The concept is a simple and sellable one. John Barret gets involved with a testing program for a new drug that eliminates the need for sleep. Something goes wrong, he gets hooked, and conflict ensues.
NBC is going to develop the property for a television series.
It has been a circuitous route for Rest. Originally, it was a feature script by Mike O'Sullivan, then it was developed into a comic book series by Divide Pictures, which is Milo Ventimiglia (Heroes) and Russ Cundiff, with Mark Powers. That series was published by Devil's Due, and then the collection was published by Top Cow. Now, the series has been tapped for development, with Ventimiglia and Cundiff attached as executive producers, as well as EP credits for Top Cow's Marc Silvestri and Matt Hawkins. Finally, the pilot will be written by Philip Levens (Smallville), also an executive producer.
You're probably wondering about some things. First, why, if I've never heard of this comic is it a big enough deal to get a TV series? Second, what's the deal with Milo Ventimiglia and his name on comics? These things are related. The fact is, Milo's name on the masthead of a comic probably doesn't move all that many more units than if it wasn't there. It might bring in some more people to signings at comic shops, and sell a few more books, and maybe even make it slightly profitable. But that's not why it's there. If celebrity names sold comic books, we'd still see Adam Brody and Rosario Dawson's name on books. What Milo does have, however, is relationships. He was on a fairly successful show for a long time, and the people at NBC know that. Add in a comic book company like Top Cow, with a proven track record of developing TV and Film properties, and you end up with a deal. NBC doesn't care how well the comic book sold. Even the best selling comics don't have an audience big enough to rate a series on the smallest of cable networks. They don't know or care anything about the comics industry. But they see Milo Ventimiglia's name across the top of a comic book (still the it source for development), and they think, "hey, we've got something here!"
This isn't a comment on how good the comic book is. It might very well be a fantastic comic book, but the truth is, the way comics companies stay afloat these days is by thinking bigger than just pages. If they didn't do that, there would be a lot less comics out there, because that's how things get paid for. Did you see all the names 2 paragraphs up? Very few comic books are going to generate enough revenue to pay that many people anything significant. But TV money? That's a whole different ballgame. For now, at least.
Since no one will say it, I would also like to comment that this is a really well designed cover.