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Any comic, graphic novel evangelists? Theoretical question.

sephersepher Member Posts: 3,561

These questions stem from 1. Not having been a die-hard comic fan all my life, but having always enjoyed them when I come across them, and 2. Having just recently watched The Mindscape of Alan Moore.

In the Mindscape of Alan Moore, Alan sits before a camera about an hour and discusses how he got into comics, his philosophy towards comics in general and storytelling as a whole. One peculiar thing he made clear about his particular success is that ironically, he tried to make all of his comics and graphic novels "unfilmable". Obviously a good chunk of his works have been, but he goes on to explain he never got involved with the filming process of any because at the time, the comics were made to be "unfilmable".

So here's my questions. What can comics and graphic novels convey that a film, or book, or another storytelling medium might not be able to? And specifically with Alan Moore; Swamp Thing, V for Vendetta, From Hell, Watchmen, whatever else that's been turned into a movie or TV show, what elements of his works would you say didn't, or couldn't possibly be carried over into film?

 

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  • IhmoteppIhmotepp Member Posts: 14,495
    Originally posted by sepher


    These questions stem from 1. Not having been a die-hard comic fan all my life, but having always enjoyed them when I come across them, and 2. Having just recently watched The Mindscape of Alan Moore.
    In the Mindscape of Alan Moore, Alan sits before a camera about an hour and discusses how he got into comics, his philosophy towards comics in general and storytelling as a whole. One peculiar thing he made clear about his particular success is that ironically, he tried to make all of his comics and graphic novels "unfilmable". Obviously a good chunk of his works have been, but he goes on to explain he never got involved with the filming process of any because at the time, the comics were made to be "unfilmable".
    So here's my questions. What can comics and graphic novels convey that a film, or book, or another storytelling medium might not be able to? And specifically with Alan Moore; Swamp Thing, V for Vendetta, From Hell, Watchmen, whatever else that's been turned into a movie or TV show, what elements of his works would you say didn't, or couldn't possibly be carried over into film?
     

     

    We've crossed that threshold.

    If you can draw it, you can turn it into a film. Look at Avatar. It's even in 3d. We may be getting to the point where it's the other way around. how could you put 3d avatar into a comic book?

    The only concern now is budget. Avatar cost 300 million dollars to make. But if you have the budget, with today's digital solutions, you can make anything, no limits.

    It's still progressing, but I thought this the first time I saw Jurassic Park. I thought, that's it, there's nothing you can't do with digital special effects.

     

    image

  • sephersepher Member Posts: 3,561

    Computer graphics can mock visuals, yes, but that probably isn't all there is to some comic creators' idea that their works are "unfilmable".

    Here's a quote by Alan Moore: 

    "Originally I was content to just simply accept the money, that was offered when people had adapted my comic books into films. Eventually I decided to refuse to accept any of the money for the films, and to ask if my name could be taken off of them, so that I no longer had to endure the embarrasment of seeing my work travested in this manner. The first film that they made of my work was "From Hell" Which was an adaptation of my "Jack the Ripper" narrative... In which they replaced my gruff Dorset police constable with Johhny Depp's Absinthe-swigging dandy. The next film to be made from one of my books was the regrettable "League of Extraordinary Gentlemen"... Where the only resemblence it had to my book was a similar title. The most recent film that they have made of mine is apparently this new "V for Vendetta" movie which was probably the final straw between me and Hollywood. They were written to be impossible to reproduce in terms of cinema, and so why not leave them simply as a comic in the way that they were intended to be. And if you are going to make them into films, please try to make them into better ones, than the ones I have been cursed with thus far."

     

    Now if you've ever seen the From Hell graphic novel, there's nothing special about it. It's ink and white narrative with little in the way of embellishments. Filming wise, I don't think there was anything visual Alan Moore felt was lacking there. So maybe he felt there was some narrative comics could convey, that a film couldn't?

    League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Well...ok his complaint there seems to be the sheer fact the movie and comic had no relationship to one another besides the title. I feel even if it was a close match though, his sentiment would still remain that films will always not be able to convey -something- that the comic medium does.

    V for Vendetta gets into movies I think most people actually thought were one of the -better- comic adaptions. Yet, his sentiment is the same.

    That quote comes before Watchmen. I'm sure 90% of people that saw Watchmen, loved it. Even in comparison to the graphic novel. Well I'm not sure, but I'd bet on it. Yet and still I bet Alan Moore hates it. I haven't found anything about whether he does or doesn't but it seems he has a few decades on him of hating his "unfilmable" works being filmed.

    I know part of it is his dislike for Hollywood. The politics and all. But it also seems like there's a philosophy behind the comic medium he has.

    Let's take books for example, are some of them "unfilmable"? Why? What does one sentence do in a book that computer graphics and sound can't do if human actors fail to? 

    Be it comics or books, those sentiments seem to go beyond concern of what can be accomplished with modern cinematography techniques.  It's not strange to hear a fan of this or that book complain whenever a film is being made, but comics? I don't think most people feel comics are a medium with a unique component to it found neither in books, or film.

    There's something quintessential about books being made to films, films being made to books, that becomes lost in translation. What that is probably differs from person to person. Is it the same for comics to film? Alan Moore obviously feels so, but never really stated what it was that I can find.

  • GTwanderGTwander Member UncommonPosts: 6,035

    Only one thing comes to mind; the ability to stare at every inch of a picture and absorb.

    In a movie you can catch glimpses of a good expression on the actors face, but in a comic book you see it carved in stone, and it's something you can just stare at and "feel" longer than a single moment in a movie. This goes for action scenes too, as your unlikely to really keep up with a motion picture, while a single picture in a graphic novel can say a lot in a single frame. It's like a book of paintings, and not only do paintings/comics have inherent artistic value, it tells a cohesive story that doesn't even really need captions. Try having a movie without words, well, post-1910.

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