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Comic Book movies: what matters the most to you?

Old 02-17-05, 04:13 PM
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Comic Book movies: what matters the most to you?

I have seen the recent threads relating to both [Constantine and Fantastic Four and noticed a wide variety of reactions concerning the films' look and apparent changes they have made from the original medium.

While I know there are many people out there who seem to demand a movie be extremely faithful in every aspect, there are also many more who are willing to accept a few changes as long as they don't go overboard with them. This in mind, I was wondering what aspect of the original source you feel is the most important when adapting a comic for the big screen?

IMO, it is being faithful to the actual character and the way they behave or act. I can handle changes to the origin, setting, and storylines, but as long as the character is faithful to the original source, then I consider it a good adaptation.
There have been many movies that tweaked origins and major story aspects, but remained true to the characters. The two that stand out IMO are Spider-Man and the two X-Men movies.

Ones that I felt were true to the look of the comic but not the characters:
DareDevil-credit where credit is due, they nailed Miller's atmosphere
Constantine-have yet to see it, but from skimming the comics I can tell they have the look correct

Punisher is an interesting case for me. One could argue they weren't even remotely faithful, but after reviewing some of the Garth Ennis issues, I am starting to think they might have done some right and some wrong. IMO the saving grace of this film was Thomas Jane. While the writers had his character do stuff I didn't necessarily agree with, Jane's performance really indicated to me that HE understood the character and did what he could with what he had.
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Old 02-17-05, 05:15 PM
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I want to see the characters I liked from the book make it to the film. I really don't have much care for the situation since they do have decades and countless issues to work from and considering how stories are always being retold and so forth, a new and fresh story can be interesting.

DD failed with the characters. Matt didn't seem like Matt and Elektra was just a complete waste. Don't bring up Kingpin.

Spider-man has it sold, even with the change up of the telling of some of the aspects (gwen stacy), they nailed the whole peter parker thing down right.

X-men, I hated the look of the outfits but I thought the characters were atleast on the mark. Wolverine felt like Wolverine and so forth.

Constantine really missed the mark mainly due to Keanu's acting. The setting was decent but when you give the hero a Holy shotgun and change his reaction or just toss in a smoke or some booze for the sake of trying to make him more like the comic character but fail on everything else about him you really miss the mark.

Punisher had it decent. ruthless punisher with a sick sadistic twist in humor with his one liners.
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Old 02-17-05, 05:24 PM
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If I'm a fan of the comic then all I ask for be faithful to the characters, if I'm not a fan then I just want a great movie.

I'm as big of a comic book fan as it gets, & I can completely put aside costume changes, origin changes, it's a movie its not a comic book.

I think like Jack said, Daredevil & Constantine are two examples where they don't do this & two examples of awful comic book movies. I dont' know what Daredevil movie you saw Dr. DVD but it doesn't "nail" any aspect whatsoever of Miller's DD. The movie COMPLETELY changes Elektra, Murdock is totaly out of character, it's just terrible film from the script, to the directing. The only thing that was faithful was Foggy.

The truly great comic book adaptations, X2, Spider 2, the original Superman, Lone Wolf & Cub, aside from being great films, they adapt faithfully what the spirit of the comics were.

Then there are adaptations like Blade where I was never a fan of the comic, so all I wanted was a great comic book-like movie, & the first 2 deliver on that, the last is one of the worste films of the past few years.
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Old 02-17-05, 06:00 PM
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Blade was a strange case where the movie pretty much nailed the mood for what Blade will be. He was a very non-popular comic book character that the differences really did nail a good job at what he should be.

This has happened before. Batman TV show nailed what Batgirl should be and that was what batgirl was after that. Batman TAS reinvented Mr. Freeze and the comics followed. Also see Harley Quinn for this example of the media form of tv and films dictating the future of a unknown/lesser known character.

Blade before the film was much different. Read Midnight sons and you'll see that he was just a regular black hero that came from the black expliotation films of the 70's with Luke Cage and was just pretty much stuck in the 70's mold till the film.

