KingSheep

KingSheep

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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.

  • I think this is a good idea. What I would do is highlight the movies that benefited from incorporating the same artistic style the original comic or graphic novel had. From there, I would point out any movies (if there are some) that didn't benefit from displaying the same artistic style of its comic counterpart. – RoderickP 5 years ago
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Latest Comments

KingSheep

You’re absolutely right and I appreciate the clarification. One day our current (and modern) era will be looked back on as the era of mass popularity and the work you’ve already done will be very useful in helping define the qualities that shaped this period. Perhaps I’ll have your book on my shelf one day.

The Three Eras of The Modern Comic Book Movie
KingSheep

I sent Dogmeat out to get ammunition and he never came back. It still makes me sad. I can think of no better proof of the immersive power of video games.

Loneliness in Fallout
KingSheep

As his films have progressed, his use of blood and gore have become more ridiculous. Reservoir Dogs and Jackie Brown involved gore when it served the story, whereas Kill Bill and Django Unchained made a spectacle of blood geysers. I remember Tarantino explaining his use of gore by quoting Jean-Luc Godard: “It’s not blood, it’s red.”

The Work of Quentin Tarantino: Quality Over Quantity
KingSheep

In Superhero terms, your article needs a sequel. Actually, a prequel. What about the dawn of the modern superhero (Donner’s Superman) or the 80’s-90’s where any hint of quality was met with unapologetic nergasms? You’re not wrong to say we’ve entered a new era of superhero movies, where they are the norm for multiplexes, but to suggest that there are only “Three Eras” is like suggesting that comics didn’t exist before The Dark Knight Returns. Sure, the modern version of superheroes was defined in the 80’s by DKR and Watchmen, but it’s a glaring omission to suggest there was nothing before it. I hope you keep writing on the subject.

The Three Eras of The Modern Comic Book Movie