Monday, July 16, 2018
  • Thursday, Mar. 9, 2017
Director Samuel Bayer's Affinity For American Art & Craft Extends To Comic Books
Josh Bayer (l) and Samuel Bayer
Superhero characters invented by the filmmaker and brother Josh surface in trailer which could be precursor to feature films
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The director who gave us the groundbreaking Chrysler “Born of Fire” Super Bowl spot in 2011--which struck a responsive chord for product made in the U.S., capturing specifically the spirit of a city, Detroit, a sense of hope and economic recovery--is now engaged in another endeavor celebrating home-grown creation, promoting what he regards as an American artform, the comic book.

Samuel Bayer--who helms commercials and branded content via production house Superprime--has teamed with his brother, Josh Bayer, to launch a line of comic books under the All Time Comics banner, combining the talent of vintage 1960s and ‘70s illustrators with their contemporary, edgier counterparts. Furthermore, the Bayer brothers aspire to see several of their comic book characters spawn superhero movies which they envision as being a major departure from that genre’s norm. And towards that end, Samuel Bayer has directed a trailer giving viewers a taste of what All Time Comics’ protagonists can offer on screens of all sizes, including the silver screen.

Published by leading firm Fantagraphics, the All Time Comics line gets unveiled this month with the release of Crime Destroyer #1, a supersized issue featuring the characters Atlas, Bullwhip, Crime Destroyer and Blind Justice, each of whom will be featured in their own individual books. “These characters are so different yet they are particularly relevant in today’s divisive time because they have a unifying theme--they all want justice,” affirmed Samuel Bayer. “They also bring a diversity. Bullwhip for example is a very strong female character.”

Blind Justice is a troubled crime fighter who lives in a trauma ward. Atlas is a mild-mannered city employee who has the gifts of super strength, flight and special vision--but these powers an be undermined by fear. And Crime Destroyer is a self-made super hero whose crime fighting is revenge-motivated after he witnesses the murder of his family.

The characters are crafted from a blend of retro and modern as reflected in the teaming of veterans like Al Milgrom (creator of DC Comics’ Firestorm) and the late Marvel artist Herb Trimpe (whose final published comics work is in the first All Time Comics issue) alongside young turk artists such as Ben Marra and Noah Van Sciver.

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World meets The Dark Knight
While Josh Bayer is an illustrator/writer, Samuel Bayer who helped to invent the characters, felt the need to do something more. “I don’t draw or write the books. I’m a filmmaker,” said Samuel Bayer. “So I decided to make a trailer, pulling in every favor I could. It’s a trailer which brings several characters to life. I describe it as Scott Pilgrim vs. the World meets The Dark Knight. It’s a combination of violence, humor, retro and the glitzy punk aesthetic. Steve Jones from the Sex Pistols plays the super villain. We got Jackie Chan’s stunt team to do the stunts. Robert Duffy cut the spot for me. Shipping + Handling did the visual effects.”

Samuel Bayer feels the trailer makes a case for theatrical feature fare centered on All Time Comics’ superhero characters. “Given the recent success of an R-rated movie like Logan, we see that there’s a hunger for different types of stories with comic book heroes,” said Bayer who related that All Time Comics sprung naturally out of a life-time love of comic books dating back to when he and his brother were kids. “I’m a big fan of Marvel. My little brother became a noted comic book artist in New York, doing a lot of underground comic book work. We are now bringing artists of different generations together to advance the medium.” 

Though All Time Comics marks the first time Samuel and Josh Bayer have launched something together, they have collaborated in the past with Josh contributing art and illustrations to Samuel’s music videos and commercials over the years. 

Samuel Bayer’s filmography includes the Emmy Award-winning “Born of Fire,” two-time AICP Show honoree “If You Let Me Play” for Nike, spots for such brands as Mountain Dew, Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Nissan and Lexus, among others, the remake of the feature Nightmare on Elm Street, and music videos for Nirvana, David Bowie, Metallica, the Rolling Stones, Marilyn Manson, Lennie Kravitz, Aerosmith, Justin Timberlake and Green Day. The latter’s “Boulevard of Broken Dreams won MTV Video Music Awards for Best Rock Video of the Year and Best Cinematography. Bayer’s Metallica music clip “Until It Sleeps” also won an MTV Award for Best Rock Video.

Credits for ScreenWork: 

Production Samuel Bayer, director. Editorial Robert Duffy, editor. VFX Shipping+Handling  Color Beau Leon, colorist