Exposure: The Animated Series

Exposure: The Animated Series

An animated series fancast in honor of the late Al Rio.

As we've all learned by now, comic book and animation great Al Rio passed away last month at the age of 49. He left his mark on nearly every big publisher in the comic book industry, and left quite a reputation in the animation industry. One comic he worked on that is fairly obscure is one I stumbled upon a while back--the web comic he collaborated on with writer David Campiti known as "Expsosure", which debuted in 1999 for Image (and is currently held by Red Giant Entertainment).

The comic is a mix, in terms of style, of Ghostbusters, The X-Files, Men In Black, Fringe, even NCIS--only with two beautiful women as the leads. As for their fashion sense, this is a spoof of 90's 'bad girl' antihero shtick (in my interpretation)--seriously, in almost every single story, their clothes get shredded during a fight. The only thing different about these two is that unlike those same antiheroines, our two leads are actually SELF-CONSCIOUS about it. The basic premise is that Lisa Shannon, a coroner, and her childhood friend Shawna Diaz, a former cop, learn that San Diego is a hubub of supernatural activity. After leaving the force, the two of them, along with their friends Graham Burroughs and Alan Wong, set up Paratech Reasearch, a paranormal investigation agency. Their purpose: "expose" the truths we take for granted regarding the existence of vampires, other dimensions, and other supernatural phenomena.

Al Rio has become one of my favorite artists (not just for his 'good girl' art), and I was surprised when I heard of his passing. Thus, this fancast is a tribute to his work, and to bring a little attention to one of his original works. The cartoon would be true to his particular art style, air on G4, and give us something new to watch--the most important thing television lacks right now (IMO). Some elements may need to be toned-town a tad (just so it doesn't come off as tasteless). Here is the cast for this show (bios taken from the site):

Morena Baccarin as the voice of Lisa Shannon:

"LISA SHANNON suffered tragedy at a young age, discovering her mother's body after a suicide. Soon after, Lisa began seeing and talking to her as an angel--a phenomenon nobody else believed. As she grew to adulthood, earning her doctorate at UCLA and moving back to San Diego where she grew up, that sensitivity to the paranormal increased. Upon reconnecting with childhood friend Shawna Diaz, the two adventurous women form ParaTech Research together."
Picking Baccarin was inspired by her voiceover experience--she's contributed greatly to CB-related productions, voicing Black Canary on Justice League Unlimited and the Cheetah on Batman: The Brave and the Bold. For this role, I'd figured it would be only a matter of time before she ends up in a semi-comedic role. She'd be great for Lisa--strong and confident, yet vulnerable, be it grief over her loss, or when her next dress gets torn off.

Felicia Day as the voice of Shawna Diaz

"SHAWNA McMATTA was best friends with Lisa Shannon in their childhood years, before Lisa's mother's death and personal complications caused Lisa and her father to move away. A cop who married a cop, Shawna--now Shawna DIAZ--later divorced for reasons she doesn't talk about, and her ex is nowhere to be seen. Shawna and Lisa get both a house and a business together, launching ParaTech Research to reveal the truths about the paranormal all around us."
For picking Day, I was inspired by both her work on The Guild--giving her the necessary supernatural experience--and her guest spots on Eureka. She's pretty funny, and I thought would be great bouncing off Baccarin.

David DeLuise as the voice of Graham Burroughs

"GRAHAM BURROUGHS was born in Scotland, where he spent his youth hating haggis. By the time he reached grade school, Graham's parents moved to Canada, then to Daytona Beach, where Graham discovered his love for motorcycling (where he reveled in Bike Week), comic books (where he worked in a comics shop), and computers (where he designed both a game and a virus). Although his father was a farmer and taught Graham the family business until he eventually moved to San Diego, California, Graham had other dreams--and, most recently, they involve ParaTech Research."
Picking DeLuise was also again inspired by his work on Megas XLR, but I also took into account his roles on Stargate SG-1 and the animated Starship Troopers show. I thought he'd be great as Graham--just picture Coop with more competence and a Scottish accent--and a girlfriend.

Scott Grimes as the voice of Alan Wong

Alan, along with Graham, helped Lisa move into her new place when she arrived in San Diego. He's an expert in a few fields, like tech, archaeology, and photography, and has a bit of a thing for Shawna.
I picked Grimes because of his work voicing a similar character, Steve Smith on American Dad. Only difference is, Alan is a little more...'normal' than Steve. And less akward.

Maurice LaMarche as the voice of Detective Nunis

Nunis is Shawna's former superior in the SDPD. He calls on the two of them occasionally to help handle certain cases having to do with things that go bump in the night.
LaMarche is a great voice actor, and I chose him for a couple of his memorable roles: Egon Spengler on The Real Ghostbusters/Extreme Ghostbusters, and Chief Quimby on Inspector Gadget. I also thought of his guest-appearance on the '96 Incredible Hulk as Doctor Strange.

Virginia Madsen as the voice of Lisa's mother

While Lisa's mother did die, she comes back as an angel later in the series, watching over her daughter, until finally confronting her in one story. She even saves a few lives (and gets spotted, and occasionally photographed).
Madsen has a very distinct voice, so I went with her while also inspired by her role as Hippolyta in the 2009 Wonder Woman animated film.

That's a wrap! If anyone knows David Campiti, pass this along--I'm sure he'd like this tribute to Al.

To read the comic itself, here's the site:
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