There’s a joke in the term “Indy comics” somewhere.

§ April 5th, 2024 § Filed under publishing § 10 Comments

A couple more follow-ups on the movie adaptations post:

Cassandra Miller mentions the adaptations for Dark Crystal and Raiders of the Lost Ark, of which I’d only ever read the former. I remember being very impressed by the detailed art in that comic, though I can’t remember who did it at the moment. Hang on a sec.


Ah, ’twas Bret Blevins that did the deed, with inking by Vince Colletta, Rick Bryant and Richard Howell. It was an appealingly done adaptation as I recall, fitting the story into about 50 pages over two standard comic books (or in one Marvel Super Special magazine. Alas, those comics departed my collection in a long-ago purge and I can’t present panels from them for you, but I’m sure they’re out there somewhere. But I think I’m assured enough in my memory of them to tell folks to seek ’em out.

Speaking of the Marvel Super Specials…I kind of have a small nostalgic feeling for those, featuring the adaptation in full in one issue, along with supporting articles about the making of the movie or whatever. And then splitting up the adaptation over two or three issues of a regular comic book mini-series. It was a clever ploy, getting their coveted space on magazine stands where comics weren’t necessarily offered, but repurposing that same material for the comic book market.

As for Raiders…I don’t know, I just never bothered with the comic book versions. I came to the movie slightly later, seeing it in a military base theater some time after its regular release, so I may have missed the initial heyday of the comic book adaptations. And I didn’t even do much more than glance at Marvel’s later Further Adventures of Indiana Jones, the first couple of issues featuring some lesser John Byrne work.

But back to Raiders…oh, it’s by Walt Simonson, John Buscema, and Klaus Janson! Look, why didn’t anyone tell me about this, that sounds great. I honestly just didn’t have time for Indy comics for whatever reason. I just wasn’t all that interested in The Adventures of Indiana Jones outside of the films themselves, oh, and video games like Fate of Atlantis, the Atari 2600 cart, and the arcade machine. I’ve poked through a couple or three of them over the years, even picking up a mini-series or two from Dark Horse. Nothin’ stuck. Just not for me I guess. Not even the Young Indiana Jones TV show got much viewing.

But hearing about the creative team on he Raiders adapataion makes me more interested to take a look now. Pretty sure I have a couple of them in the back issue bins at th shop, so I’ll make sure to take a glance.

And Aaron G. notes the Bill Sienkiewicz-illustrated adaptation of Dune, the 1980s film by David Lynch, based on the book by Frank Herbert. I’m a real Dune neophyte, having only seen parts of the movie, and have never even read the book (much to pal Tegan‘s chagrin). All I can tell you from a retailer’s perspective is that the issues command some higher prices nowadays, and are in great demand. I even had a really beat-up copy of the Marvel Super Special version that blew out the door almost as soon as I priced it.

The comics do have striking Sienkiewicz covers:

Maybe I should read these instead of seeing the movie or reading the book. Then I can fake it and join in on all those Dune discussion groups that pop up in coffee shops all across our great country and sound like I know what I’m talking about.

“Yes, of course, I like how Sting was drawn in this one pan–”


“UM I MEAN how his face was framed onscreen. Yeah, that’s what I meant.”

10 Responses to “There’s a joke in the term “Indy comics” somewhere.”

  • Pedro de Pacas says:

    Brett Blevins was the perfect choice for that Dark Crystal comic. He didn’t need to change his style one iota to completely nail the character designs.

    Oddly enough, I love Brett Blevins art but absolutely abhor his work on the New Mutants. The writing didn’t help, either.

  • Cassandra Miller says:

    I had the Super Specials, and I read them from cover to cover, over and over again!

  • LouReedRichards says:

    Yeah, Blevins is a wonderful artist, great mixture of cartooning and dynamism.

    Personally, I’d say not to bother with the Raider adaption. The Buscema/Janson combo was underwhelming, the art feels really rushed and minimal, and not in a good way. That might just be me, I don’t generally care for Janson’s work so that might prejudice my opinion a bit.

  • Ed says:

    I was surprised that the art team of Bret Blevins and Vince Colletta meshed so well. This was a spectacular book.

  • Thom H. says:

    I was angry at Bret Blevins for a long time for “ruining” New Mutants, but I realize he was just drawing the script he was given.

    I can appreciate his artwork on the book now, but Louise Simonson’s writing left a lot to be desired. I mean, Bird Boy? Ugh. Weird, because her X-Factor was so much better.

  • Pedro de Pacas says:

    @Thom H.

    I agree completely, but we can blame Blevins for those awful New Mutants costume redesigns – even more the pity when you remember the far superior “adult” costumes Art Adams had already created for them.

  • Snark Shark says:

    Love the Raiders adaptation! I have the Indy trilogy in adaptation form, now.
    And note, both STAR WARS and EMPIRE STRIEKS BACK are available in the Huge Treasury Editions, which they’d stopped doing by JEDI. Seeing the EMPIRE art in huge form was pretty impressive.

    The Indy book is decent, and so were the Dark Horse ones, though I’ve only read a few. One of the DH series had stellar art by Adam Hughes!

    “Bird Boy?”

    I’ll see your UGH and raise you a BLECH. Seeing that character on the covers turned me off form the book!

  • Snark Shark says:


  • Sean Mageean says:

    @ Snark Shark

    I think the Butch Guice art on the “Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom” comics adaptation is better than the “Raiders of The Lost Ark” art.

  • Snark Shark says:

    Fair enough! It probably IS, but nostalgia means the first adaptation wins for me! I don’t think I even SAW the other two until I was an adult.

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