Joe Exotic had hundreds of tigers in the Netflix ‘Tiger King’ documentary. The Wild Animal Sanctuary saved 39 of them.
The last time the News-Leader caught up with Michael Frizell, he was meeting a deadline for a “Tiger King” comic. As of Tuesday, Frizell is about a third of the way done on the next installment, “Infamous: Tiger King 2: Sanctuary.”
The soon-to-be completed 22-page comic book biography from TidalWave Productions has the same creative team as the first issue, with Frizell writing, Joe Paradise drawing and Pablo Martinena coloring, according to TidalWave Productions.
The Netflix docuseries, “Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness,” is true-crime series that explores the life of Joe Exotic (born Joseph Schreibvogel), a man with an affinity for big cats. The series examines Exotic’s life at Oklahoma’s Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park and his hatred for Carole Baskin, founder of Big Cat Rescue Sanctuary in Tampa, Florida.
In the series, Exotic deemed Baskin a threat to his livelihood through her advocacy for the Big Cat Public Safety Act, which aims to abolish the ownership of big cats as pets and the practice of cub petting.
Frizell scoured websites for interviews to pick up clues on what kind of story he wanted to tell next. Just as in the first comic, the creative team continued to work with PETA, or People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.
“I was curious where the animals ended up,” Frizell said. “The comic picks up with Joe in jail, and I start to compare his experience in jail to the animals’ experience under his ‘care.’”
The second comic follows the story of three big cats and where they are now, Frizell said.
“After watching the show, I was really put off from watching the characters,” he said. “I didn’t like anybody.”
When you don’t like your characters, that can present some challenges when writing about them, Frizell said.
“I wanted to find something I could latch on to, something I actually liked, and the animals were it,” Frizell said.
PETA was happy to work with TidalWave Productions again.
“With ‘Joe Exotic’ behind bars, the animals he abused for years are finally free from his cruel stunts and thriving at reputable sanctuaries—and that’ll make for a good read in PETA’s book,” said Brittany Peet, PETA Foundation deputy general counsel of captive animal law enforcement, via news release.
The biography comic format allows TidalWave writers to delve into the history of newsworthy figures and explore what shaped them, according to a news release.
Issue No. 1 of “Infamous: Tiger King” is still available on Amazon and various comic book stores. Digital versions are available from iTunes, Kindle, Nook, ComiXology, Kobo and wherever e-books are sold.
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