THE STORY: "Air" by G. Willow Wilson (W) and M. K. Perker (A) - DC/Vertigo
WHAT IT'S ABOUT: An acrophobic (afraid of heights) flight attendant gets mixed up with a mysterious terrorist group after an encounter with a globe-trotting stranger.
Airplane hijackings, kidnappings, trips to mythical cities and reality-bending adventures ensue as she struggles to make some sense of her new relationship and the trouble she's welcomed into her life.
WHY IT WORKS: "Air" is a surreal tale of spy games and adventures in alternate dimensions, but at its heart its really a great "girl meets boy and they fall in love" story. Cut through all of the philosophical ponderings and misdirection, and the first volume of the series, "Lost Countries," offers a tale ready made for adaptation by filmmakers with the quirky vision of Wes Anderson or Michel Gondry.
By making the love story the foundation of "Air" and building it up with liberal doses of action, spy drama and science-fiction, Wilson and Perker's series offers great source material for a film—but it might be even better suited as an ongoing television series a la "Lost" or "Fringe."
WHY IT DOESN'T WORK: Those aforementioned "philosophical ponderings" provide much of the unique flavor in "Air," and there could be some trouble in toning them down for a mainstream audience. Neil Gaiman has compared "Air" to the works of Salman Rushdie and Thomas Pynchon, so anyone charged with making the concepts in "Air" more accessible to the majority of viewers would have to walk the fine line between straying too far from the source and alienating mainstream audiences by changing too little.
HOW TO DO IT: I mentioned Wes Anderson and Michel Gondry earlier as the sort of filmmakers whose unique vision for the medium could provide the right vehicle to bring "Air" to the big (or small) screen. Ideally though, a television series could provide the best format for "Air," as it will give its audience time between each episode to digest the sci-fi revelations and layers of spy games that unfold throughout the series.
Wilson has stated that she has four years of storylines mapped out in the world "Air," and judging by the historical references and mythology she's explored thus far, "Air" offers both the episodic adventures and slowly developing, underlying mystery that has been the trademark of quite a few successful television series these days.
Would you like to see "Air" adapted? Would it work better as a movie or TV series? Let us know what you think in the comment section or on Twitter!