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Genndy Tartakovsky on The Status of His Luke Cage Comic

It sounded so cool. Way back in 2007, Marvel announced CAGE!, an out-of-continuity mini-series celebrating Luke Cage in all his ’70s Power Man glory. The book was to be written and drawn by Genndy Tartakovsky, the creative mastermind behind Dexter’s Laboratory, Samurai Jack and Star Wars: The Clone Wars (the good version). As explained at the time, the series wasn’t just going to serve up pulpy “blaxploitation” fun but would also take a “super-satirical look at 1970s Marvel comics… packed with plenty of nostalgic Marvel characters and costumes [and] loads of deliciously-dated pop culture references to boot!”

And then… nothing. Tartakovsky’s plate filled up pretty fast; while fans waited for an update, he launched a new series on Cartoon Network (Sym-Bionic Titan) and then prepped a move to the big-screen. His theatrical debut, Hotel Transylvania, will arrive in theaters on Friday, September 28. And before he has a moment to catch his breath, he’s already returned to the drawing board with an upcoming 3D movie version of Popeye.

So what happened to CAGE! then? During an interview with Moviefone, to promote Transylvania, we asked Tartakovsky for an update on the series. He explained the cause of the book’s delays, and revealed that it still may see the light of day.CA: What is the status on the Luke Cage comic that you were developing with Marvel?

GT: [Laughs] I can’t believe you’re asking me this.

CA: I just have to know.

GT: So it’s all written, it’s all drawn, it’s finished. It needs to be inked and I never got a chance to ink it and color it. I haven’t talked to Marvel in forever and I don’t know if the editor is already gone, the one that I was working with. (Note: Aubrey Sitterson, the editor overseeing CAGE! left Marvel in a full-time capacity in 2008.) Every time I turn on my computer and I see some images from it, I get so sad because that is the one thing I really want to finish and the hard part is done — that is the crazy part. I’ve got all four issues done and they’re just sitting there and it’s killing me.

CA: Are you going to finish it come hell or high water?

GT: I’m going to try. I’m going to finish it when I get a free minute, when all of this subsides. I’m going to call them and see if they’re still interested in finishing it.

CA: Well I’m definitely still interested in reading it, so you can tell Marvel that there is an audience demand for it.

GT: Well if it doesn’t work out, I’ll just send you the pencils and you can read it.

The full interview with Tartakovsky featuring updates on Popeye and the possibility of a Samurai Jack film, will premiere on Moviefone, closer to release date.

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