Despite being a hack writer who's been paid off-and-on for his dubious talents for more than 30 years, I've always been intrigued by how two sets of eyes can read the same story/screenplay or see the same movie and get something completely different out of it, or not...

Well, how about four sets?

When Eddie Campbell told me his follow-up project for First Second after his wonderful memoir Fate of the Artist was to be his adaptation of an unproduced screenplay, the turn-of-the-century actioner The Black Diamond Detective Agency, I was intrigued by my friend's choice and film producer Bill Horberg's decision to convert the dormant screenplay into a graphic novel.

Little did I know, indy favs James Sturm and Nick Bertozzi had developed a 10-page pitch of their own for Black Diamond, the year before Campbell took on the project for First Second.

Tapping on the image link below takes you to the ACT-I-VATE Web site and the entire pitch, an exceedingly rare look at a radically different take on a story that eventually saw print.

The news is good all the way around: Bertozzi left Black Diamond to work with Jason Lutes on Houdini: The Handcuff King from Hyperion. And, First Second is keeping Sturm and Bertozzi busy with projects!

Black Diamond Detective Agency image