Sunday, July 06, 2008

I'm About Done With Anti-Comic Book Bias

I was reading New York magazine last week--which is a rather good mag, despite what I'm about to say--and I came across the following phrase in their review of Wanted:

"Jolie is a happy distraction from a lot of twaddle (the movie is based on a comic-book series)..."

And I'm sick to death of that, the idea that simply because something is based on a comic means that it inherently is starting from a place of inferiority. What is it going to take for some people to understand that "comic book" is not an adjective, not a paint-brush term with which you can instantly convey juvenalia?

I get that many magazine writers, hell, many mass media professionals got their first exposure to comics, and movies and TV shows based on those comics, when they were uniformly shitty, with the rarest of exceptions. At times, I've had to serve as a watchdog for that knee-jerk application--I made it my mission to make sure that "comic book" wasn't used as an interchangeable stand-in for "silly" or "stupid" or just plain old "bad." And I'd like to think the writers I worked with got on board. But in a day and age when Persepolis, Ghost World, From Hell, V for Vendetta, American Splendor, Spider-Man, and Batman Begins can all emerge as mature films that can stand next to any movie based on the more cognoscienti-friendly novel, it's time for folks to wise up.


Ed said...


Edward Kaye said...

Hell yeah! In my review of Wanted I actually talk about how the movie is bad because it veers away from the intelligent comic series, and just tries to distracts us with a big FX fest. I am rather dedicated to spreading the word that comics are literature. I consider it my new mission :)

Anonymous said...

You'll shut them up once you re-purpose The Highwaymen as Lethal Weapon: 2020 for TV and film.