Comics That Should Exist – M*A*S*H: The Comic
There are plenty of comics I want to buy (or, you know, write), but can’t– because they don’t exist! You’ve read about a few of them in my 365 Reasons column. This new column (which may or may not become a highly irregular series) is here to point out more cool comics projects that don’t exist, but most definitely should.
First up? Well, I think they should bring one of my favorite TV shows to comics, because it would fit the format perfectly. That series is M*A*S*H.
I loved M*A*S*H (which I’ll refer to as MASH from this point on, because I am lazy). Even when cast members or producers came and went, even after Alan Alda took creative control of the show. It never jumped the shark, it was always good. I don’t even know if there’s a bad episode in the bunch. Surely, there are ones I’m tired of watching, but that’s what happens when you see an episode a few dozen times.
Even as the show progressed, almost every episode could stand on its own and tell its own story. It was a series filled with endearing characters, terrific dialogue, and wonderful moments, both comedic and dramatic.
It’d be a great comic. I have no idea how the rights situation would work out, but let’s get IDW or Dark Horse or somebody to pick ‘em up!
I’ll even tell you how it’d work. There were eleven seasons of MASH, and, over the course of the run, eleven series regulars. There’s your hook. Eleven issues, each one taking place in a different season and spotlighting a different character.
Now, Trapper and Col. Blake were only around for the first three years, Frank for the first five, and Radar for the first seven and a dash of the eighth. I know this, for I am a nerd. Col. Potter and BJ showed up in season four and Winchester in season six. One would want to get the chronology worked out as best as possible.
You could end up with something that looked like this:
1. Hawkeye Pierce
2. Trapper John McIntyre
3. Colonel Blake
4. Radar O’Reilly
5. Frank Burns
6. Maxwell Q. Klinger
7. Hot Lips Houlihan
8. BJ Hunnicut
9. Father Mulcahy
10. Charles Emerson Winchester III
11. Colonel Potter
That’s me just throwing them on there at semi-random in the allotted eras, but it doesn’t look so bad.
It’d let the reader deeper into some characters and moments we didn’t get to see on the show. Trapper never got much to do, but he could have the limelight in his issue. Same with Father Mulcahy, the most underrated character on the show. Radar could have time to grieve over the death of Henry Blake, something the show skipped over. We could see an actual break-up between Frank and Margaret. Understand why Klinger stopped wearing dresses. Explore the sexual tension between Charles and Hot Lips as far as it’d go! That sort of thing.
And don’t think I’m forgetting the other characters! You gotta have guest spots from Sydney Freedman, Col. Flagg, Sgt. Zale, Rizzo, and Igor! Even Nurse Kellye and the Mustachioed Korean! Maybe even Spearchucker could show up in the first issue in the time before he disappeared from the show.
I bet I sound like a gigantic MASH fanboy. Trust me, though! Because comics should be good, this comic WOULD be good! I guarantee.
Who would draw such a series? I thought about it for a while, and I came up with one perfect name: Kevin Maguire. Only he could get the facial expressions and mannerisms right for something so laden with quick dialogue and character focus. It’s about people, and Kevin Maguire draws people better than anyone.
Would it sell? Who knows? Look at how many people bought the DVDs, though. I think that’s a good sampling of the target audience for a project like this. Market it to them. It could turn out to be a hit! In comic terms, anyway. I know I’d buy it. Or write it. Or both.
Whaddya say, ferret-faces?