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Old 2014-05-15, 05:56 PM   #21
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I found the film fundamentally misunderstood the thrust of the comic. In the comic, Jon is he only superhuman in the whole world, which is basically the underpinning of the entire fictional universe - just about every significant event of the narrative is down to the accident which turns him into Doctor Manhattan. The rest of them are basically athletes.

Snyder having Dan Matrixing people every four seconds or turning Adrian jumping Blake and throwing him out of the window into the ROTF forest fight didn't really fit that vibe and greatly messed with the whole dynamic of the piece. It's the same with everyone being dressed in leather and latex costumes like refugees from some Marvel abomination they're meant to look homemade and faintly ridiculous Lots of the details are spot-on - the title sequence is fantastic, for example - but it missed the point by a mile by trying to make people go "dude that film was the shiznit, I'm going to buy a Rorscach action figure because he's so badass" rather than "these guys are a bunch of damaged basket cases".

That and the acting was uniformly terrible. Still comfortably the best Alan Moore film adaptation, though that's more a black mark for the rest.
 
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Old 2014-05-15, 08:22 PM   #22
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Watchmen the book starts out as a murder mystery.

Watchmen the film spells out from the outset that the Comedian was murdered by one highly athletic individual male. Making it fairly obvious when we meet the cold moustache-twirling Adrian whodunnit.

Plus we're supposed to actually like Adrian. And feel as betrayed as the characters when we realise what's going on. And then equally betrayed by the other characters when we realise he's right.

Plus the film completely and utterly ****s up the "nothing ever ends" line (it's god refusing to grant forgiveness) thus underlining the fact that Snyder has no idea what the source material is actually about.
 
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Old 2014-05-15, 09:08 PM   #23
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Agreed on the general cargo cultiness of the movie. It feels like when you ask a child what a movie is about and they recite the beats of a particular scene. All those things did happen in roughly that order but there's no understanding there.

I think V for Vendetta did a more successful job of making a more superficial version of the source with an unapologetically different point to it. Watchmen is just sprawling and weirdly specific in the details it brings over and ends up being boring to watch as it forgets what exactly why it is all happening.
 
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Old 2014-05-15, 10:18 PM   #24
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I hated V for Vendetta but yeh, I'll give you that at least they went "**** this, we're taking the basics and making our own film"; shame their own one was completely terrible.

From Hell actually comes closest to working (it takes the same springboard idea but makes a better fist of it) but it just sort-of stops and finishes, you feel like the DVD's skipped three chapters. It's more bad filmmaking than a bad adaptation.

League meanwhile is a genuinely irredeemable film. The concept was wide open to abuse what with Moore just shoplifting the characters anyway, but it's just so badly done on every level. If you were going to do a spoof on Hollywood ****ing up a comic book movie you'd be left with that film.
 
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Old 2014-05-15, 10:19 PM   #25
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Incidentally, the best superhero film I've seen for years - Chronicle - is currently three quid in Sainsbury's and well worth a punt.
 
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Old 2014-05-15, 11:21 PM   #26
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Have heard good things about Chronicle. I'm just a bit resentful because it vaguely resembles a comic I wrote in high school.

I've not watched From Hell in forever since the book is almost my favourite thing but I enjoyed it when I rented it on VHS all those years ago. As I recall, it's basically a weird, conspiracy-minded whodunnit with the occasional looming shot of a church.

LXG I couldn't even sit through back in the day. Mostly I recall my brother gleefully deriding each character's two-point arc: they have a problem and then they solve it! Sean Connery needs to shoot and then later, he shoots good!

I've no pressing urge to watch V again but I don't remember it being boring. It got on with it in good time and had that Wachowski siblings camerawork that everyone was sick of. Though I am wracking my brains and the only stuff I can remember is the fact they cut out the line about Evie hiding a pencil in her vagina.

Now a Bojefferies animated series, that could work.
 
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Old 2014-05-16, 12:22 AM   #27
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Then what the Hell are you doing bumping an old topic about them with your ignorant, ill-informed comments?
Because it's still on page one.
 
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Old 2014-05-17, 02:25 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brendocon 2.0 View Post
Watchmen the film spells out from the outset that the Comedian was murdered by one highly athletic individual male. Making it fairly obvious when we meet the cold moustache-twirling Adrian whodunnit.
I thought it was fairly obvious in the comic as well, it's been a while since I've read the book/seen the film so I may be as ill informed as some others in this thread (naming no names, but it's Slag) but IIRC both try and make you think the mastermind behind it all used hired thugs to carry out the actual killing rather that doing it themselves.

Indeed, the bit in the book where you're meant to think Adrian was targeted was what firmly moved me from "Well, it probably isn't him because it seems too obvious" to firmly knowing he dun it as it's basic murder mystery stuff that, if a group of people are being bumped off one by one and one of them survives an attempt on their lives, that they staged the whole thing to throw attention off themselves.