Sin City looks to be one of the best comics to film translations and it's saying a lot when the movie is a direct picture to picture lift off the comic book.

Mentioning the worse of the worse is the alan moore books translated to screen. LXG was just god awful. Moore even said he wanted nothing to do with Constantine.

The important lesson to learn from all this is to try to get the creators insight on those films. Alan moore didn't get anything from LXG or constantine. No scripts, no work prints no anything. He even reassigned his pay to other folks. Sure Constantine was taken from Garth Ennis and Jamie Delano issues of the series, but to consult with the creator is the important aspect.

Spidey 2 had creator imput to some degree. Sam is well versed in the spidey books and stan lee was taken into account. For sin city frank millar has credits and has been apart of the process the whole way through.

Perhaps that's the most important aspect to the success of making a comic book movie. Get the creators onboard.

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Old 02-17-05, 06:46 PM
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Not tho threadcrap, but I hope they stop making movies from comic books... Are all the good books in the world already filmed?
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Old 02-17-05, 06:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Sessa17
I think like Jack said, Daredevil & Constantine are two examples where they don't do this & two examples of awful comic book movies. I dont' know what Daredevil movie you saw Dr. DVD but it doesn't "nail" any aspect whatsoever of Miller's DD. The movie COMPLETELY changes Elektra, Murdock is totaly out of character, it's just terrible film from the script, to the directing. The only thing that was faithful was Foggy.

I think you misinterpreted my statement. I meant to say that visually, DD looked like the comic books of Miller, and by that I mean the sets (i.e. the seedy bars, the dim lighting). In terms of characters, I think it pretty much failed on every level one could imagine.
In terms of Punisher, he was ruthless but I don't think some people found him ruthless enough. Having played the game which is pretty much the unofficial sequel, I appreciate the movie more knowing that by the end he was the ruthless Punisher.
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Old 02-17-05, 06:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Playitagainsam
Not tho threadcrap, but I hope they stop making movies from comic books... Are all the good books in the world already filmed?

Not to personally attack you, but anyone who thinks comic books are "for little kids" or a medium that doesn't deserve to be read need to be kicked in the head because their brain is clearly not working right.

Comic books are BOOKS. The day you realize that is the day you will read some amazing stories.
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Old 02-17-05, 07:04 PM
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I don't care how faithful or unfaithful they are, as long as they make a GOOD movie. I remember all the hubbub about Spider-Man's web slinging being biological (in the movie version) before Spider-Man 1 came out...which people quickly stopped griping about when they realized the film was pretty darn good (and the second one close to brilliant).
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Old 02-17-05, 07:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Playitagainsam
Not tho threadcrap, but I hope they stop making movies from comic books... Are all the good books in the world already filmed?
There's something called freewill which means you are not obligated to see these films.
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Old 02-17-05, 07:36 PM
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I expect some level of faithfulness to the original material. Organic shooters? I didn't care, he still shot webs out of his wrists. He was still Spidey. Although I never understood how he makes a really cool high tech costume yet not have him make the webshooters, too? Eh. No big deal.

Now The Hulk.. that's a whole 'nother kettle of fish.
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Old 02-17-05, 07:57 PM
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I think most of all I want the movie to be "good". I want to be able to sit down and at the end not say "Man was I ripped off". But I think everyone wants that with any movie they see.

I think what's important, for me at least, is that the characters come across well and that they at least are faithful to the comic. Looking back, I think that was one of the problems with Daredevil . Alot of the characters really didn't come across as compelling. And this is from a guy who was a Daredevil fan for years. I thought that the movie was good overall, the fight scense between DD and Bullseye were excellent, but something got lost along the way.

X-Men on the other hand was one they really hit the mark on. Especially X-Men 2. It had alot of really good components; excellent story, good action sequences, and you really connected with alot of characters. They were portrayed very accuratley. Same with Spider-Man.

