This is the third and final feature of comics as the original source material before their cinematic adaptations. I admit that I have not watched or read many of what I’ve listed (though not for a lack of trying!) and I made it a point to explore outside the expansive DC and Marvel universe. Today I will be showcasing the nitty gritty of graphic novels and comics, and how those stories and find humor in pain. If you liked what you’ve seen on screen, try reading it…because sometimes the comic book is better.
The Crow by J. O’Barr
The classic gritty 90’s movie The Crow has left a lasting impact on pop culture thanks to Brandon Lee’s starring role. Originally published in 1989, the original comic follows Eric who was brought back to life by a crow as an unstoppable avatar of vengeance. After a ten year hiatus, O’Barr wrote Crow with Dead Time, a story O’Barr envisioned as a new film.
Happy! by Grant Morrison and Darick Robertson
This four issue comic follows a a washed-up-detective-turned-hitman who has to rescue his kidnapped daughter with help from her imaginary friend…a tiny blue-furred flying unicorn. Surreal and bizarre, Happy! juxtaposes dark comedy with hyper-violence reminiscent of Frank Miller’s Sin City. Speaking of which…
Sin City Volume 1: The Hard Goodbye by Frank Miller
The star studded 2005 movie adaptation brought the stylistic noir of Frank Miller’s Sin City to the big screen. Sin City is an anthology that dives deep into its character’s despair and internal struggles to find redemption and meaning in their corrupted city.
Hellboy by Mike Mignola and John Byrne
Who are you going to call when something goes ‘bump’ in the night? The B.P.R.D are who you want (and definitely not those other guys). Join Hellboy and his team of paranormal specialists as they wrestle with creatures of folklore from all over the world. Surprisingly thoughtful and provocative, it is titular character Hellboy’s gruff wise-cracking demeanor that keeps the story from becoming too dark. The Hellboy franchise has had a recent movie reboot though I personally prefer Ron Perlman as Hellboy, who also reprises his role in two excellent animated movie adaptations.
Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
And finally, I wanted to end the Comics Before Cinema! series on a positive note. Marjane Satrapi’s comic strip autobiography is a funny heartfelt memoir of growing up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution. Persepolis is at once a story of growing up and a stunning reminder of the human cost of war and political repression. It shows how we carry on, through laughter and tears, in the face of absurdity. Persepolis has been adapted into an Oscar-nominated animated film.
~Posted by Ryal H.