The real problem with him in the film is the actor was terrible, though unlike Cliffy I didn't have much of an issue with the rest of the performances.

Generally I think it's a good movie myself, visually stunning (if nothing else Snyder can make a good looking film) and most of the changes and streamlining work fine for doing it as a film-though ironically they make the tie-in pirate cartoon completely redundant as the plot based reasons for its inclusion aren't a part of the movie.

There's a couple of bits of uber violence that don't quite work (though mostly it feels like it's aiming to have the feel of an 80's movie as well as being set there so a very Verhoovan vibe with the blood and guts works for it), some of the old age make up is off and that genetically engineered llama pet thing showing up with no prior explanation is just odd, but mostly I like it.

It's main problem for me, is it's not as good a film as the comic is a comic. If that makes any sense.



Whilst down in London this weekend I went to the Comics Unmasked exhibition as the British Library. A nice couple of hours with lots of Victoriana and earlier stuff on display that was pretty interesting. It is working from the premise that the regular British Library crowd will need persuading that comics are an art form, meaning that there was a bit of preaching to the choir for anyone who doesn't need converting, but generally a good day out for anyone who happens to be in London before August.

Especially as they seem to be having (free) talks from various people as the thing is on, I lucked into a chat from the organisers of the exhibition but they mentioned people like Mrs. Alan Moore (as I understand she likes to be called) and a chap who drew porn comics that went down well in France will be doing similar ones as well.

Though considering there was a heavy focus on Moore and Morrison with lots of examples of work from both (no doubt to the delight of both men), I was surprised there was no mention of the licensed work that started them off.

Fair enough, the exhibition wanted to avoid the obvious stuff as much as possible (there's only a bit of Beano and no Dandy for example) but as one of the stated aims mentioned in the talk I saw was to inspire visitors to take it up themselves I'd have thought showing at least a little bit of where starting on the lowest rung of the ladder could wind up leading might have been useful/fun. "Today Zoids- tomorrow Batman!".

I also realised from the talk with the mention of how the British Library has a copy of Every. Single. comic every published in the UK that the buggers have probably got the last few Collected Comics I need for my TF UK collection. The bastards.
 

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Old 2014-05-17, 08:37 PM   #29
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I'm going to visit that when exams are over. Knowing the curators, it's no surprise that licenced comics are invisible at the exhibition. They are lovely people but they simply don't detect that sort of thing.

Seeing at how low an ebb licenced stuff is in the UK right now it's probably for the best not to encourage up-and-comers to pick at that corpse.
 
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Old 2014-05-18, 12:09 AM   #30
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Yeah, I should say that for Serious Comics Fans they'd have
never found a way to please everyone anyway, but as it is very clearly trying to treat Moore and Morrison as a through-line (Crowley and John Dee have some of their original manuscripts included- in the case of Crowley for the first time in the UK which probably makes the conceit worthwhile in and of itself-pretty much just because of those two) the paying your dues period is a very odd omission.

Especially as, in the talk, John Dunning was was very excitedly going on about having included things like Crisis specifically because he'd been exactly the right age to be impressed by them in the early 90's. so you'd think that there would be at least one licensed property that would have had an equal effect on his even younger mind in the '80's.

Mind, the tie in book mentions a current weekly kids comic called The Phoenix which it calls the first "independent" (i.e.: No dependence on licences) weekly kids comic to get past 100 issues in 40 years- which I would say is a major achievement- that doesn't get a single mention in the exhibition itself.

Totally random, I did spend most of the free talk wondering where I'd seen Paul Gravett before (and I hope I've got the two curator names the right way round or this is going to die even more of a death than it has for people reading this who don't know the identity of British Library curators by sight), and then realised he looked exactly like the head of the Tyrell corporation Rutger Hauer crushes the head of in Blade Runner.

It probably isn't him. That would be a sever career change.
 
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Old 2014-05-18, 12:22 AM   #31
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The Phoenix (previously The DFC) is quite wonderful and I was expecting that to be the punctuation mark on the end of the exhibition. That's interesting.

Gravett has been pretty much omnipresent on the scene since the days of Warrior, possibly before. He's the kind of person that art really needs to maintain momentum - a gentleman patron who can pour endless time and energy into organising things, introducing people and mildly shepherding things from the sidelines (in between having his head crushed by Rutger Hauer, of course). Lots of those in other mediums, he's one of a handful in comics.
 
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Old 2014-05-18, 12:57 AM   #32
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The Phoenix (previously The DFC) is quite wonderful and I was expecting that to be the punctuation mark on the end of the exhibition. That's interesting.
I should say it's divided into "Themes" rather than time scale so the end of the exhibition doesn't really go right up to the present (indeed, I think the oldest thing on display- an illustrated bible- was right amongst the "As much as we pretend this is about British comics LOOK IT'S BATMAN stuff).

