3. Mickey Mouse and the World to Come by Andrea Castellan (Panini 2008)
While it's technically fair-game to count any Mickey Mouse comic as an adaptation, and while this is actually one of my favorite Mickey Mouse stories of all time, it's my #2 pick for this event because of how lovingly it adapts the look and feel of Sky Captain and World of Tomorrow. Creator Andrea Castellan cites the film as his primary inspiration for this story, as Skycaptain is a visually enthralling film that showcases a sci-fi world of limitless possibilities and...almost no story.
So Castellan gives that world a story, and boy is it a doozy. Seldom has a Disney comic ever been this intricate, sophisticated, dark, and thoughtful in its exploration of science fiction concepts. While we watch the relatively simplistic Mickey Mouse process a decades old mystery involving Iron Giant-style robots, foreign government conspiracies, and the mathematical theory of denumeration, the planes roar overhead while villains cackle maniacally, and the whole thing captures the rush of a big budget science fiction thriller. It's just a tremendous story that, unlike the film that inspired it, delivers so much more than its audience had anticipated.
To provide some context for my choice, let me first discuss previous Star Trek comics.
Gold Key's comics, which I read for the first time about 15 years ago, did not appeal to me. They seemed uncharacteristic of the show. I'll never forget moments such as a Spock/alien encounter where Spock said something like, "Ooh, that creature makes my skin crawl." Not a thing our favourite Vulcan would ever have said.
Then there's Marvel Comics' Star Trek. It was passable for me. It could be solid. But it could also be inconsistent. I don't doubt the effort, but it did leave me with a feeling of ennui, to be honest.
Then came DC Comics' Star Trek. Finally, I got a comic version I could be proud of!
These did feel like the "further adventures" of the original crew. And they were bloody good at times, consistently so. They developed the characters, they explored things that the franchise should have been exploring, and it all came together so well, plot-wise and art-wise.
The character development was the most compelling argument in favour of this making #3 on my list. It felt like every character got his/her chance to shine; like the fourth theatrical movie, everyone had something to do. It remained very true to the spirit of the original series, and I never felt like I was reading anything that was filler.
I am not sure "Easter eggs", in its current context, was used back then, but there were plenty of them. The book utilised great writers and artists well. There was plenty to enjoy - and the most rewarding aspect is that while the book did look back (e.g. the likes of Mudd appearing), it never failed to look forward.
One of the finest comic book Star Trek incarnations ever.
Post by Icctrombone on Dec 22, 2018 20:06:05 GMT -5
3. Special Marvel Edition # 15-16, Master of Kung Fu # 17. Publisher - Marvel Year - 1973 Writer- Steve Englehart Artists- Jim Starlin/ Al Milgrom
I will admit to buying this book because of the Jim Starlin artwork but I stayed on for the father son dynamic between Shang Chi and Fu Manchu. I knew nothing about Fu Manchu other than he was a Sax Rohmer creation appearing in a 1913 novel, "The Insidious Fu Manchu." It seems that Romher also created Sir Nayland Smith and Dr. Petrie , who were supporting characters in the MOKF book. Shang Chi is a half breed who was raised and trained to be a living weapon in the service of his father until he discovers that Manchu’s plans are to remake the world in his vision. The early issues were written by Steve Englehart and he gave way to Doug Moench in issue # 20. He used Manchu as the behind the scenes brain in some of this series until issue # 118 where he is killed off.
Post by Roquefort Raider on Dec 22, 2018 20:56:32 GMT -5
3. Gustave Flaubert’s Salammbo
Adapted by Philippe Druillet in three books published by Dargaud in 1980, 1982 and 1986. Published in English in HeavyMetal.
Salammbô is a historical romance set during the war that opposed Carthage and its mercenaries following the first Punic war (Carthage refused to pay its understandably miffed hired soldiers).
Druillet morphs it into a tale set in the ruins of an ancient galactic empire. The grandeur of Carthage is transposed from the Mediterranean to the depths of outer space, but human passions remain as strong as ever.
The role of the central character, the mercenary leader Matho, is assumed by Druillet’s space hero Lone Sloane. Trying to lose himself in the barbaric splendor of Carthage’s decaying civilization, Sloane falls under the spell of the beauteous princess Salammbô… a passion that will not end well, as you can imagine.
Druillet is true to his extraordinary and unique vision, with pages hemorrhaging details, characters and weird designs. His crowd scenes seem to contain millions of tiny figures; his palaces seem to reach all the way to the skies; his war elephants seem to be able to crush all the ones from the Lord of the Rings movies under one foot. Druillet is a master of the excessive, of the fantastic, of the surreal vision.
Post by Paste Pot Paul on Dec 22, 2018 21:44:42 GMT -5
Master of Kung Fu Englehart, Moench, Zeck, Day, and Gulacy
Master of Kung Fu was always one of those titles that I saw at friends houses or passed around school.
