Tuesday, 5 April 2011

The Graphic Novel, all set up, just add local 'nobody'

To start things off, I'll just begin by saying; I heart films. Okay, I watched Scott Pilgrim vs. the World this weekend, it shows. This got me thinking about the efficiency of the 'let's-recreate-the-graphic novel/comic book-into-a-film' -genre. So whats the whole deal? To list only a few of the graphic novels that have been adapted into the Hollywood hall: the award wining series of graphic novels by the Canadian Bryan Lee O'Malley, called Scott Pilgrim; a series of neo-noir graphic novels by Frank Miller, Sin city and the ten-issue dystopian graphic novel series written by Alan Moore and illustrated mostly by David Loyd, V for Vendetta . Why this need for 'The Graphic Novel' then ?

It has been said that 'The Graphic Novel' targets a largely adult market. It is also well known for its connection to an attached cult following. How then did Hollywood grab this only to make it their own? The beginning of this genre may be stretched back to Superman and his fellow Marvel Comics superheroes. Clearly different to these cape wearing do-gooders, the most recent adaptations of graphic novels has favoured the more cult based genres that focus on complex characters trying to work themselves out in their dystopian contexts. One is reminded of Batman's Bruce Wayne, but somehow Wayne doesn't make the cut - that is these days. It is as if the need for an all figured out do-gooder doesn't satisfy moviegoer's needs anymore; why oh why then and with what or rather 'who' have these 'olden day' heroes been replaced?

Scott Pilgrim is my feeling. Let's just say it again; Scott Pilgrim - what a guy. There might be others, I'll give them credit another day, but to say the least, comic book 'heroes' needn't be muscled, fast mouthed and as 'manly' anymore - this former criterion has been replaced by an image of 'the normal guy', if there is such a thing. One thing is clear though, the standard has been rearranged so as to allow everyone to set themselves in the shoes of the nevertheless outstanding lives of the graphic novel hero.

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