In the Stacks: A Blog Straight from the Mind of Steve
I have been meaning to write this blog for a while now. It started as a great idea in my head, but every time it came to writing it out, I always got a bad case of “bloggers block.” But, I believe I have managed to get my stuff together now, and if you all will just bear with me, I am certain you will like what I have to blog. My subject today comes as two words: Graphic Novels. The libraries of our fine community have literally hundreds upon hundreds of them. They each tell wonderful stories and have some of the most amazing graphics ever designed. They are just about the most perfect item to check out too, because they are materials that are not exactly books and not exactly comics. They are kind of the literary love child of the two, and they have been around for years and years. Also, from what I have seen, more and more people seem to be taken in by their amazing content. But, what I would like to shed some light on now is how these great graphic novels have also become pivotal in bringing us wonderful movies for us to watch. Now I’m willing to bet that if you saw a movie you liked and found out it was based off of a book, you would most likely titillate the idea of reading the book to compare it to the movie, but probably would never do it. I can’t say I’d blame you there, I probably wouldn’t either. BUT, if you heard that there was a graphic novel a movie was based off of, you would most likely entertain the notion of at least checking out the awesome photos to see how they compared to what you saw on the big screen. So without further ado, here are some great graphic novels that were made into movies that you should definitely try checking out when you get the chance.
Anything done by Alan Moore will easily suffice any interest you could have towards graphic novels. Some great works of Moore’s that started as graphic novels until Hollywood stepped in include: From Hell, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, V for Vendetta, and Watchmen. I have looked through a couple of Moore’s graphic novels over the years, and have seen some of the films based off his work, and I must say, at times it is more of an experience flipping through the books than it is watching the movies. I just wanted to throw that out there now. I will take this time to make an example of Watchmen. Now I read the graphic novel before I watched the movie. The movie was shot extremely well, and the story remained true to the original printing on the book. Yet the best thing about the movie, was that almost every shot filmed throughout it was exactly as it was captured on every page of the graphic novel. You couldn’t ask for a better adaptation than that. Another great work I have to take a moment to highlight on was The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. If you were ever a fan of astounding fictional characters like Allan Quatermain, Tom Sawyer, Dorian Gray, Captain Nemo, etc.; you will absolutely flip out either reading the graphic novel, or watching the movie. Imagine that the stories these characters arose from never truly existed, and that the “real” characters were assassins, secret agents, and mercenaries of their respected governments that band together to stop what soon could be the annihilation of life as we know it. Do I have your attention yet? I’m sure I do.
Frank Miller is another astounding author, and it would be a crime not to give him proper credit. Frank Miller has contributed to bringing a more visual depiction of such great characters like Batman over the last couple of decades. The works he has created based off of his caped crusading, crime fighting adventures have at times shown a much darker, introspective twist on Bruce Wayne then Christopher Nolan’s more recent Dark Knight Trilogy. Another great series he has made over the years was that of Sin City. Sin City follows the tales of seedy, scandalous, violent characters caught in a society that stretches the bounds of lewd, egregious behavior. A society where a “good Samaritan” is by far the furthest thing you’ll ever find amongst the weary, despicable groups of people. These are chilling stories of corruption, sex, drugs, but not too much rock & roll; however you’ll feel compelled to read page after page looking to see what will happen next. Back in 2005 Frank Miller’s remarkable series inspired a movie featuring the acting crafts of such cinematic greats as Bruce Willis, Elijah Wood, Clive Owen, Rosario Dawson, Jessica Alba, Mickey Rourke and many, MANY more! The film was shot with a color processing technique that came off as a more noir style black and white imaging, while still adding strong color resolution for certain objects; much as the pictures from the graphic novel were drawn. Both the books and the movie are a must for anyone interested in a more mature storytelling approach. Other works Miller has done which have inspired Hollywood masterpieces include 300 and The Spirit; the latter also being filmed in a style similar to that of Sin City.
I can probably go on and on about other adaptations but I feel it might soon get to be a bit redundant. If I had any valid point to make, then I’m sure by now you are all racing to your nearest library to check out all you can in terms of graphic novels and their movie counterparts. So I will leave you now with a few other titles that may or may not also surprise you were graphic novels before they were films: A History of Violence, American Splendor, Ghost World, The Crow, & Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. Alright my fellow readers and movie goers, enjoy the graphic novels, enjoy the movies, and until next time… stay classy.