Firefly keeps on flyin'

Perhaps no other short-lived TV show in history has received as much ongoing fan enthusiasm as Joss Whedon’s scifi western Firefly.

Fox famously canceled the show after airing about a dozen eps, but strong sales on DVD led to the theatrical film Serenity, which tied up loose ends from the show while trying to garner more fans so that the story could go on. Although Serenity qualified as a modest financial success, it was hardly a blockbuster hit, and never gained a strong enough foothold to justify more big-screen adventures.

I guess that means that the story of Mal Reynolds and his motley crew has been canceled twice now, in two different mediums. But we Firefly fans refuse to let Whedon’s thoroughly original characters and scifi universe simply die. A handful of comics have filled in some missing pieces from the overall story, but they were nothing compared to what’s coming.

2010 is shaping up to be the Year of Firefly, with several major new products that fans are going to love. First up is an official new book from Titan called Firefly: Still Flying. Among its lavishly-illustrated features are never-before-seen photos from the show’s production, storyboards, articles by the cast and crew reminiscing on what they remember, and a tribute to the show’s fans. But the big draw is the four brand-new original stories written by several of the show’s writers. Jane Espenson, Ben Edlund, Brett Matthews, and Jose Malina each contribute a new “episode” to the Firefly mythos. Still Flying will be available in late May.

Then, in June, Dark Horse Comics is publishing a one-shot called Serenity: Float-Out, which takes place after the events in the movie. The selling point of this one is that it’s being written by geek comedian Patton Oswalt.

Finally, November brings a story fans have been begging for since the show began, also from Dark Horse Comics.  Serenity: The Shepherd’s Tale will be a hardcover graphic novel written by Zack Whedon based on an outline by his big brother Joss. As the title suggests, the graphic novel will finally reveal the origins of the enigmatic Shepherd Book. Book was always my favorite character on the show — he was so unpredictable, yet wise — and I can’t wait to get his full story at last.

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Robin Parrish

Unathletic, uncoordinated tall man with endless creativity stampeding through his overactive brain. Comes with beard, wife, and two miniature humans. Novelist. General blogger and main Gaming Geek for ForeverGeek. Lead Blogger, Apple Gazette.

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