Long long ago, artist Richard Corben and writer Jan Strnad teamed up on a story called “To Meet the Faces You Meet” — and now Patton Oswalt is giving it a voice in a feature-length film.
“To Meet the Faces You Meet” was a pre-Heavy Metal Corben story published by Kitchen Sink in the 1972 one-shot Fever Dreams. Over 16 pages, it told the story of a psychic hero named Friz in a sentient spaceship called MEAD (Mobile Extrasensory Autonomous Deceptor). Strnad and Corben were frequent collaborators, and their New Tales of the Arabian Nights ran as a serial in the June 1978 through July 1979 issues of Heavy Metal. Corben, of course, is Heavy Metal‘s longest-running contributor, beginning with Den in our first issue and continuing to this day with his story Murky World, but you knew that.
Director Jeffery Allen Williams was a kid when he encountered the now 48-year-old tale “To Meet the Faces You Meet,” and he’s finally gotten around to making a movie out of it. In fact, a good deal of the feature-length film is done — the animation is finished and the voice acting for MEAD has been completed, by actor and standup comedian Patton Oswalt. Yes, that Patton Oswalt, who voiced Remy in Ratatouille, who narrates The Goldbergs, who voices Happy in Grant Morrison’s Happy! series, who helped bring back MST3K. Bojack Horseman, Archer, Veep, Reno 911! — the dude is everywhere (he even found the time to write an appreciation of Harlan Ellison in Heavy Metal 291).
With the visuals done and a main character’s voice in place, all Williams and his Parallax Studios team need to do is secure live-action talent for the human parts, film them, and put all the pieces together. To get these last steps done, they’ve launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for an A-list actor or few to play human characters Friz, Gillette, Tam, and Phoebe.
Here’s a pre-production trailer that shows the animation and features Patton Oswalt as MEAD:
Here’s the video from the Kickstarter campaign in which Jeffery Williams explains his history with the story as well as Rich and Jan. We did not ask or tell him to wear the awesome shirt: