Monday, March 30, 2009

Motion Comics: More Crap That I Like

This weekend I went to the store (Target, if you're that nosey) and looked at the DVD section. I like browsing the DVDs because in these hard economic times there are usually some pretty sweet deals, like when I bought the first two seasons of The Outer Limits for a cool $14. Anyhow, I saw something which really threw me. Some of you may remember my review of the Watchmen film. If you don't, look for it on my site (a bit of warning, finding it might be hard, since it's buried in the archives). In that review I lavished some pretty heavy praise on it, and until I watch it again and become disillusioned, I stand by what I said. Anyhow, there was a huge amount of promotion for this film, and one of the tie-ins was a cartoon of the comic-within-a-comic "Tales of the Black Freighter," available on DVD. I didn't really understand how this story tied in with everything else, but I do intend on watching it once Netflix sends it. I also saw another, much more intriguing thing right next to that DVD. It was a DVD called "Watchmen, The Complete Motion Comic." I read the back and became immediately interested. Apparently, every single panel of the original comic book was enlarged, given slight animation, a panning camera, music, sound effects, and narration. Now, I like to do what I call "double teaming,' which is reading a book and listening to the audiobook at the same time. While some may consider this cheating, I find that it helps me understand the text a lot more, especially with authors such as Joseph Conrad, whos writing is always straddling the line between boring and brilliance. Anyhow, I watched an episode of this Watchmen animated comic, and I was blown away. This is the most faithful adaptation anyone will ever see of this comic book, since it's basically the entire damn comic except for the pure-print sections at the end of each volume. The technique used is very effective, and drew me into the story so much that I wanted to watch all five hours of it, even though I've already read the comic and seen the movie. I've read other reviews of it, and the main problem people have is that all of the voice work is done by one man. It is a bit jarring at first to see a woman and hear a man's feminized voice doing the dialog, but as someone accustomed to this in audiobooks, I got over it. I fully realize that this was done purely to make money out of fans of the comic, but it's still a great concept and I hope that it catches on. There's already a motion comic of some Batman comics being done, and Marvel's also having a go at it. I'd love to see some of the stuff that I read when I was younger (such as Spawn) given this treatment. It's apparently fairly cheap to do, and there definitely is a market for it.

And maybe, further down the road, some pervert will take some Tijuana Bibles and give them the motion comic treatment. Not that I'd watch them, of course.

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