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Author Topic: A Sermon Supreme #2: Superhero comics have been Superceded.  (Read 10834 times)
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TELLE
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« Reply #8 on: December 30, 2005, 01:48:06 AM »

It doesn't --but comics are a visual medium.  So if the editor or writer is not thinking in terms of how the story can best be told visually, they are not doing their jobs.  Of course, traditionally writers have tended to overwrite to make up for the loss of control they experience when an artist translates their story (in terms of text boxes, expository dialogue and though balloons).  They don't always have this option in film.  In both mediums (more obvious in comics) the mangling of a script by a director/artist is not always easy to detect.  

Has anyone seen that French comic that adapts Raymond Chandler's last unfilmed screenplay?
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« Reply #9 on: December 30, 2005, 09:57:35 AM »

Quote from: "TELLE"
Has anyone seen that French comic that adapts Raymond Chandler's last unfilmed screenplay?

Do you mean Playback? It's adapted by Ted Benoit, with art by some guy I'd never heard of. I picked it up last summer and really enjoyed it -- it was a bit like watching a film that never got made. At first I was a bit disappointed that Benoit himself hadn't done the artwork, but realised that his fine Belgian line wouldn't have carried the story as well as the heavy strokes the plot required. Good stuff.

I certainly agree that comics and film are completely separate media, and I deplore the fact that children seem to learn all they know from television. My own nephews, who are very young, say they like Spider-Man, but I know for a fact they've never seen a Spidey comic; in fact, I rather suspect they only know him from T-shirts and toys, as a sort of decontextualised notion.

While comics actually don't convey the same sense of weight and speed that animation does (I'd actually love to see someone make a Hawkman video game so I could swoop down from the skies wielding my mace -- whoooosh pow!), animated cartoons aren't very strong on characterisation. When I was a kid, many of my favourite Superman moments involved Clark hanging out in the office chatting with people, Josh Coyle taking his ulcer pills, that sort of thing.
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« Reply #10 on: December 31, 2005, 03:17:55 AM »

Quote from: "Permanus"
I certainly agree that comics and film are completely separate media, and I deplore the fact that children seem to learn all they know from television. My own nephews, who are very young, say they like Spider-Man, but I know for a fact they've never seen a Spidey comic; in fact, I rather suspect they only know him from T-shirts and toys, as a sort of decontextualised notion.


There's another thing: videogames.

Rob Liefeld, that idiot savant, occasionally says some wise things: the reason comics sold so well in his day but not now is because the center of community and conversation that the comic book store provided in his day has now been usurped by video games and the video game stores, which offer interactivity, something that comic books do not offer.

The kids that in 1993 would pick up a comic book are now picking up video games.

Quote from: "TELLE"
It doesn't --but comics are a visual medium. So if the editor or writer is not thinking in terms of how the story can best be told visually, they are not doing their jobs.


True, although some things can become exciting and visual depending on the artist himself. A panel drawn by one artist can be boring while the exact same thing drawn by another can be more three-dimensional and give more a sense of power.

Quote from: "TELLE"
Of course, traditionally writers have tended to overwrite to make up for the loss of control they experience when an artist translates their story (in terms of text boxes, expository dialogue and though balloons).


Well, we all know who would be "Exhibit A" here: Roy Thomas, who so troweled on the purple prose it felt like he was trying to compete with the writer. On the other hand, I vastly prefer Roy Thomas-esque over-writing to Ellis-esque underwriting; words and pictures together are a strength of comics. And sometimes Thomas could be really, really dramatic and his words helping to set the stage, language becoming a "special effect" in and of itself, as Thomas did describing the 41st Century of Kang the Conqueror in INCREDIBLE HULK #135:

"THE 41ST CENTURY! No longer is the earth a green-bedecked jewel - its once bright face is pockmarked with bomb-blasted craters. Yet on this world ONE MAN raises his voice in joyful TRIUMPH..."

As for movement in comics: movement for the Flash (the default effect being whooshy red TRON walls, which only show where he has BEEN, not that he moved). The other ways used to express the Flash's superspeed have been much more effective because they are NOT depending on movement: for instance, the effect in the early Flash stories of everything being absolutely frozen and still in time next to the Flash, or the rotoscoping multi-images first used by Johnny Quick.
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« Reply #11 on: December 31, 2005, 08:00:11 AM »

I have just become fond of this Denny O'Neil quote myself.





Quote from: "Permanus"
Quote from: "TELLE"
Has anyone seen that French comic that adapts Raymond Chandler's last unfilmed screenplay?

Do you mean Playback? It's adapted by Ted Benoit, with art by some guy I'd never heard of. I picked it up last summer and really enjoyed it -- it was a bit like watching a film that never got made.
.


Permanus, thanks for the book title.  Glad to read another endorsement.
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« Reply #12 on: December 31, 2005, 08:57:20 AM »

Quote from: "JulianPerez"
Rob Liefeld, that idiot savant, occasionally says some wise things: the reason comics sold so well in his day but not now is because the center of community and conversation that the comic book store provided in his day has now been usurped by video games and the video game stores, which offer interactivity, something that comic books do not offer.

The kids that in 1993 would pick up a comic book are now picking up video games.

I always feel slightly embarassed by the fact that, at the age of 38, I am actually very fond of video games (as I said, I'd love someone to make a Hawkman game), but at the risk of sounding moralistic, I can't think of anything worse for children. Believe me, if these things had been around when I was a boy, I'd be about three foot tall now, pale as a ghost, with eyes like bowls of jelly.

Ah, kids nowadays... It's as if some hideous moral cancer is rotting our very souls!
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« Reply #13 on: January 01, 2006, 06:04:48 PM »

That's a good point, about many video games being interactive...though video games have been around my whole life and I'm not pale and 3 ft. tall  Smiley

In my case, though, the problem has never been that video games are more interactive than comic shops. The problem is that the comic shop doesn't exist. I've lived in 3 states, never in a town with a comic shop. If comics aren't available in drug stores or grocery stores, there will always be low sales, even with the direct market. Availability is a bigger problem than interactivity...people have more opportunities for interactivity (this forum, for example) than they do to actually buy comics.
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« Reply #14 on: January 01, 2006, 06:32:21 PM »

Video Games have been around for a very long time.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arcade_game
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« Reply #15 on: January 02, 2006, 09:09:23 AM »

Quote from: "Gangbuster Thorul"
In my case, though, the problem has never been that video games are more interactive than comic shops. The problem is that the comic shop doesn't exist. I've lived in 3 states, never in a town with a comic shop. If comics aren't available in drug stores or grocery stores, there will always be low sales, even with the direct market. Availability is a bigger problem than interactivity...people have more opportunities for interactivity (this forum, for example) than they do to actually buy comics.



It's true, although I was in a shop 15 minutes outside of my town last week and interacted in an amaing fashion.  People were talking about King Kong, Narnia, movies in general (I heard a unique perspective in my experience --King Kong is too long to make as much money as it needs to --only 2 shows a night instead of 3).  People talked about Peanuts and the history of comic strips; punk rock; tv.  I bought some comics, including a very lame issue of Superboy (he is captured during a prison riot --the best part was a Dial H for hero story).  Some great graphic novels and Kevin Huzienga's 'Or Else'.

I often have dreams that are set in comic shops and conventions that are very similar to video games and involve comics that don't exist.

OTOH, some comic shps are like moral cancers that eat my soul.
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