I finished Vampire Hunter D: Undead Island last week sometime and have started what I thought was the next in the series but turns out to be the previous one called Throng of Heretics.
Black Science being a gritty reboot of Sliders is how I always saw it. I enjoyed it for the novelty if not the actual content. And yeah much like other Remender books, the art carries the experience for me. Matteo Scaleria’s work is gorgeous (if not a bit over zealous at times).
To be honest Remenders catalogue for me just reads like a showcase for some phenomenal artists with some so-so stories.
Also. To the “the book is always better” debate. Books and film are different mediums, an adaptation isnt about checking off a list (or shouldn’t be), it’s about channeling the themes of the book into a format that a new audience will be able to discover and digest.
The best adapatations in my mind are so far removed from the source material that while in spirit they are adaptations, they have carved their own place out in cinema. (The Shining, Fantastic Mr Fox, etc).
I also feel this is why Marvel has found so much success, they realized the importance of staying true to a books intentions isnt the same as remaining beholden to the source material. This is a bit unfair as superhero comics throughout history have been taken on by new voices and evolved and adapt to the times they are written but I think this kind of passed on heritage of stories is what is happening for all mediums now.
That’s not to say there arent films that disprove what I’ve said or that Marvel nails it 100% of the time, but I dont think we should be looking at the two mediums as a competition, they can both do different wonderful things. To compare them is like comparing videogames to boardgames. They occupy similar spaces but ultimately the goal for their audience is different.
In closing when critizing an adaptation I try to ask myself “did this film simply fail to do what a book could do? Or did it forget to do what only a film can do”.
My controversial opinion… I think almost all comics are gorgeous art carrying so so stories. So far the only comics I’ve ever read that would hold up story-wise is 100 Bullets and Watchmen (maybe V for Vendetta). Other than that, the same story told in a movie or book would be laughed out the door.
Part of the reason I’m reading so much is trying to work out what people see in this all. 99% of comics seem to rely on tired old tropes as shorthand for characterisation. I’m quite disappointed in how many comics are just MASCULINITY ON A PAGE too. Im not sure I can stand another book of men squaring up against each other. Even the women in Y the Last Man act in such a masculine way, constantly facing each other up. I’m really not sure why that counts as a triumph for feminism in the world of comic books!
I agree. I’m interested to see what comes (or has come) next.
I don’t think its a controversial opinion, I just think it’s an uninformed one. I don’t mean that as an insult though, I mean that the way we as a society host comics in a conversation is always as a lesser art form, and because of this, it’s seen as a novelty instead of a the writing medium it is.
It feels reductive to me to put Alan Moore on the list of “worthy” comic writers as he (even in his prime) tirelessly resorted to problematic tropes and used sexual violence as a tool for shocking readers whenever possible. I think the discussion of toxic masculinity in comics is paramount and is a problem that is present through almost all entertainment (at least in Western Society). I also totally sympathize with being exhausted by this paradigm but I strongly urge you to seek out new writers (especially feminine voices in comics) who are doing amazing subversive things with the medium.
Also comics are a visual medium, not an art gallery, that’s why I feel my words on Remender are meant to be more cutting than praise. A good comic is a synergy between writer and artist, something very few other mediums can replicate at such a purity.
I strongly recommend looking into Keiron Gillen, Kelly Sue DeConnick, Fiona Staples, Noelle Stevenson, Tom King, Becky Cloonan, G. Willow Wilson, Marguerite Bennett, Kate Leth, Jody Houser, Joelle Jones, Marjorie Liu, Saladin Ahmed, and many MANY other amazing diverse creators doing wonderful things in comics right now!
Yeah, part of the issue is it’s such an expensive form. Libraries don’t stock much variety so shelling out so much a time is a problem in trying to discover decent stories. Plus the issue format isn’t so great for carrying story, there’s only so much story you can fit in an issue. It leads to a lot of shorthand and abrupt developments. One of my bug bears is when an elaborate problem is set up, then the solution is resolved within a few pages. Unless a book is released as a graphic novel, pacing is a huge issue for me.
I’ve read Gillen, I’ll check out the others, thanks.
Accessibility is definitely a huge issue with comics, I think we are seeing a shift towards trades which is great for both consumers and creators as it means more room to breath in a story and also means concise purchases that ideally will lower costs.
Anytime! Hope you find something you like, and if not, at least you gave it an earnest shot.
Oh yeah, I dive in once in a while when I can afford to. Try to be a tourist in as much parts of culture as possible, as reductive as that is. I love the idea of it, it’s just a shame that so many of the heralded books display the stereotypes that turn people off comics. When googling it’s always “If you think comic books are all the same, try reading Y the Last Man and Saga!”. IMO, that’s a terrible recommendation! Or Persepolis, which is good and all, but doesn’t really help direct anywhere after that.