I'm one of those people who is willing to accept a few changes along the way if the end result is a good film. Just as long as it's not turned into a mockerey or a big steaming pile.
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Old 02-17-05, 08:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Playitagainsam
Not tho threadcrap, but I hope they stop making movies from comic books... Are all the good books in the world already filmed?


They already used up all the good comic books anyway.
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Old 02-17-05, 08:33 PM
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Hulk is another case where I liked most of it, but overall was left feeling empty.

They were very faithful to the character of Bruce Banner, and while it doesn't take much to be faithful to Hulk, they did a good job. While some argue the movie wasn't faithful to the mood of the comic, it actually was, but only to the more recent publications. (If you don't believe me, pick up a collected TPB of the recent years of Hulk; very dark and depressing stuff, and it also doesn't show much Hulk.)
The problem for me was the final act. The movie was doing fine, then my oh my did it do a quick nosedive. If it weren't for that lame ass ending, I could have defended the movie, but I cannot look at it the way it is and do such.
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Old 02-17-05, 08:45 PM
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Originally Posted by PopcornTreeCt


They already used up all the good comic books anyway.

You must not read many comic books.
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Old 02-17-05, 09:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Jackskeleton
You must not read many comic books.
No, I don't. Spider-Man. Batman. X-Men. Superman. All have had more than 1 movie. Any other household names that haven't had movies yet? Except maybe Wonder Woman, I think not. There may be some good comic books out there but the more obscure they get, the more they alienate the audience.
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Old 02-17-05, 09:41 PM
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Jackskeleton,

If you honestly believe any comic book - no, make that THE BEST COMIC BOOK EVER (whichever that is, in your opinion) - can come even close to true literature (from Faulkner to Kazantzakis, from Twain to Tolstoy, from Petronius to Sartre, from Mailer to Marquez), then no further discussion is necessary here.

For anyone else who cares:

Personally, I want to see more films made from Asimov, Clarke, Niven, Benford, Heinlein, Dick, Strugatski, Lem, LeGuin, Verne, van Vogt, Wells (in SF); Hugo, Zola, Carpentier, Fitzgerald, Beckett, Fowles, Malraux, Proust, Camus, Kishon, Frygyes, Eliade (in mainstream) ... and the list could go on.

Films made from comic books are generally faux art and/or kitsch, and I belive that in order to suceed raising itself above mere pulp, a comic book must be running for long enough (i.e. decades) and create more than a cult following. Superman and Spiderman, being as old as they are, were the best placed for the port to the big screen.

Nowadays, you have things like Darkman, Spawn, Blade, X-Men, Hellboy etc... all mediocre items, forgotten in a few years, and they all come from niche comic books, with low or zero international appeal. Anyone remember Howard the Duck? yep, another comic book character.

I'm not browbeating comic books, but they are not culture, not art (pop-art, maybe), and they are not a good source for deep, fulfilling stories, They're chewing gum for the brain, not real food. They can have a beneficial influence over cinema (Ridley Scott and his "Metal Hurlant" influences for "Alien" are the first that come to mind), but as far as representing a base to expand into cinema, they are empty boxes, unsuitable for a strong foundation.
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Old 02-17-05, 09:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Playitagainsam
Jackskeleton,

If you honestly believe any comic book - no, make that THE BEST COMIC BOOK EVER (whichever that is, in your opinion) - can come even close to true literature (from Faulkner to Kazantzakis, from Twain to Tolstoy, from Petronius to Sartre, from Mailer to Marquez), then no further discussion is necessary here.

For anyone else who cares:

Personally, I want to see more films made from Asimov, Clarke, Niven, Benford, Heinlein, Dick, Strugatski, Lem, LeGuin, Verne, van Vogt, Wells (in SF); Hugo, Zola, Carpentier, Fitzgerald, Beckett, Fowles, Malraux, Proust, Camus, Kishon, Frygyes, Eliade (in mainstream) ... and the list could go on.

