My Latest Aphorism

Posted by on December 10th, 2010 at 12:49 AM

I was considering holding onto this until a context arose for it, but I think I’ll just give it to you naked:  Adapting a comic strip into a movie makes about as much sense as adapting a blowjob into a love song.  You might get a decent love song out of it (see Liz Phair) but nothing of what you truly value in the original experience will translate into the new medium. This is why I always found it strange the way people act as though putting a comics character into a movie is a great thing devoutly to be wished for.  In much the same way I wonder why people think it’s desirable for a character to be revived after its creator has died.  Without the subjective input of the hand that put it on paper it’s like a butterfly net without the netting.  Ninety-five percent of the time the end product does about as much for comics as John Ford’s Cavalry Trilogy did for the literary reputation of James Warner Bellah.  The source material is essentially a footnote.

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One Response to “My Latest Aphorism”

  1. inochi says:

    You’re probably right, in terms of the original and naive experience, but nothing is sacred, is it, certainly not to commerce and certainly not to artists raiding everything and anything for inspiration and ideas to rework or transform for money or love or both. The comic strip is like folklore, isn’t, it’s an open source to continue reworking some ancient story pattern. If I had my wish, though, people would only have novels and non-fiction books of all sorts to read, with pictures, and maybe comics, too–radio, too–but movies, tv–I think human being would’ve been better off without those two wonders. And they are wonderful, I must admit. Too wonderful? If people didn’t have television and movies, they probably take more interest in newspapers and poetry and the townhall!

    I would say the same for certain novels–I would say novels, the best ones anyway, are better than the best movies as a medium or media, simply because they empower our own imaginations to recreate them in our heads–the novels I’ve read, that I see subjectively in my mind’s eye are almost never adapted well into films, with rear exceptions and usually after I’ve seen the movie first. It is always better for me to see the movie first rather than after I’ve read a good book. The book may turn out better but I’ve at least enjoyed the movie on its own terms first. Then I complain how it didn’t do justice to the book! Also, how I could’ve done it better than the director.