A movie was once just a movie - a self-contained entity, perhaps with a lucrative line of tie-in products that might include a comic-book spin-off. But now there is a cross-pollination between cinema and graphic novels that cannot be described or dismissed as mere merchandising. It used to be the case that studios would simply adapt a graphic novel for the screen, usually with dubious results. Increasingly, though, the traffic is moving in the opposite direction, with film-makers themselves branching out into graphic novels, incorporating that art form as an alternative storytelling tool rather than simply an adjunct or cash-in.
When Joss Whedon's television series Firefly was cancelled, and he was preparing its movie sequel, Serenity, he first bridged the narrative gap between the two by co-writing a Serenity comic book; his television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer was prolonged in a similar vein, with season eight now emerging as a graphic novel long after the season seven finale. And when Darren Aronofsky's initial attempt to film The Fountain collapsed, the director diverted his energies into collaborating with Kent Williams on a graphic novel version based on his screenplay; the result is strikingly different from the film that was eventually made.
Monday, November 26, 2007
Graphic novels are establishing an ever closer relationship with feature films, explains Ryan Gilbey in The Guardian.