So anyway, movie comics.

§ February 9th, 2005 § Filed under from the vast Mikester comic archives § 1 Comment

Since Slave Labor released the first volume of Evan Dorkin’s Bill ‘n’ Ted’s Most Excellent Adventures last week, I thought I’d take a brief look back at the very first Bill ‘n’ Ted comic from 1989. Written by Bob Rozakis and illustrated by Mad Magazine‘s Angelo Torres, it’s a straightforward adaptation of the first film. It hits all the beats of the movie, but doesn’t really add anything to the material…of course, it really suffers in comparison to Dorkin’s fabulously-nutty adaptation of Bogus Journey. In addition, the art seems scratchy and rushed…Torres’ caricatures are usually right on, but as a whole the production seems very rough.

I think this comic was only distributed in video stores, but I’m not 100% positive. I never saw it in the wild, having bought my copy from a convention bargain bin. It presumably was meant solely to advertise the video release, which kind of brings up a point that’s been made several times before…that comic book movie adaptations are pretty much useless now. In decades past, once a movie was out of the theatres, your only chance to see it again was if it was rerun on television. A comic book adaptation served as your connection to the film, a reminder of all those great scenes in, say, The Boatniks, that you can relive in the comics’ pages.

Now, with the DVDs and VCRs and 700 cable channels all you kids are into, comic book adaptations have lost that edge. When you can own the actual movie, or be pretty much guaranteed of catching it on cable sooner or later, why bother with actual reading? You can still sell movie adaptations to a limited extent, by getting it out before the movie* or releasing it in that brief** months-long window between the movie’s theatrical run and its DVD release. The other way around this is by publishing comics based on the movie, featuring brand new stories starring the film’s characters rather than just a straight adaptation.

The Bill ‘n’ Ted comic pictured above is just a disposable ad for the video…an interesting artifact of the film’s cult popularity, but that’s about it. It does have a rare George Carlin comic book appearance (if not his only one) so it does have that to recommend it.

Oh, and I have this other item…a postcard produced by the “Bill and Ted’s Outstanding Past and Future Appreciation Society,” a San Dimas-based B&T fan club:

The back reads:

“While future issues are as yet unobtainable by non-time travelling entities, current issues are on sale now at your local comics dealer! Ask for Bill and Ted’s Excellent Comic Book, published monthly by the most triumphant personages at Marvel Comics!”

* I remember when Marvel got in a lot of hot water with Lucasfilm by accidentally releasing the comic adaptation of Return of the Jedi prior to the film’s debut, thus spoiling the surprises. Now, though, the Dark Horse Star Wars adaptations are released ahead of the movies. Apparently it’s not the problem it used to be.

** Very brief, in Elektra‘s case.

One Response to “So anyway, movie comics.”

  • […] On the other hand, comic book adaptations of movies are kind of a moot point when you can own the actual movie about four or five months after seeing it in theatres, like I’ve written about before. […]