In which Mike tries to draw you folks into his particular obsessions again.

§ April 3rd, 2006 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off on In which Mike tries to draw you folks into his particular obsessions again.

A random thought from work: Dark Horse has hitched its wagon to its share of chickens re: licensed movie tie-ins. Lost in Space, the Tim Burton version of Planet of the Apes, Aeon Flux…with POTA especially it looked like Dark Horse was trying to create an ongoing funnybook franchise, which kinda petered out. That’s a long way from the salad days of Aliens, Predator, and Terminator (and, to a lesser extent, Robocop).

Part of the problem, of course, is with the films themselves readily available on DVD, there’s little incentive to read the adaptations and film-inspired tie-ins to “recapture the excitement of the movie”…not like the heyday of comic book movie adaptations decades ago, when you saw the movie once in the theatre, and that was pretty much it unless it eventually turned up on television or in rerelease.

Plus, it doesn’t help that the films themselves barely inspire any desire to see more. Did anyone seeing the largely-unnecessary Tim Burton “reimagining” of Planet of the Apes really want to read more about it? Obviously somebody must have, since they did a couple minis, but not enough to produce any more than that. (And I just want to note here that leaving the “surprise ending” out of the adaptation of the film was a really, really bad idea…I’m sure it was the studio’s decision to keep the ending secret, but really, so what? They kept it secret for, what, an extra week? Or two? And the Drudge Report ended up totally spoiling it right away, as I recall. Anyway, without the ending, the adaptation now just looks stupid. Well, more stupid. Feh.)

Star Wars, of course, is the notable exception, and the comics and trades inspired by this movie series are still selling quite well. Dark Horse even managed to get the adaptations of Episodes I, II, and III to move, primarily by releasing them prior to the films’ debuts. However, to its credit, I regularly sell the trade paperback collections of the film adaptations, mostly to children.

I also still sell lots of the Aliens and Predator comics as back issues…even the three Batman Vs. Predator series continue to move. I’m assuming that Dark Horse still has the rights to these two properties, though, if I’m remembering correctly, some behind-the-scenes shenanigans has put the kibosh on those comics for the time being. If so, that’s a shame…those appeal to younger readers as well (I do warn parents about content, but generally, and unusually, if they’re letting their kids watch the films, they don’t object too much to the comics).

Of the Big Two companies, Marvel lately just publishes adaptations of films based on their characters, while flooding related titles with the villains that are featured in said films. (If I never see Doctor Octopus again, it’ll be too soon.) DC also recently has stuck to adapting films based on their books, though they released a handsome-looking adaptation of Sleepy Hollow a few years back. (And remember the earlier adaptation of Alien Nation and, despite the Gene Colan art, the ghastly Little Shop of Horrors? Comic book presentations of musical films are a really, really bad idea.) Most of those sold okay, not great, and when those prequels to Superman Returns arrive, I’ll be interested to see how well those sell.

So, once again, I throw the question to you folks…what comic book adaptations (or spin-off series, or prequels) of films have you really enjoyed? Some of my favorites include the Heavy Metal graphic novel version of Alien drawn by Walt Simonson (with its notoriously fragile binding), the infamous adaptation of Steven Spielberg’s 1941 by Steve Bissette and Rick Veitch, and the Time Bandits comic (that I’ve mentioned before).

What say you, internet pals?

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