From Paper To Film

After the interview we had yesterday (awesome insight into Horizon by the way!), I was reflecting on the small discussion regarding the Transformers series and realized I’ve never actually read any of their paper media. I fell in love with Bumblebee after the first blockbuster movie came out, and was left (wistfully) hoping my car would someday come to life as well. This realization really got me thinking – how many of the movies I adore originated as comics, graphic novels, novels or series’?

Now, I’ve covered the most basic: Lord of the Rings (including the Hobbit), Harry Potter, and yes, I’ll admit, even The Hunger Games. However, so many of my favorite movies, many of them being Marvel’s work, I have yet to delve into. X-men, Batman, Superman, Sin City – how much have I been missing out on? What internal meanings have I completely missed, by being dazzled by increasingly realistic explosions and fight scenes?

Another thought to ponder – which is better, the story or the screen? I’ll definitely be wearing my critic pants when I go to see the latest installment of The Hunger Games 🙂

Zack Parsons vs. the World

Recently I read the comic/graphic novel series Scott Pilgrim in one sitting. (Of course I should’ve been studying at the time, but… who studies really?) I’ve seen the movie many times before and it’s one of my favorite movies, I feel it really speaks to my generation, or maybe it’s just me. Anyway, the comics are similar to the movie but diverge later on as the last book hadn’t even been written yet when the movie was first filmed, which means reading them was a new experience. (Though the ending of the movie was reshot to match the graphic novels a little better)

I have to say I probably like them even more than the movie, they were very endearing and the characters felt a lot more real, Scott was more than just a clueless loser, Ramona was more than just the love interest and Scott’s friends and band mates were fleshed out well beyond what the movie ever did. Especially his ex-girlfriends Kim and Natalie. One part of the series that really struck me and was never even touched upon in the movie was the focus on memories, on how easily they can be different from person to person and how easily you can fabricate your own memories to hide from the truth. Scott had spent his whole life hiding from the fact that he was in fact a jerk, remembering himself as only being heroic. But the truth was he was a bit of a bully and a womanizer. In the end it was his ability to accept this and move on that not only let him win the fight against Gideon and the love of Ramona, but it was also what let him grow up and stop being a boy hiding behind false memories. This led to making the series a coming of age story that the movie only wished it could be.

I’m not sure if every one would identify with Scott, but I can safely say I do, and I think that is largely what the author was going for. A twenty something Canadian kid without a lot of direction in his life, just looking for something to change that. His progression from seeing the world and his own friends as against him, to being happy with his lot in life is something I can understand very intimately. (And I am pretty sure most guys would be happy to find their Ramona Flowers)

I’d say another thing I found really enjoyable about Scott Pilgrim is that it eschewed the typical graphic novel need for darkness, violence and melancholy. It’s a whimsical adventure with a very Canadian flavour that keeps you laughing even when the chips are down. Not only that but I feel it carries a good message to take to heart. How do you all feel on the topic of false memories? Can you pick out times where you are not certain if what you remember is what truly happened, and isn’t just what you wish had happened?

WHY Y?

I’m teaching my favourite limited series: Y the Last Man by BKV and Pia Guerra. Pia will join us later on in the semester to talk about it because the only time BKV ‘talked’ about it was when he introduced me to a NYC audience when I talked about it. He sat in the front row and listened but I couldn’t for the life of me get him to respond to any of my claims! He said afterwards that I had gotten ‘most of it’ right.