From cave paintings to Egyptian hieroglyphs, the "Lindisfarne illuminated gospels
Heidi, thank you for such a clear and enjoyable overview of the comic/graphic novel genre. My brother received a manga adaptation of Macbeth for Christmas. I will have to see if he’s willing to lend it to me!
Your comments on comics were very interesting. I’m adapting Shakespeare to graphic novels for Classical Comics in UK and Campfire in India. Both these publishers are also doing versions of the great classic novels. I prefer doing Shakespeare (re-writng the bard as modern 21st century english) as there are always surprises, no matter how well you think you know a play. If you’re interested in looking at their titles, you can check them out at – www.classicalcomics.com or www.campfire.co.in
While I loved the film version of V for Vendetta, once you’ve read the comic I think you start to see why Alan Moore’s sworn off Hollywood. It’s not a travesty like League of Extraordinary Gentlemen’s film adaptation was, but still a great deal is lost in the rather broad strokes of the VfV film. I’d really recommend the comic, which is wholly more subtle and complex and all the better for it.
Right, as an aid to discussion and reading, I’ve started a list of good places to start in comics:
Let me know what you think, and what obvious choice I’ve left out.
This weekend I watched ‘Watchmen’. Though visually stunning and entertaining, I found it a bit hard to follow, and the characters lacked depth, I think because there were too many storylines and themes going on for one film. I just didn’t have enough time to really engage with the characters or plot. For someone who has read the comic and knows all the backgrounds etc, i imagine it worked better.
I’d be very interested to know what you think Heidi!
To be honest, I tend to look forward to a lot of the film versions that are made of literary works, as it’s always interesting to see how the story evolves or what kind of spins new interpretations might produce for all the fans. That being said, I agree with Alan Moore in that it would be very difficult to capture on film what is presented in a comic series – you could argue that the best comic-movie adaptations come when one villain or storyline is concentrated upon; the Watchmen series is so densely packed with characters, images and ideas that it is amazing to think it (finally!) made it to the big-screen.
To be honest, I think they did the best job they could and it would be difficult for anyone to top it. I loved the fact that many of the shots were lifted straight from the series and that so many of the actors were dead ringers (Rorschach esp. comes to mind). But I think if people weren’t familiar with the story, they would be disappointed – i.e. they’re going to watch a ‘superhero’ movie revolving around the deconstruction of the superhero myth? And enjoy it?
On the other hand, a feature film aimed towards a mainstream audience might increase the number of people checking out the original; since the series discusses a tremendous number of ideas that are relevant to contemporary society, this can only be a good thing!
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