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Junior Contributor I
Does comic style inform film substance?
I’m researching a possible essay on how the artistic style of a comic can be ignored and/or incorporated into the films that adapt them. Mike Mignola’s oppressive black palette set the perfect mood for Hellboy’s Gothic horror mythos, but Guillermo del Toro couldn’t use the same constant darkness on film because it would be unwatchable. Some adaptations aim to perfectly recreate the comic on screen, as with 300 and Sin City. On the other end of the spectrum, Road To Perdition’s adaptation ignored the dirty/scratchy artwork of the comic in favor of Sam Mendes’ bold colors and clean lines. Failed adaptations for the Surrogates and Whiteout show how losing the comic’s artistic style sacrifices part of what made the idea worthy of adaptation. In superhero comics every artist has drawn every character, but for many graphic novels, the artistic style is inseparable from the story. Adaptation requires change, but comics are a symbiosis of art and words. Losing one is losing half.