Films made from comic books are generally faux art and/or kitsch, and I belive that in order to suceed raising itself above mere pulp, a comic book must be running for long enough (i.e. decades) and create more than a cult following. Superman and Spiderman, being as old as they are, were the best placed for the port to the big screen.

Nowadays, you have things like Darkman, Spawn, Blade, X-Men, Hellboy etc... all mediocre items, forgotten in a few years, and they all come from niche comic books, with low or zero international appeal. Anyone remember Howard the Duck? yep, another comic book character.

I'm not browbeating comic books, but they are not culture, not art (pop-art, maybe), and they are not a good source for deep, fulfilling stories, They're chewing gum for the brain, not real food. They can have a beneficial influence over cinema (Ridley Scott and his "Metal Hurlant" influences for "Alien" are the first that come to mind), but as far as representing a base to expand into cinema, they are empty boxes, unsuitable for a strong foundation.

I can tell from reading the above post you must not read many comics either. You ever stop to think that comics might be a clever way of communicating the themes found in many of authors' works you mentioned above to those who cannot comprehend it on just the written level?
FWIW, a lot of the classic literature works have been given a comic style rendering to help people better understand the book. True, it might just be a synopsis, but they can keep the themes in tact just the same.
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Old 02-17-05, 10:04 PM
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If you honestly believe any comic book - no, make that THE BEST COMIC BOOK EVER (whichever that is, in your opinion) - can come even close to true literature (from Faulkner to Kazantzakis, from Twain to Tolstoy, from Petronius to Sartre, from Mailer to Marquez), then no further discussion is necessary here.
Playitagainsam,
if you honestly think that just because comic books use both pictures and words to tell a story seperates it from being a "Book" and should be grouped into a "kiddie" section then you are missing out on some great reads.

Funny that a lot of great writers do their time in those "funny books". Neil Gaiman's Sandman is just some niche pulp shit, right? Frank Millar's Sin City shouldn't have been turned into a movie because it's clearly kiddy crap.

There is plenty of room for both classical books aswell as comic books to be translated to film. You have to admit, there has been some terrible films based off books in general. It's not the fault of the source material. It is the fault of the person making the translation from book to film.

Queen of the Damned ring a bell? Blade's movie was a total re-working of the comic book. If you looked at Blade before the film you would have seen a completely different character. Hellboy offers a great deal of Lovecraft style beast that were translated fairly well into film.

Don't dismiss a medium simply because there is a couple of bad eggs. You tossed out that comics were below being made to film. How many folks still pick up a good book? Are those the same type of folks that will actually go to the theater and pay for a movie?

That's like marketing high grade wine to hobos.

If you are going to keep this elitist snobby attitude about what gets turned into a film then no further discussion is necessary here.

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Old 02-17-05, 10:07 PM
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Yes.

And Cliff's Notes are a real help, too, yet, nobody in his right mind would make a movie based on Cliff's notes for "War and Peace"

(well, Uwe Boll, perhaps...)

You ever stop to think that comics might be a clever way of communicating the themes [...] to those who cannot comprehend it on just the written level?
Do you really need some drawing to imagine the Nautilus, the Trojan horse, the fall of the house of Usher? Is someone with an IQ over 80 really going to prefer the comic book to the novel of the "Three Musketeers"?

I used to read loads of French and German comic books when I was a kid, to better my skills in those languages. I don't think those books ever work as films, excepts as cartoons. And I've outgrown them.

