December 9th, 2015
YOUR THIN PAPER WINGS, IN THE WIND, DANGLING
Roll the dice – move forward 4 steps. You find yourself at the clearing of a large empty podcast. To your right are some dense opinion shrubs. To the left a bubbling pool of judgments. Roll the dice – you decide to ignore both and move forward 8 paces towards the giant floating skull in the centre of the clearing. Roll the dice – you ask it a question: “Where am I?” The skull opens it’s mouth and with a terrifying ear-splitting screech it tells you…”SILENCE!”
<ITEM> And the guest-train keeps on rolling – not content with shattering senses with our senses-shattering Brandon Graham special last week, Gary Lactus, The Beast Must Die and Bobsy are joined by megatronic comics leg-end and all round superchap KIERON GILLEN on this latest pre-festive edition of the internet’s most beloved podcast.
<ITEM> Sponsorship, admin, STAR WARS day at Gosh Comics on 12th December, the whole shebang. Meat ‘n’ two veg just the way you like it.
<ITEM> There’s a special exciting celebrity segment as Bobsy’s daughter Junior Bobzone asks Kieron some questions about his Darth Vader comic and Star Wars in general. Have we mentioned Star Wars yet? STAR WARS STAR WARS STAR WARS STAR WARS STAR WARS MAY THE FORCE BE WITH YOU STAR WAAAAAAAAAARGH
<ITEM> The Reviewniverse once again struggles to contain the multitude of opinions and jibber-jabber, and despite some…interesting technical issues the boys talk up Matt Boyce, Unfollow, The Vision, Paul John Milne, Vertigo, Phonogram, Plutonia, Dr Strange, Daredevil, ET, Paper Girls, Daft Punk, Pretty Deadly, Scott Pilgrim, Dark Empire, Robots With These Guys and so much more…
<ITEM> The Beast ducks out early and the others shimmy off into the sunset…a mess? By god yes, but what a glorious mess.
<ITEM> *drops mic*
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December 4th, 2015
In the spirit of The Beast Must Die’s (excellent) contribution to that S.M.A.S.H. event, here are nine statements on movie adaptations:
1. The only good adaptations are the ones that take maximum liberty with the details of their source material. Think of the way Blade Runner strips Philip K. Dick’s novel down to its bare bones then builds a damp, wheezing engine on top.
2. Adaptations that are painstakingly faithful to the surface details of their sources provide a unique opportunity to see the original clearly. Dave Gibbons’ contributions to Watchmen have never been more obvious than they were in the light of that movie, which mimicked the composition of so many of his panels while conveying the weight of none of them.
3. The only good adaptations are the ones that overlap with their source text in a way that creates a separate, overlapping narrative – see, for example, the mix of hyper-fidelity and brutal compression in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World.
4. Different mediums have different strengths and affordances so it makes sense to identify the things that, say, a book does that a movie can’t before trying to turn one into the other. The delicate waltz between Charlie Kaufman and Susan Orlean in Adaptation is proof that this approach can pay off.
5. Becoming overly fixated on the process of adaptation can easily become an excuse not to solve the underlying problems, hence why the “delicate waltz” of Adaptation ends with one dance partner farting a hole clean through his trousers.
6. A memorable performance in an adaptation of a favorite work is a gift to the source material. The wobbly PG camera work might neuter The Hunger Games movies as movies, but Jennifer Lawrence’s performance brings something extra to the Katniss of the books.
7. A memorable performance in an adaptation of a favourite work is a curse to the source material. There are lines in the Scott Pilgrim comics that I cannot read without hearing Michael Cera’s voice now, and this is not always appropriate for the rhythms of Bryan Lee O’Malley’s work.
8. The best thing an adaptation can do is to provide financial security to a working artist. Eddie Campbell and Alan Moore both live in the house that Jack built now, and this alone is enough to justify the Hughes brothers version of From Hell.
9. All adaptations are equally useless.
None of the above should be taken as anything other than an endorsement of our rolling Omni-brand, Lego be praised and all hail The Virgin Money Street of Light™!
You can read more on movie adaptations and Scott Pilgrim vs. The World at the London Graphic Novel Network site, including a very sexy poem about your inevitable doom by the Kraken podcast‘s very own
March 24th, 2011
Being: an index to my recently completed series of posts on stories, mirrors and what happens when you mistake one for the other.
Since I botched the timing of these essays, I thought I’d link to them all in order, just in case anyone felt like humouring me and reading them all as part of the one big story:
- Short and to the Pointless #1: The Like Trap (a short post on reader identification in Phonogram and Eddie Campbel’s autobiographical comics)
- Short and to the Pointless #2: Josie Long and Dodgem Logic (about the deadly combination of bad comics and bad romantic advice)
- Looking Glass Hearts Forever (a long post on the Scott Pilgrim comics and movie)
- Short and to the Pointless #3: The Playwright (on the fact that you can no more write your way out of a story than you can jump your way out of freefall)
Come on, take a dive with me – you might not regret it!
All of that blather aside, I’m pretty happy with this little essay series. It’s properly modular, just like Seven Soldiers wasn’t, but I also think it pays to read the whole thing at once.
Please feel free to let me know in the comments!
March 8th, 2011
Being: the long post about Scott Pilgrim that my last two posts were building up to!
So 2010 saw both the death and the rebirth of the comics internet’s favourite slacker hero, Scott Pilgrim. Time to celebrate?
Well, if you ask Brendan McCarthy we should probably just be happy that it’s all over and done with:
I find that ‘comics geek’ bedwetter subculture very inward-looking. It doesn’t interest me at all… Comics like Scott Pilgrim are not on my radar. I think that stuff has already had its day in the sun.
I was going to contest Mr McCarthy’s classification of Scott Pilgrim, but then I watched the movie again and realised that there are two jokes about characters weeing themselves, plus various other references to pee and peeing throughout the film, so maybe he was onto something after all!
Lapses in basic potty training notwithstanding, I still love the comic and the movie, to the extent that I’ve spent the past few weeks immersed in both of them (GEEK!), cataloguing the differences in style and pacing (GEEK!), comparing the three different endings on offer (GEEK!), and listening to commentary tracks (GEEK! GEEK! GEEK!), all in the hope of finding out quite why I bothered doing all of this in the first place. Circular logic? Trust me, you don’t know the half of it!
Sounds like a good reason to go all *SPOILER* crazy and Panel Madness one of the final images from the series in the hope of finding out why I can’t get this song out of my head, eh?
Well, this guy thinks he’s already been there and done that and built an inescapable black hole out of the image that we’ll be spending our time with…
But don’t worry about him – he’s just some guy from the story!
August 3rd, 2009
So this is an interview in three stages. If it was an album it would be a prog album. One of Rick Wakeman’s later efforts involving Arthurian legend and horses on ice skates. Or perhaps it would be a three hour gabba techno set by Lenny D. Or maybe it would be Sandanista, the Clash album that never knew when to stop…
I’d wanted to meet up with Kieron as I knew he was a local London boy and would most likely be amenable to a few shandies whilst discussing his cult comic series Phonogram as well as his recent forays into the Marvel Universe. And any other shit we could think of. To my pleasure Mr Gillen was up for it.