?Being a professional actor doesn’t mean you have stop working after the last shot of the day. Some, like Don Johnson, became musicians. Others, like Ron Howard, became directors. Still others, like Andy Dick, became punchlines.
For some, that extra creativity manifests as comic books. It’s no secret that some of the biggest stars in film and TV have a nerd bent to them, and they’ve used their fame to get jobs in the comics industry and do what they love — namely, write about men in tights fighting other men in tights. Here’s a lot at 10 celebrities with some serious nerd cred who have: written comics for Marvel, DC or Dark Horse; written their own comic; or even published their own comic creations! After all, what’s the point of being a nerd celebrity if you can’t use it to fulfill your nerd dreams?
10) Jonathan Ross
?Being #10 on one of my lists is just as good as being #1, and Jonathan Ross is cool enough to take any number he wants. If there ever needed to be a United Nations Ambassador for Comics, I’d like to see Jonathan get the job. His comic collection at his North London home is legendary. His comic, Turf, with artist Tommy Lee Edwards was a critical hit, and blended vampires with gangsters and aliens. It didn’t hurt that the book was fan-fucking-tastic.
9) Bill Hader and Seth Meyers
?I include both of them under the same number because they’ve only written one comic together, but it was a damn fine book. Amazing Spider-Man: The Short Halloween was a clever little book from 2009 that was co-written by both SNL cast members. I remember the interviews they gave in the months leading up to its release and just getting a sense that these guys were absolutely overjoyed to be asked to write a comic. Both of them are massive comic fans — check out Kevin Maguire’s sketch of Seth as Blue Beetle above!
8) Rob Zombie
?Forget the scary make-up and agro beats – Rob Zombie is a rabid comics fan. He’s made a decent career out of it too. Most of his work is appropriately gory, but he’s teamed up with some of the best horror writers in the business, Steve Niles and Dan Brereton. Check out his work on The Nail, The Haunted World of El Superbeasto, Bigfoot, and Whatever Happened to Baron Von Shock? (which was canceled with one issue to go). He even did illustrations for Brereton’s Nocturnals.
7) Brian Posehn
?Geek through and through. His love of comic books (and metal music) comes through in his work, and he’s been lucky enough to do his own book, The Last Christmas for Image. Other than a single story for The Goon and a Treehouse of Horrors entry, it’s fair to say that Brian hasn’t done enough comic work for a man of his geek stature, and that needs to be rectified immediately.
6) Patton Oswalt
?If you’ve ever heard his stand-up, you know that Patton Oswalt eats, sleeps, and breathes comic books (and alcohol). Not only is he an actor, comedian, and screenwriter, he’s also got a significant career in comics behind him. He’s had pieces in Batman, The Goon, and Treehouse of Horror, as well as a JLA one-shot. Most importantly, he was the writer chosen to say farewell to “Wash” Washburne after his death in Serenity in the Dark Horse one-shot, Serenity: Float Out.
5) Kevin Smith
?Kevin Smith is known about as well for his comic books as he is for his movies. Both are labors of love for him, as he has his own film production company and his own comic shop in New Jersey. In addition to continuing Clerks in comic form, Kevin’s gotten high-profile gigs writing for Batman, Daredevil, and Green Arrow. When his screenplay for Green Hornet was killed, he went ahead and published it as a comic from Dynamite, putting the character back in the spotlight before the movie was released.
4) Samuel L. Jackson
?Sam Jackson’s made no bones about being a comic fan. It’s more than just research for a role, the man is geek enough to have a damn pull list. In just last year he got into the comic writing game with Cold Space, a 4-issue series from Boom! Studios. The sci-fi story is a co-writing project with the producer of Afro Samurai, Eric Calderon.
3) Thomas Jane
?If you were Thomas Jane, you wouldn’t do anything half-assed. Write a comic book? Fuck that, I’m making my own comic production studio (it’s RAW Studios, so you can look it up). And I’m going to write the books too. Alien Pig Farm? That’s mine. Bad Planet? That one I’m writing with motherfucking Steve Niles, bitches. Because that’s Thomas Jane, and he gets what he wants.
2) Mark Hamill
?The thing about Mark Hamill, as the Arkham City panel at this year’s San Diego Comic Con proved, is that he loves being a nerd. Being the Joker isn’t just a job for him, it was something he completely cared about as a fan. He got to sit in the writer’s chair for 1996’s limited series The Black Pearl from Dark Horse, which according to him might be a movie soon (still up in the air). If you can’t track down the trade, or the back issues, check out the Simpsons story he wrote in 2001 for Treehouse of Horrors VII!
1) William Shatner
?Bill Shatner does not sleep. He only creates. He’s written novels, songs, poems, movies, and even comic books. In 2009, Bill made the leap from novelist to comic scribe with the 8-issue series William Shatner Presents The Tek War Chronicles from Bluewater Comics. It’s a continuation of the TekWar series that Shatner began co-writing in 1989. And while Marvel put out their own series in the same universe, TekWorld, Shatner didn’t get involved in the writing until the 2009 series.