Von Bach

Doctor Heinrich Von Bach was the nineteenth-century scientist resurrected from the dead by his own ungodly invention. At least that’s the story Hollywood told when they got hold of the gothic romance novel written about the good doctor. For a hundred years they’ve made as many films based on the bloody life and undeath of Von Bach.


Today, a major studio is finishing a big budget “Von Bach” movie. But suddenly, the real Von Bach returns to life in Hollywood and he is going to teach the cast and crew the true meaning of “development hell.”


VON BACH! Greater than the power of life! Greater than the power of love! He possessed the greatest power of all! SUBPOENA POWER!


Playwright Owen Hammer has adapted the play for the comics medium and versatile artists Mariano Navarro and Hernán Cabrera will be bringing his vision to life.

Hammer at the premiere of a production of ‘Von Bach’ in Hollywood.

“Von Bach” is a satire that pokes fun at pop culture and society in general. Nonetheless, there is a powerful story about the search for meaning and the struggle for one’s own dignity. And of course, some genuine scares!



Here's what people are saying about "Von Bach”:


"VON BACH operates on a lot of levels--horror, romance, Hollywood satire, modernist analysis of textual re-interpretation, and to a certain extent legal thriller--and it works wonderfully on all of them. And it's very funny, too, which is not as easy as it sounds.”


-Chris Kipiniak, writer "Nightcrawler," "Marvel Adventures: Spider-Man" and co-creator "Behemoth"


“VON BACH is an absolute pleasure! Owen Hammer's writing is smart, clever, and RICH with Hollywood tapestries, which he craftily TAKES HIS TIME (thank you, Owen) to unfold before us. He understands the delicate balance of revelling in an industry's humorous eccentricities and characters to keeping alive the sense of HOPE in our feisty and determined lead. Go, Minna! However, as wonderful as the writing is, the art (by Mariano Navarro w/colors by Hernan Cabrera) processes all of what Hammer has created and then takes it to a whole 'nother level. While flashy and stylistic, there's a SOLID foundation there. Navarro understands the human form, a wide variety of expressions, and a sense of timing that most mainstream comics fail at nowadays. Where has this talent been hiding and why haven't we seen more of him? And not only do Hernan Cabrera's colors add to the art, his letters (yes, he LETTERS the book, too) manage to achieve a personality of their own, as well. Overall, I want to say that this package is as professional as it gets but if I'm being real, it's actually much, MUCH better! A MUST-READ and another shining example of what comics can aspire to be with the right talent.”


-Gary Yap, creator of Gillian Anderson’s spy comic book “55” and animator for “King of the Hill.”

— The Chapters —

VON BACH CHAPTER 1

In chapter 1, “Post-Mortem,”

we meet Dr. Von Bach who suffers a horrible fate in the nineteenth century and see how his life and death (and possibly un-death) is treated in a present day Hollywood movie.

Writer: Owen Hammer

Art: Mariano Navarro

Color: Hernán Cabrera


20 pages in full color

In 1888, DOKTOR VON BACH explains his work to aspiring writer ELSA JAEGER and Elsa’s self-appointed guardian BRONWYN. Is Von Bach a pioneer or a mad scientist?

In 2013, Hollywood Studio head HILARY RUBENS and her mentee MINNA TSENG brainstorm the one hundredth

‘Von Bach’ film.

CHAPTER 1 VIDEO

One of the many film segments created by The Next Arena theater company.  This trailer for the original “Von Bach” film from 1940 made it into comic book form in chapter 1.

VON BACH CHAPTER 2

In chapter 2, “Writer's Block,” we see Minna dealing with the demands and expectations of writing the new Von Bach film and she engineers a radical solution to the studio’s problems.

Writer: Owen Hammer

Art: Mariano Navarro

Color: Hernán Cabrera


20 pages in full color

MINNA, HILARY and director PETER MAY discuss yet another roadblock to completing their new ‘Von Bach’ film.

The gang plots to make a computer generated Von Bach for their movie, perhaps unintentionally using black magic for the second time . . .

CHAPTER 2 VIDEO

One of the many film segments created by The Next Arena theater company.  This scene from the original German, silent version of “Von Bach” made it into comic book form in chapter 2.

VON BACH CHAPTER 3

In chapter 3, “Habeas Corpus,” Minna and Connor battle each other for control of the new Von Bach film.  Who will be victorious, Minna and her serious monster or Connor and his silly monster?

Writer: Owen Hammer

Art: Mariano Navarro

Color: Hernán Cabrera


20 pages in full color

MINNA, HILARY and PETER try to get the movie in the can, but even a wall of flame can’t stop CONNOR KRUPA from trying to take the film in a different direction.

CONNOR is more than just a smug douchebag.  Oh, he IS a smug douchebag, but with the law on his side, he scores a victory and stops MINNA and HILARY with a court order.

CHAPTER 3 VIDEO

One of the many film segments created by The Next Arena theater company.  We see here a clip from "Return of Von Bach" from 1942, "The Terror of Von Bach" from 1964 and "VB2K" from 1999.  The first is a send-up of the classic Universal horror films, the second a parody of Hammer Horror films (no relation) and the third just pastiche of late 20th century tropes.  This montage made it into comic book form in chapter 3.

VON BACH CHAPTER 4

In chapter 4, “Culture Shock,” Von Bach finds himself in modern day Hollywood after being “dead” for 125 years.  Minna, Connor and Hilary introduce him to American celebrity culture and he is mortified in every sense of the word.

Writer: Owen Hammer

Art: Mariano Navarro

Color: Hernán Cabrera


20 pages in full color

We flash back to 1888 and learn what really happened to Dr. Von Bach.  Elsa and Bronwyn are shocked by his resurrection, but also sense an opportunity.

Von Bach arrives in Hollywood to discover that he is a celebrity . . . not because of his life but because of his death.  

CHAPTER 4 VIDEO

One of the many film segments created by The Next Arena theater company.  The finale to Worldwide Pictures famous “Von Bach” film from 1940, featuring Inus Krupa as Von Bach.  It is based on the classic Universal monster films, specifically the Frankenstein movies directed by James Whale.  This scene made it into comic book form in chapter 4.

One of the many film segments created by The Next Arena theater company.  Scene "Smitty and Slim Meet Von Bach" (1947) featuring Inus Krupa as Von Bach.  It is based on the classic Abbott and Costello/Universal Monster crossover movies, specifically "Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein."