

Will Sliney, Spider-Man and his 2016 Holly Bough cover.

LEGENDARY Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane has secured the rights to adapt the newest comic book from Cork artist Will Sliney.

The TV guru, who is also behind American Dad and The Orville, will adapt the graphic novel series The Shrouded College and it will be produced by Peacock and Fuzzy Door Productions.

Sliney creates the comic alongside veteran writer Charles Soule, who is best known for his work on Star Wars and Daredevil with Marvel.

The Shrouded College is a series of seven interconnected adventure horror stories that will be published as both a comic book and graphic novel over the next few years.

The saga began in November, 2022, with the release of Hell To Pay from Image Comics and this will be followed by The Bloody Dozen in 2023.

The series will tell the story of various characters that get enlisted to become secret agents to fight a supernatural cold war on the side of the Shrouded College.

Hell To Pay by Will and Charles Soule.
Hell To Pay by Will and Charles Soule.

It has been described as Hellboy meets Indiana Jones, and the story will be told by Sliney and Soule.

“It’s been brilliant, it’s been a big, long process!” said Sliney, who lives in Ballycotton.

“Charles and I have been involved every step of the way and there’s a lot of really big studios that wanted to get their hands on it, which was amazing.

“We did the tour of Hollywood and got to meet all the big producers and companies who wanted it.

“It kind of came a back and forth between a lot of them. The ideas and visions that the team at Fuzzy Door and Universal had was the one that fitted this project the most because it’s not like other comic book options where it might just be one story. We’re essentially building our own universe.

“Charles is very famous in the world of Star Wars for creating the High Republic, he was one of the architects of that. They created a brand new storytelling universe that came out with novels, books, and comics.

“Now they’ve announced some animated TV shows and more and more things like that are coming out. He’s done it for Star Wars so the plan for this was, why don’t we create one of these for our own?

“That’s what Fuzzy Door wanted as well. Not just a single story but to become a part of this world and they are the ones to have it for the big screen.”

Sliney juggles many pens. He has combined his work on The Shrouded College with his own television show, Storytellers. It’s a balancing act that sees the creator work with people from across the world, and all of this is being done while he looks after his young family.

“The last couple of years has been a balancing act for sure,” he said. “The TV stuff came out of nowhere, to be honest. Since we started doing TV we’ve made 82 episodes, it’s kind of bonkers.

“It’s me and a good friend of mine, Jonathan Loughran, who have been over all of that. Hopefully, there will be more in the near future with the way this is all going.

“It’s learning how to balance that with the comics.”

Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane is adapting the new comedy book by Cork artist Will Sliney
Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane is adapting the new comedy book by Cork artist Will Sliney

Sliney is still best known for drawing Spider-Man for Marvel, and he is also remembered in his Cork home for designing the cover of the 2016 Holly Bough.

“While I’m still doing the odd Marvel thing, they are always asking me back for projects and I have a couple planned there,” he said.

“The Shrouded College stuff has been in the works a lot longer than you typically would have with a Marvel project.

“The Hell To Pay stuff started a couple of years ago. That has allowed me to fit in the TV stuff as that has grown alongside it.”

This starts a big and exciting year for Sliney, as he will see his version of Spider-Man adapted onto the big screen this June with the release of Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse. That will see Sliney’s version of the hero, whose ancestors come from Cork, try to save the universe with Miles Morales and Peter Parker.

“It was funny, when I went to see the first Spider-Verse movie, I went on the opening day trying to avoid spoilers,” said Sliney.

“Before I got into the cinema, there was a ton of messages on my phone telling me to wait for the after credit scene. I had a feeling he was going to show up! That was very funny. It was lovely to see.

“I’ve friends who have been working on the movie so it’s been amazing to see the process, how they have built this over the last while.

“It just looks like it is going to be one of the most incredible animated movies out there. The first one already was.”

As for Soule, he loves that this project has reunited him with Sliney after they previously collaborated on Star Wars: The Rise Of Kylo Ren in 2019.

Will Siney filming Storytellers.
Will Siney filming Storytellers.

“He brings his own very distinct style and voice to everything he does, but he’s also constantly open to hearing new ideas, adjusting, working together to tell the best possible story.

“Making comics is a lot like being in a band - you need to rely on everyone to both do exactly what you expect and need, but also bring their own new ideas you’d never have thought of on your own. Will’s excellent at both.

“An absolute pro at everything from Star Wars to Spider-Man to our original ideas. It’s an honour to work with him and a pleasure to call him a friend,” he said.

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