While it’s true that most western media revolves around masculinity, I feel film and books are much easier to navigate if you want to get away from that. So far the comics I’ve read that has tried something different go for quirky and cutesy. I just want a good story and dialogue!!!
Try Locke and Key by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez. A very good comic series and available in just six trade volumes.
It’s kinda antique now, but what about Sandman?
I’ve been bored of men in comics for quite a while. Looking at the Marvel stuff I’ve loved recently, it would be easy to assume I’m a teenage girl: Squirrel girl, Ms Marvel, Gwenpool, Unstoppable Wasp (which is just about to come back!), Runaways, Hawkeye (Kate Bishop, not Clint), Silk, All-New Wolverine (again, Laura Kinney, not Logan).
@TheComicQuest did a good list that I’ll add a few names to: Si Spurrier (I loved The Spire enough to get a tattoo based on it), Kelly Thompson, Jeremy Whitley, Robbie Thompson, Tom Taylor.
I’ve been wanting to dive into this for years. I’ve considered a digital version to drop the cost a bit.
I’m a little hesitant because while I like Gaiman’s writing, I don’t love it.
Sandman is definitely a great add. I think Gaiman is a great example of a creator learning from their past mistakes and evolving for the better as a writer.
Theres about to be a whole new line of Sandman comics helmed by a bunch of new creators. May be a great way to jump in!
These are great additions! There are so many great people in comics right now that deserve more recognition!
I’m re-reading Sandman right now. Just finished Vol 2 of the 2012 boxset printing, the Doll House, but I did read Overture before beginning it all.
Eh - imo, The Road was definitely a far better book than film. I haven’t read No Country for Old Men yet, but I was a little ambivalent about the movie, though some people adore it, so maybe this one is worth a watch.
Although I haven’t read all of them, basically all of the Bond movies were better than their respective books, when there was one.
Also, probably a controversial opinion here: two films that the novel inspired, Bram Stoker’s Dracula (the film), and Werner Herzog’s Nosferatu the Vampyre were both better than the original book. Though admittedly, most of the films the book has otherwise inspired were nowhere near as good, and many are outright trash.
Dracula 2000 was so bad I had a small mental breakdown in the parking lot afterwards and when I recovered I couldn’t watch a film without being an excessively harsh critic of every little thing. I remain broken, it broke me.
I loved the Dracula book overall (the two chapters or so where we are introduced to all the suitors are a bit dull), and I couldn’t make it all the way through Bram Stoker’s Dracula, personally, but I do know a lot of people who share your opinion on that one.
Definitely agree with you on the Bond films being better than the books though.
Now, I’ve only read one Bond book - and I’ll be damned if I can remember which, but it contains the best description of a hotel room that I have ever read. In a short simple phrase it gives you all the information you need;
It was a room-shaped room with furniture-shaped furniture, and dainty curtains.
(Just googled it - it was Thunderball)
Man, I wish I had the chutzpah to put in a description like that in my books.
“It was a starship-shaped starship with engine-shaped engines, and dainty curtains.”
I just finished book 2 of the Locke Lamorra series (Red Seas Under Red Skies), and I was… pleasantly surprised, I suppose, but I found the pacing a bit off. The first half sets up several impossible problems which aren’t solved in the last half, but in the last… 25 pages? Like there’s a huge build up and then everything just goes click-click-click a bit too neatly.
In all honesty, I think the book was a bit too ambitious in its scope, and tried to cram three really interesting stories on top of each other instead of giving each its due.
That stated? Still great, still looking forward to book 3.
As for comics, I’m a big fan of Empowered, which is pretty tongue-in-cheek but does do some surprisingly deep analysis of the “Damsel in Distress” trope. Plus, there’s the possibility that the protagonist has actually been very dead for a long time? It’s hard to explain, but it’s simultaneously rather stupid and very clever in interesting ways. Too much attention on half-naked-women, but by the same token it’s always a point of discussion and analysis, rather than “women are objects”.
I dunno. I like it, but I’m conflicted by it, I suppose? Either way, worth a look. Adam Warren, I believe?
Other than that, a lot of manga (old classics like Love Hina or Full Metal Panic! or K-On, which works remarkably well as a manga but is much better as an anime). Oh, and Calvin and Hobbes, obviously.
Your take on Empowered is really spot-on. I like it, because it’s really funny and sharp in its send-ups of superhero tropes, and often painfully on point about relationships.
But I’m also embarrassed about liking it, because it really is very cheesecake-y and objectifying in a kind of “We’re objectifying but we’re being IRONICALLY objectifying so it’s OK to drool over my bodacious body wrapped in skin-tight space-leather” way??? It’s weird, but I feel like if it was written and drawn by a woman, even if everything was the exact same, I would feel more comfortable with it.