Equally, I wound up caught in a strange time warp where the person to my right (going forward) would always be looking at each exhibit at a slightly slower rate than me, whilst the person to my left (coming up behind me) would be reading at a slightly faster rate. Resulting in much "I'll just stand here till they finish out of politeness, even if they seem to be taking a very long time staring at this... and now I have a 12 year old art student humping my leg to try and force me too move on... ARRRGH". So I may have missed a mention of current British kids comics, but as the only person travelling at exactly the right speed (as judged by me) I don't think so.

Indeed, one thing the talk mentioned was there being a "Bold" written statement at the end of the exhibit, and I missed that entirely because I was mainly thinking "How can I circle back so I can look at that bit I missed because of just moving out of the way of FAST WOMAN and SLOW MAN"?

To be honest, the overall message of the show felt like British creators should be either working on obscure ultra serious autobiographical stuff dealing with either homosexuality or disability, or go to America and write the "Big Names".

Quote:
Gravett has been pretty much omnipresent on the scene since the days of Warrior, possibly before. He's the kind of person that art really needs to maintain momentum - a gentleman patron who can pour endless time and energy into organising things, introducing people and mildly shepherding things from the sidelines (in between having his head crushed by Rutger Hauer, of course). Lots of those in other mediums, he's one of a handful in comics.
In terms of long term consequences (and if Watchmen getting on Time's 100 best books of the 20th century isn't going to convince any serious British Library doubters comics can be literary nothing will) it is nice this exhibition has seen the comic collection of the BL get catalogued properly.

Apparently before the representative example of the UK's comics would just arrive at the building they had to be sent too (indeed, periodicals only became part of the main British library during the period this exhibition was on, they'd previously been kept at another part of London), new issues of a magazine/comic would just be shoved in a box with only minor and generally unhelpful information written on the side of it. If the work of Gravett and friends has really pushed for a proper chronicling of this stuff so future students, scholars and general interested parties can find what they're after that's brilliant.

The BL might even know for sure if Plague of Insecticons was published in 1986 or 1987. I'm vaguely hoping it's the former so I don't have to apologise for including it in that year's comics on my website, but despite that being the received wisdom on the when it was released I'm increasingly loosing hope Marvel UK did a reprint special with an advert for a similar Thundercats special at least three months before Thundercats launched in the UK...

What was also interesting that was mentioned in the talk but not the exhibit is, the BL have a super secret vault that all the pornography and "How to make a bomb" stuff (as well as anything declared sensitive, hence there being a fair few comics in there) goes in.

Apparently, even though what was on display was either from the Library vaults or private collectors, they had a hard time on a lot of items getting permission to display from the publishers for things still in copyright. I would guess, out of the things that ended up included, the Andy Capp strip making a joke out of wife beating and the Bob Monkhouse kids comic where no one involved has realised it has Tornado fighting giant penises would have both met from resistance from the owners.
 

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Old 2014-05-18, 01:17 AM   #33
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You know, no joking, as a full-time Comics Historian, Gravett might be able to help you out with that one. He at least would be able to get you the e-mail address of Ian Rimmer or somesuch. Despite what I said earlier about the invisibility of licenced comics I have a feeling that he'd be very interested in your Transformation blog.

Quote:
To be honest, the overall message of the show felt like British creators should be either working on obscure ultra serious autobiographical stuff dealing with either homosexuality or disability, or go to America and write the "Big Names".
Yup, that's a pretty accurate take on the current mood. Or 'just be like Luke Pearson, he's delightful.' Nobody can argue with that.

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indeed, I think the oldest thing on display- an illustrated bible
Was that the Crumb Genesis one? Or the slightly older Bisley one? There was quite a fashion for unlikely artists illustrating Bible stories a while back.
 
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Old 2014-05-18, 01:29 AM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terome View Post
You know, no joking, as a full-time Comics Historian, Gravett might be able to help you out with that one. He at least would be able to get you the e-mail address of Ian Rimmer or somesuch. Despite what I said earlier about the invisibility of licenced comics I have a feeling that he'd be very interested in your Transformation blog.
Hmm, between the chance to find out some useful information and the ego stroking if he does respond, that could be worth checking up on.

After being slightly cynical and moaning about them in my last few posts, I should say everyone involved in the talk (including the overall archivist of the BL) were clearly very up for the whole thing and being as celebratory of the whole field of British comics as they could, and they felt as bad as anyone over the compromises needed to fit it all in the space and balance making it look "Worthy" to literary snobs. A headache I would not have wanted.



Quote:
Was that the Crumb Genesis one? Or the slightly older Bisley one? There was quite a fashion for unlikely artists illustrating Bible stories a while back.
Assuming I was reading the exploritory text right, it was a proper centuries old bible, the argument being "It tells a story with pictures in sequence with captions... basically the same as the earliest Victorian comics we've covered, therefore this shows this is a type of storytelling much older than anyone gives it credit".
 
