Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Graphically Novel

I remember one of the first comic adaptations I read--for the
original "Star Wars". Marvel hired Howard Chaykin to portray
George Lucas' "Episode IV--A New Hope" (1977) in comic form. I
bought that "adaptation" as soon as it was released. I recall thinking,
"Howard's art seems to be different from the movie I just watched a
couple weeks ago." Now take that concept and reverse it, and you'll
have Hollywood's current approach to adapting graphic novels. They
just aren't that similar to the source material. Is that really so bad?

A couple examples:
I just read through Alan Moore and Dave Lloyd's "V For Vendetta",
and Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill's "The League Of Extraordinary
Gentlemen Volume One." When I watched the accompanying filmed
versions, I understood why Alan Moore was grumpy. Conversely, I
wonder if Howard Chaykin was disappointed that people didn't like
his version of "Star Wars Episode IV"as much as the film? Is there a
hard, fast rule that 'whatever the first version was, it is always
better', when movies are involved?

Should a bit of forgiveness come into play?

Some of the comparisons that I've been thinking
about to test the theory--
"Star Trek--the original TV series" vs.
"Star Trek-- The Motion Picture" (1979)
The TV series was better, unless battling "Star Trek II--The Wrath
Of Khan." But then Star Trek:The Next Generation arrived on TV,
and I think that was able to surpass the original TV series and ALL
the Star Trek movies up to that point, looking at all seven

"Shrek" the book vs. "Shrek" the movie (2001)
Find the original Shrek book at the library. It is a short, concise work
but I would judge the film "better" overall.

The original videogames vs. the filmed counterparts
Think about Mortal Kombat and Super Mario Brothers--the 16-bit
videogames were probably a bit more cool. The "Final Fantasy--
The Spirits Within" (2001) looked awesome, but the movie seemed
distant from its origin. "Resident Evil" (2002) the movie was fun
and fast-paced, with a lot less puzzles than the games (a plus?).

I bet "Pong--The Movie" would be great, if the Wachowski Brothers
were onboard.

Chris VanAllsberg books vs. accompanying movies--
Jumanji, The Polar Express, Zathura
The books are quick reads, and the movies are very "caulked"--lots
of things added to the originals. I haven't heard that Chris is as
grumpy as Alan Moore. Perhaps they should compare royalty

The Star Wars movies vs.
The Clone Wars animated series on Cartoon Network
Limit the comparison to Episodes I, II and III and the Clone Wars are
triumphant (cue appropriate John Williams' music).

Frank Miller's Sin City graphic novels vs.
"Frank Miller's Sin City" the movie
This would be one of the rare cases of a "tie". I ordered all
the graphic novels from the library (go do it online today!)
and the on-screen portrayal of the stories was eerily close.
It will be interesting to see the rest of the tales adapted.

Is there really a need for judgement? This is a comparison
of entertainment, versus judging someone's deeds in life or
a politician's career. Would it be fair to compare everyone
with their parents, siblings, or cousins?

So you say you're an individual; you're unique.

Write in with comparisons of your own!


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