The bigger kids were the ones, it was a little too adult(ie not superhero, war, or MAD)like the plethora of supernatural titles in the 70s, and I hadnt SEEN a Bruce Lee film, just had them described enthusiastically, but the big kids or adults thought it was cool. I had to have it, like Tomb of Dracula, years of being on the fringe of GETTING IT meant I really had no choice in the matter. Of course the sporadic distribution over here in the 70s was beyond me then.
I was lucky that when I did start to collect I found a local bookshop that had a fairly regular supply and I was hooked. Moench, Zeck, and Day were my intro though I had been tortured with glimpses of that beautiful Paul Gulacy work on occasion.
Moench gets extra credit for kickstarting my obsession with Frazetta when he has Black Jack Tarr discover Silver Warrior and become enamoured of it.
I dont think you can love MOKF without being convinced that Gene Day would have acheived greatness if he hant been taken so young. His visuals after Mike Zeck leaves IMHO showcase an eye for design up there with some of the true giants of the field and you could see his actual drawing ability get better month by month.
It was the year of fire… the year of destruction… the year we took back what was ours. It was the year of rebirth… the year of great sadness… the year of pain… and the year of joy. It was a new age. It was the end of history. It was the year everything changed.
Post by codystarbuck on Dec 22, 2018 22:32:03 GMT -5
#3 is King of the Rocket Men, form Innovation and Christopher Moeller...
This 4-issue mini-series adapted the Republic serial King of the Rocket Men, which launched the Commando Cody (he took the name in Radar Men From the Moon) franchise, which would span 3 serials and a tv show, as well as inspire Dave Stevens' The Rocketeer. Jeff King runs security for a scientific research lab, which is being menaced by the mysterious Dr Vulcan, who steals an experimental ray weapon that can melt solid rock. King investigates, while protecting the staff from attacks by Vulcan's henchmen.
Christopher Moeller adapted the serial, with his always excellent painted art. Moeller had the ability to create dynamic stories, within the medium of paint, with better storytelling skills than Alex Ross, for my money. He also handled advanced tech well and gave King a railgun, which added to his rocket pack and took the place of the cliched revolver we saw in the serial. The series was timed for the release of the Disney film, based on The Rocketeer comics, hoping to cash in on it by presenting the original. It went largely unnoticed; but, is an exciting, pulpy comic, filled with thrills and cliffhangers, just like the serial. It also has a coda that is not in the serial, with a potential future for Jeff king and America.
The Innovation series was full color; but, it was collected by Caliber, in a black and white trade collection. Well worth checking out, especially if you are a fan of the Rocketeer or Moeller's own Iron Empires books ("The Passage", from DHP; Faith Conquers, and Sheva's War).
Neil Gaiman's take of William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream is stuff of dreams and wonder. Gaiman's writing of the meeting of Morpheus meeting Shakespeare in a prior issue pays off in this modern classic. The Lord of Dreams has requested Shakespeare to write two plays for him. The first of these is this lavish and whimsical yet semi-dark tale of the Bard's play first performed in 1593. In the hills of Sussex, Shakespeare's company performs his play for the realm of Faerie and Morpheus. Using the words of the play itself and telling the play and the life of what happened to life of Shakespeare's only son, Hamnet. Gaiman gives us a perspective on a great performance that could've been... it's moving and sad in 22 pages.
Charles Vess work on this issue, along with his other Gaiman collaborations is some of the most lavish and gorgeous pages every drawn. The dream like quality that was needed of this issue could've been drawn by anyone else. His pencils are so lithe, giving the feel of Faerie that extra push while visions did appear before you eyes. The period drawn clothing is dead on as his expressions give the read more than just an open mouth and some eyes moving.
I'm sure most of us here has read Sandman, either an issue or two or the full run, but this is a must read issue.
On the Tenth Day of Christmas, Santa said to me…Call Me Ishmael!
Classics Illustrated #4 Moby Dick by Bill Sienkewicz (First Comics; 1990);
adapted from the novel by Herman Melville
Sienkewicz’s luscious art makes this a standout adaptation of Melville’s classic. Overall, it captures the mood and thematic underpinnings of the book, and is a faithful adaptation, but the lavish illustrative work of Sienkewicz is what evokes that mood and thematic content. Whether it is a small insert panel on a larger page or a double page spread, each panel serves a purpose in capturing and conveying the overall feel of the book. At times impressionistic, the art lays bare the characters and scenes it depicts. Ahab looks haunted and menacing, Queequag noble but a strange savage in appearance and bearing, Ishmael stable and mundane, etc. and the scenes are powerful and hauntingly beautiful-the depiction of the typhoon captures the majesty and power of sea and storm, the encounter with Moby Dick epic and tragic, and the final panel of the lone survivor a calmness and loneliness all at once. At 48 pages, it is an abridged adaptation, but it is a masterpiece on its own and well worth experiencing.
People don't want the Truth. They want only information that supports what they think they already know. -Vess from Invisible Kingdom
I see a comics culture that preserves and appreciates its past, but doesn't wallow in witless nostalgia. -Scott McCloud
Humans beings always do the most intelligent thing…after they’ve tried every stupid alternative and none of them have worked -Buckminster Fuller