‘Tiger King’ gets the comic book treatment


(Reuters) – “Tiger King,” the compelling true crime series set in the world of private zoos and their eccentric owners, is getting the comic book treatment.

Tidalwave Productions said on Tuesday it has added the story to its Infamous series of pop culture comic books after the Netflix television series became a worldwide phenomenon.

“You can’t make this stuff up,” said Michael Frizell, who will write the book to be published in June in both print and digital editions.

“I never imagined I’d be researching a book like this. It was a challenge to find a focus for the comic because there’s so much happening,” Frizell said in a statement.

“Tiger King,” the extraordinary tale of flamboyant Oklahoma zoo keeper Joe Exotic, his rivalry with Florida big cat rescue activist Carole Baskin and his imprisonment for hiring a hitman to try to kill her, was watched by some 34.3 million viewers in the first 10 days after it was released on Netflix on March 20, according to Nielsen data.

Tiger King’s immense popularity coincided with Americans settling into stay-at-home mode to help slow the spread of the coronavirus during which television viewership has soared.

The series has already spawned a follow-up episode from celebrity website TMZ, and plans for two more series, including a possible movie version.

Publisher Darren G. Davis said the comic book was “fun and a good distraction” from the coronavirus epidemic that has upended life for millions of people and killed more than 124,000 people globally.

The glossy comic will have two covers, one featuring Joe Exotic and Carole Baskin and the other a colorful “blinged” out tiger.

Previous subjects in the Infamous series have included troubled actors Charlie Sheen and Lindsay Lohan.

(This story corrects details of crime in 5th paragraph)

Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Bill Berkrot