“Under The Dome,” the new CBS thriller based on a Stephen King novel in which a strange, invisible dome descends over a small town, had a strong presence at Comic-Con this past weekend. The stars and producers took the stage for the “Under The Dome” panel, where they screened an entire new episode, and they even sat down with Zap2it to chat about the show.
Catching up with “Under The Dome” writer and executive producer Brian K. Vaughan, Zap2it couldn’t help but ask about his exceptional comics series “Saga” before turning the conversation to the CBS show. After a three-month hiatus, “Saga” Issue 13 will release next month, and Vaughan revealed that the book is completely drawn. In fact, he said he was giving the lettering a final look just before the convention. “It looks really cool,” he says. “I’m very excited for us to return.”
“Saga” Issue 12 ended on something of a cliffhanger when it was revealed that the story’s heroes were not where readers thought they were. “It is a cliffhanger,” Vaughan says. “We sort of jumped ahead in time in between [Issues] 11 and 12, so 13 will sort of pick up ‘How did our heroes make it to D. Oswald Heist’s mysterious lighthouse?'”
Vaughan also touched on “The Private Eye,” a pay-what-you-want, online-only comic he’s creating along with artist Marcos Martin, who Vaughan said is “one of [his] favorite artists on the planet.” “When Marcos came up with this idea, he’s like, ‘I want to do a comic, but I want it to reach the largest audience possible, so I want them to pay whatever they want, even if they want to pay nothing,'” Vaughan says. “And I was like, ‘Marcos, I don’t think that Radiohead plan even worked for Radiohead. We’re doomed!’ But it’s been great. People from all over the planet have been downloading it, and we do it in multiple languages. Yeah, it’s been a much bigger hit than I ever thought.”
Some Stephen King fans have balked at the number of changes made in the adaptation of “Under The Dome,” but Vaughan has a singular mindset when it comes to adapting King’s work: tear apart the things you love.
“I love Stephen King so much, but I’ve always felt that to sort of — I mean, to take something that you love, the only way to capture it is to kind of rip it apart, I think, and not miss the forest for the trees,” he says. “I know people have tried to adapt ‘Y: The Last Man’ before, and sometimes they’ll try to cram in every plot point of the book, where I always encourage them to do your own thing, you know? Take it apart. Do something completely new for film or television, as long as you stay true to the themes and the characters. Don’t worry about jamming in every plot point. So I hope we’ve done that.”
Last month King himself posted a statement online in which he defended the show’s changes. “Many of the changes wrought by Brian K. Vaughan and his team of writers have been of necessity, and I approved of them wholeheartedly,” King writes. “If you play fair with the characters — and let them play their parts according to their strengths and weaknesses — you can never go wrong. It’s impossible.”
Vaughan said that’s something they kept in mind. “Yeah, yeah, very much so,” he says. “And, you know, Stephen King has been so supportive from the jump.” He said that King had wanted to take the story in the novel further, but ran out of space and had to wrap it up. “So he was like, ‘Use this as an opportunity to take my characters to places where I didn’t get a chance to,'” Vaughan says. “And so yeah, with his blessing, we’re doing a lot of new things, and it’s been fun.”
In his manifesto of support for the show, King wrote that the dome will remain over the town for months, but Vaughan told Zap2It that it could even be longer than that. “If people stick with us, I hope it’ll be years, you know?” he says. “So it will be a very different Chester’s Mill in Season 10.”
And since the writer brought it up himself, Zap2It had to ask: will an adaptation of “Y: The Last Man,” Vaughan’s exceptional 60-issue graphic novel that follows the last man alive after every other male simultaneously dies, ever reach audiences? “You know, I’ve been asked that question for 10 Comic-Cons in a row now, so we’ll see, you know?” he responds.
“Under The Dome” airs Mondays on CBS at 10 p.m. ET.