Tuesday, August 21, 2007


So another summer season at the movies is winding down, and that means another year of Hollywood comic book adaptations is now mostly behind us. True, Neil Gaiman's Stardust just opened and there's still 30 Days of Night by horror writer, Steve Niles, on the horizon, but the big boys of summer are definitely specks in the rear view mirror by now, particularly given the shortness of the pop-culture news cycle.

For better or worse, it seems like comic book movies are here to stay. Oh sure, at first a lot of people (myself included) thought that the A-list characters and books would get their chance on the big screen, some would work, others wouldn't, and notoriously fickle movie execs would move onto the next fad. But it's been nine years since Blade karate kick-started the current wave, and when obscure stuff like The Metal Men is being rumored for a greenlight it looks like Hollywood won't stop until the well is dry or they don't like the water. (And if stinkers like Daredevil and Catwoman haven't poisoned the well, nothing will.)

The result of all this? More people being aware of comics. Naysayers can talk about some of the harm facing the comics industry that comes with all this mainstream interest (increased potential for censorship, works created solely to woo filmmakers, etc...) and they have valid points, but I think the good outweighs the bad this time. I mean, do you know how many copies of 300 we've sold to tourists? I'm not even sure some of them read English, not that that's required to read 300. I guess what I'm trying to say is that after years of cultural obscurity and irrelevance, I for one am glad that the masses know we're here. So they'll screw up some of our books now and again. So they'll miscast Kate Beckinsale in Whiteout and give Preacher to the guy who directed Ghost Rider. So what? Didn't like the film? Read (or re-read) the comic. They're not going anywhere because a bad movie gets made out of them. They're right here at Forbidden Planet where they've always been.

- Ken Ip



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