To remain in film territory, there's a particular scene in "Neverending Story" which comes to mind... seems like some people should pick up more of those 'rectangular objects called books'.
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Old 02-17-05, 10:14 PM
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You forget. that in most cases of a book to film translation it pretty much does come down to becoming cliff notes of the book. Can't have a 10 hour movie and still make it a huge money maker. Perhaps you just aren't being realistic when it comes to this.
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Old 02-17-05, 10:21 PM
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For awhile I was an avid reader of 'comic books' - but not the kind with superheros or whatever... those always bored me. The kinds of illustrated novels I used to read probably would make entirely different types of movies. I don't want to start a pissing match or get anyone upset, but I've always felt the superhero-based comics were more for younger folks... I don't know how many comic books I have to read to not have my opinion about them disqualified (hundreds? thousands?) by those of you who like to pipe up with the "you just don't get it" attitude or "you must not read many comic books" comments. But I know that I felt I had outgrown them before I even hit my teens... even before that when I was still reading Choose Your Own Adventure books. I've even revisited comics from time to time over the years and never felt like it classified as 'literature' in the same sense as a real book. Just as those CYOA books weren't literature, but another form of art. I do have an appreciation for illustrated novels as a form of art, they aren't a suitable substitute for reading without pictures.

As for movies based on comic books, I like to go see them. Typically I don't like them and I do tend to avoid the ones that look the least appealing to me. I have liked some of them though - including Blade, Spiderman and Superman. As for what I look for in movies based on comics... I am not a stickler for details and sticking true to the comics (much the same way I don't need a movie to be just like a book) because a movie is another form of art and it's a reinterpretation and translation of another medium. If I wanted it to be exactly like the book - I'd just read the fuckin book.

What matters to me in comic book movies is simply that they don't suck. As long as they work as a movie and are entertaining without being stupid, I'm on board. Now, I disliked X-Men and hated X-Men 2 while many comic book fans loved it. Then again, many hated it because the costumes weren't like they were in the comics. My reasons are different.
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Old 02-17-05, 10:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Playitagainsam

Nowadays, you have things like Darkman, Spawn, Blade, X-Men, Hellboy etc... all mediocre items, forgotten in a few years, and they all come from niche comic books, with low or zero international appeal. Anyone remember Howard the Duck? yep, another comic book character.
If you think X-men as a film or franchise will be forgotten in a few years then you are seriously mistaken. And if you think comics like X-men as a film franshise or the comics themselves have zero international appeal, then you are just clueless.

I'm not browbeating comic books, but they are not culture, not art (pop-art, maybe),
This is so ingorant it's just pathetic. Comic books are an ENORMOUS, immeasurable part of American culture. Superman is an international icon, the mythos & impact of the character are the very DEFINITION of culture. Sequential art has changed the way films are made & stories are told, advertizing is utilized & created.

and they are not a good source for deep, fulfilling stories, They're chewing gum for the brain, not real food.
it also couldn't be more obvious how intelligent & superior you are attempting to sound while coming off completely clueless & ignorant. Read a book like Maus, & then say it's not deep & fulfilling.


They can have a beneficial influence over cinema (Ridley Scott and his "Metal Hurlant" influences for "Alien" are the first that come to mind), but as far as representing a base to expand into cinema, they are empty boxes, unsuitable for a strong foundation.
This doesn't even make sense. They are not a base to expand into cinema? The are the epitome of a solid base to expand into film. They idea pool is endless with comics. And all you focus on are superhero comics, you do realize films like Road to Perdition, American Splendor, Ghost World, Lone Wolf & Cub & countless others all are adapted from comic books.

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Old 02-17-05, 10:26 PM
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Neil Gaiman's Sandman is just some niche pulp shit, right? Frank Millar's Sin City shouldn't have been turned into a movie because it's clearly kiddy crap.
Who? I'm sorry, these names don't ring a bell. I had to Google both of them. I'm not claiming to be an expert in contemporary U.S. literature, though. But I'm willing to bet every established style has some awards that are clearly reflecting value (the Hugos and Nebulas in SF, Pulitzers in mainstream, to name just three), instead of some arbitrary 'Oprah's Book of the Month' - and the winner, as well as honourable mentiuons, are sadly lacking when it comes to film ideas.

