Announced months ago by author Stephen King, Marvel Comics this weekend at WizardWorld Philly announced the comic book adaptation of The Stand. Written by Roberto Aguirre-Sacaso (sp? he wrote Marvel's "4" title about the Fantastic Four) with art by Mike Perkins, Marvel E-I-C Joe Quesada held back the number of issues the comic adaptation would run.

Considering the book itself (the unabridged version, at least) clocks in at well over a 1000 pages, it is hard to see the adaptation being anything less than 12 issues. Even the ABC television miniseries was an 8 hour event and that left out a lot from the book. With King being fully involved in the project as he has been with Marvel's adaptation/expansion of his Dark Tower series, it seems that the book will be given a lot of room to tell its story.

The refusal of Marvel to lock-down a finite number of issues seems keyed to the business end of things, however. It's not easy to get a casual comics fan to commit to an ongoing series that extends over more than a year, especially when they know the book will be collected eventually in a handsome hardcover package. Throw in the rising cost of gas and the difficulty of finding a comic shop in this direct market only comics-world, and you have a recipe for a tough sell - even for a writer as popular as King and a book as popular as The Stand.

Either way, it is something that I am sure many King fans are excited about, and certainly, anyone who has picked up the Dark Tower adaptations knows how good and good-looking those books have been. I look forward to the project myself, and just point out Marvel's strange secrecy on the issue number as a point of curiosity.

At right: feast your eyes on a small black and white piece by series artist Mike Perkins!

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