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Old 2014-05-18, 01:34 AM   #35
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Assuming I was reading the exploritory text right, it was a proper centuries old bible, the argument being "It tells a story with pictures in sequence with captions... basically the same as the earliest Victorian comics we've covered, therefore this shows this is a type of storytelling much older than anyone gives it credit".
Unf, because I am up at 2:30 AM writing about shrinking spermatophores of butterflies in Fiji (actually a lot cooler than it sounds) I read what you said backwards. I thought you said the illustrated Bible was the latest thing, not the oldest.

Quote:
Hmm, between the chance to find out some useful information and the ego stroking if he does respond, that could be worth checking up on.
Go for it! I've always found Gravett to be friendly and helpful to a fault. He really is doing all this for the love.

Pity I missed that talk but I'm looking forward to the exhibit more than ever now. Cheers for the report.
 
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Old 2014-05-19, 09:52 AM   #36
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As a counterpoint, apprently the Sunday Times critic didn't like it to the point they suggested that all comic readers should be sterilised.
 
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Old 2014-05-19, 11:53 AM   #37
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Can only see snatches of the Sunday Times article but, hoo boy.

A good preview here:
http://www.bleedingcool.com/2014/05/...s-over-comics/

Looks bloody fantastic. Had no idea about stuff like The Glasgow Looking Glass and Ally Sloper. Though the Crowley and John Dee connection does seem like a bit of a stretch. It's cute when Moore cooks those things up but when it's up on the wall as poe-faced as that... Never mind, shall go and see for myself.
 
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Old 2014-05-19, 12:31 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by inflatable dalek View Post
Assuming I was reading the exploritory text right, it was a proper centuries old bible, the argument being "It tells a story with pictures in sequence with captions... basically the same as the earliest Victorian comics we've covered, therefore this shows this is a type of storytelling much older than anyone gives it credit".
Much older than anyone gives it credit.

Sequential art is the ****ing oldest form of "written" storytelling we have. Comics are basically portable cave paintings.

Captions took a while to get upto speed, but still.

Not arsed about reading the Sunday Times coverage, though it did cross my Twitterfeed a few times that all journos should be forced to read this: http://www.dylanmeconis.com/how-not-...ics-criticism/ before covering the exhibition.

And it works as a handy rule of thumb for knowing when you can safely stop reading any article about comics and dismiss the writer in question as clueless.
 
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Old 2014-05-19, 04:13 PM   #39
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Because it's still on page one.
So what? Some threads don't need to run on for hundreds of pages. Some work best when they're just one page. And since your previous post you stated that you don't read comics, why don't you actually talk about the Watchmen, V For Vendetta, From Hell, or LXG movies instead of acting a possible troll? When I bump up an inactive thread I TRY to have something to add to it.

Now I like Watchmen, V For Vendetta, and From Hell movies and while some areas I thought the movies improved on the material. Like the Benny Hill-style comdey sketch that got Stephen Fry's character arrested in V For Vendetta worked a lot better in the movie that it did in the book where it came to at least this American reader "WTF is this about?" some of it due to Fry and Hurt going balls-to-the-wall with the material and with the music and sound effects over David Lloyd's confusing artwork (Lloyd should never draw a humor book) and the poor coloring didn't help.

I haven't seen LXG for quite a while.
 



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Old 2014-05-19, 08:00 PM   #40
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In terms of horses for courses I thought the Benny Hill bit was the most painful moment in an otherwise OK film, seemingly the result of some Americans asking themselves what a British chat show would be like without bothering to watch any and coming up with "Well, probably like Conan O'Brien... but with Benny Hill music".

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Originally Posted by Terome View Post
Looks bloody fantastic. Had no idea about stuff like The Glasgow Looking Glass and Ally Sloper. Though the Crowley and John Dee connection does seem like a bit of a stretch. It's cute when Moore cooks those things up but when it's up on the wall as poe-faced as that... Never mind, shall go and see for myself.
Yeah, I'd never heard of Sloper before which surprised me considering how popular it turned out he was, if nothing else he's exactly the sort of thing you'd expect to show up in an Alan Moore comic somewhere. It makes you wonder if Homer Simpson will be completely forgotten in a century.

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And it works as a handy rule of thumb for knowing when you can safely stop reading any article about comics and dismiss the writer in question as clueless.
It just baffles me as to why you'd send someone who hates comics to cover a comics exhibition, the Times wouldn't have had him/her review the latest Barber of Seville if they professed a pure hatred of opera. The quotes (like Terome I've not been able to read the full thing so if anyone thinks the coverage is unfair on the writer do speak up) I've seen come across as the worst sort of Daily Mail "Stephen Gately died of being gay" style attention whoring.
 
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