Queen of the Damned ring a bell? [...] Hellboy offers a great deal of Lovecraft style beast that were translated fairly well into film.
Yeah, a subpar, formulaic, muddy writer (Rice) is indeed a good reason of why a movie was crappy, even if it was based on a 'real' book. As for Lovecraft, I pride myself with having read 99% of his work, and yet the connections in Hellboy were laughable, at best. Even "Re-animator" had a better link to Lovecraft.

If you are going to keep this elitist snobby attitude about what gets turned into a film then no further discussion is necessary here.
Indeed. Thank you for clarifying what was just a nagging doubt in the back of my mind - as the Stalinist tribunals would've shown, I have a reactionary, cosmopolitan attitude. You've shown me the error of my ways, and I'm truly sorry I can't fully enjoy a true proletarian (no, make that 'plebeian') distraction.
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Old 02-17-05, 10:29 PM
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Hey, here's an idea playitathreadtroll, the thread topic is COMIC BOOK MOVIES: WHAT MATTERS TO YOU THE MOST?

You clearly don't like comic books in general and feel that Comic books are different than BOOKS in general. so perhaps you shouldn't even come into this thread. It doesn't seem to be the topic for you anyways.

For all the literal classics you read, it still can't teach you any common sense. This topic isn't for you. So why not just let yourself out right now.

As for the writers. You are saying Neil Gaiman isn't an established non-comic book writer? Neverwhere, Stardust, Good Omens to name a few.

You have your nose way up high. Sess, well said. If you this sap thinks it's all capes and heros then it shows he doesn't read enough to make a valid statement about the topic.

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Old 02-17-05, 10:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Playitagainsam
Jackskeleton,

If you honestly believe any comic book - no, make that THE BEST COMIC BOOK EVER (whichever that is, in your opinion) - can come even close to true literature (from Faulkner to Kazantzakis, from Twain to Tolstoy, from Petronius to Sartre, from Mailer to Marquez), then no further discussion is necessary here.

For anyone else who cares:

Personally, I want to see more films made from Asimov, Clarke, Niven, Benford, Heinlein, Dick, Strugatski, Lem, LeGuin, Verne, van Vogt, Wells (in SF); Hugo, Zola, Carpentier, Fitzgerald, Beckett, Fowles, Malraux, Proust, Camus, Kishon, Frygyes, Eliade (in mainstream) ... and the list could go on.

Films made from comic books are generally faux art and/or kitsch, and I belive that in order to suceed raising itself above mere pulp, a comic book must be running for long enough (i.e. decades) and create more than a cult following. Superman and Spiderman, being as old as they are, were the best placed for the port to the big screen.

Nowadays, you have things like Darkman, Spawn, Blade, X-Men, Hellboy etc... all mediocre items, forgotten in a few years, and they all come from niche comic books, with low or zero international appeal. Anyone remember Howard the Duck? yep, another comic book character.

I'm not browbeating comic books, but they are not culture, not art (pop-art, maybe), and they are not a good source for deep, fulfilling stories, They're chewing gum for the brain, not real food. They can have a beneficial influence over cinema (Ridley Scott and his "Metal Hurlant" influences for "Alien" are the first that come to mind), but as far as representing a base to expand into cinema, they are empty boxes, unsuitable for a strong foundation.
Wow I can really tell you have not read comic books. I grew up reading comic books (from the age of five until about 22) and I have to strongly disagree concerning your comments of comics not "representing a base to expand into cinema, they are empty boxes, unsuitable for a strong foundation". These comments come across as truly pompous since you have no Idea what you are talking about. Comic books have some incredible stories that have yet to be translated to film. Aperfect example ofthis is the "Watchmen" series which is quiet possibly one of the greatest series ever. Hollywood has no idea how to present this on the silver screen. There are tons of story arcs from comics that would make spectacular films just because of the depth of story telling that went into the development of characters. Just because they have pictures does not mean they are for the illiterates of the world. Sometimes feelings and emotions can be conveyed by the style of the art within comics - take a look at the art of Alex Ross in Kingdom Come or Marvels and you'll get aglimpse of this. The reason I beacame an avid reader was because of Comic Books.
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