Peter G (sinetimore) wrote,
Peter G

Wait...That's A Comic Book?!?

This has been on my mind for a few days now, and I think it's time to put this out there.

At work, I was taking a phone call, and there was some idle chitchat while waiting for the next screen. I'm a movie geek, and the woman on the other end told me how great Shutter Island was. I casually mentioned, Yeah, I heard it's really faithful to the comic book.

" was a comic book?" She thought comic book automatically meant capes.

Nowadays, comic book movies are everywhere. They're coming, with talk of the Green Lantern movie being a trilogy shot and released in the same manner as Lord Of The Rings.

Last year at San Diego, at the Marvel panel, someone from Marvel asked, "How many here saw Iron Man?" Every hand shot up. He then asked, "How many are reading the comic?" Most of the hands went down.

For all the hype and trendy cache of comic books right now being made into movies, sales of comics are falling, and have dropped about 20% year to year. Why? This is the best advertising! It's not free, people are paying for it! Why aren't the book selling?!?

I think comic book movies are killing comic books.

Think of the advantage of a comic book movie over current comic books. The story is more straightforward and self-contained. You get it all at once instead of over the course of several months. And before, comics were not a communal experience. Well, they were, but your choice in other people was limited. Most comic book nuts are also movie nuts. Suddenly, these characters they enjoy can be discussed with more people. Not only that, but more than one person at a time can watch a movie. That's trickier to do with print.

People who want their comic book fix have an alternative. One that doesn't have to be justified to outsiders ("No, comics aren't just for kids...."), one that outsiders are a part of. They can read a comic and be done in twenty minutes, or they can get a movie they will watch over and over again. One they can enjoy without knowing fifty years of comic book history. It's not the fantastic world of the comic book they want, its the crowd-pleaser movie structure that has been studied and refined for the past thirty years.

Simply put, people who love the characters find more direct enjoyment in the movies than in the mercural world of comics. And since they can get those characters without dealing with the bullshit of comics, they are doing so. If they made a Sound Waves TV show, I don't think there'd be any increase in demand for the book, just the TV show if it was done well. The comics may increase in sales due to curiosity, but it's not like I'd be in the Diamond Top 10.

I enjoy comic book movies myself. But anyone thinking spin-off media will save the day is in for a rude awakening.
Tags: art, comic books, comics
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