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Type: Editorial Review


420-001-Can’t Wait That Long – is the first of 13 comic books by veteran animator and illustrator Verne Andru. Principally a science fiction story, 420 blends science fiction, dark comedy and grit into a story that’s just plain fun. With a nod to Cheech and Chong, the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers, Fritz the Cat, 420 follows the adventures of a down and out roadie, Hal Lighter, as he gets caught in the middle of an extraterrestrial turf war over the planet earth in his attempts to win the favor of his secret desire, Marion Jones. In the process, he stumbles upon some extraterrestrial herb that transforms him into Captain Cannabis, a superhero who is about as far from politically correct you can get. The first issue, written for mature audiences, introduces the main characters and sets up the drama that unfolds over the remaining books. Unlike conventional comics, 420 is written in a feature – length animated screenplay format. Drawings are prepared to feature film specifications, and then given a color overhaul before being published in the series of Heavy Metal format illustrated books. Once all books in the series have been completed, so will the artwork for the film that will be released on DVD.

About the Author

Veteran illustrator and animator Verne Andru found his calling when he met the crew from Captain Canuck Comics at a high school career day. He quickly became the studio pest, dropping by the studio to show off his latest creations, including 420’s star attraction, Captain Cannabis. His career got a boost with his first paid job – cel painting on Blowhard – a National Film Board animated short. This was followed by animation assignments of Hanna Barberra’s Saturday morning lineup. At the same time, he continued working in comics, doing covers for Charleton, ink and color on Capt. Canuck, and illustrating for the independently published Phantacea. During a feature assignment on Nelvana’s Rock and Rule he worked with a leading special effects team and became intrigued with the opportunities computers had for fantasy creators. Upon completing that project he attended college, graduating on the honor role.

As a computer systems specialist, Verne was more than eager to apply the newest technology as it became available. Desktop publishing replaced traditional typesetters. He pioneered digital paint for character coloring on television series work. This was followed by a state of the art desktop animation system he used to produce a range of animations for web and broadcast, including a successful kids club commercial for Swedish furniture retailer, IKEA.
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