Friday, April 10, 2009

film2comics - or - comics2film

You hear in films today how this or that character or story was originally found in a graphic novel. You have seen in comics a trend towards licensed books, where a comic can sell to a ready made audience with further stories in a particular world or with a particular character. But in film you almost never see a direct to film take, outside of 300 or Sin City, however in comics the direct novelization of a film has often flopped in the comic market. So while film takes liberties and does well, comics take what has been done and places it on paper, to poor sales. Why is this? Well I am sure there are many reasons, such as the desire to sell a comic to people who wouldn’t normally be in the audience, but that is unlikely. I mean, you don’t see Woody Allen novelizing his movies into comics. There is no Sleeper the comic, nor the Further adventures of Sleeper. The comic audience is rather galvanized towards male power fantasy. If a movie doesn’t possess those qualities, it won’t be adapted to comic form. But direct adaptations mean that the work in comic form is already likely a comic character. And a film to develop and adapt a character or story, needs to have creative control over the work. So comics are forced, if they wish to make money, to develop the concept further, whereas in film, they have almost always taken liberties to tell the story they want. It clearly isn’t a two way street.

But I am not unhappy there. The Daredevil movie was in itself fun, but didn’t really get why Daredevil is so awesome a character. The novelization would be telling a story that was wrong by the standards of the comic world. So what is good in terms of adaptations? In both directions I think Sin City and 300 were great. But there is little else I think this of.... except...

M the film by Fritz Lang was interpreted, sequentially and to the panel, directly, by Jon J. Muth. The comic was as beautiful and haunting as the movie was painful and disturbing to watch. I’ve truly never seen a better marriage of concept and page.

You may be able to order it through your comic shop. It is a beautiful book.

Friday, April 3, 2009


I believe that both comedy and horror are the most specific genres of any medium to a person's individual taste. So when I post a pic of famous comedy teams, I do not expect you to agree. It is simply to illustrate that we are chatting here about comedy. And frankly, beyond this introduction, what I'd like to know, is what makes YOU laugh.

For me there is a wide gap between what I enjoy in comedy and what I am supposed to enjoy. I laugh hard at the Three Stooges, but was told they were low brow. I like JackAss the movie and the show. It is very lowbrow. And The Young Ones, from the BBC, who showed that humor, even in the UK is not such a dignified affair. I love Laurel and Hardy, and twice I was rescued from sadness by the Lil Rascals/Our Gang. Humor depends upon your mood and experiences, and it depends upon quality. If Curly Howard is poked in the eyes by Moe, it requires some degree of ability to portray it without fully injuring Curly. And more, just because someone is able to make you laugh on a lowbrow level, it does not mean, at all, that they are unintelligent. It means they could see what would be funny, from their perspective as an actor, performer, writer...

But tell me, tell us at Poplitiko, what/who makes you laugh?