Comics, do they work on film?


Sr Member
I'll be up front, I don't read comics and just don't get them, but I'm aware that there is a huge comic following here on the RPF.
So I'm kind of warming to the idea of comics, even more so now that I see Indiana Jones and Star Wars owe a huge debt to that succinct, serial form of story telling (the comic strip).
What's your favourite comic strip, what would you like to see made into a film? Are the graphics what you go for? Do you need life like art or do abstract figures (like stick men) work for you? If you had to do a five frame comic once a week for a local paper, what would it be about. you get the idea. lets talk about you and comics.
I prefer my comic based movies animated either old school or CGI, it just has a better quality to it than bad CGI mixed with live action. We have to face that fact that it seems like the quality of CGI has gone downhill over the years in live action movies. Personally I'd love to see a Transformers comic based on the ongoing revamped version of Generation 1.

Translates perfect to animation.

It's the only 'comic strip' come to "life" that ever worked for me.

If you're just talking general comic books.

No, none. Movies of comics HAVE to be made more serious/real/less comic booky or people wouldn't go. So they are never quite the experience of the comic itself.

But then how could it ever be "the same".

It completely subjective to the nexus of your comic book experience and movie going mind set.

Some of these nemo layouts are amazing, and the special effects cost waaaaaaaay less than putting it on film.In terms of entertainment value for materials and time, comics are eco-friendly.

Why is the boy sharing a bed with an old black gentleman. Was this cutting edge social commentary?
I love comic book movies, but I think animated TV series are a better medium for adapting the material. They don't have to spend millions on CGI to show the heroes doing their thing, plus a TV show is closer to the serialized format of the comic. That gives you a larger variety of stories on a regular basis, instead of seeing the hero try to stop the end of the world once every 3 years.

I'd like to see an adaptation of James Robinson's "Starman". It was a great series, had sort of an indie flavor to it, and yet it's firmly set in the DC universe.
Man, I wish they would animate some of the Carl Bark's Uncle Scrooge stories. NOT Ducktales, that was not anywhere near as good and Carl's stories. I know they based some of Ducktales on his stories--why not just animate HIS stories. It's not like they wouldn't transfer to the medium. Maybe have to add a little filler to get them to 23 minutes or so but that's it.

As a huge Duck fan I had high hopes for Ducktales, and don't get me wrong, it wasn't too bad, but it was not what I wanted. Launchpad ?(please). No Donald? Inexcusable!!
I am not sure if "Tintin" will work as a movie, visually, since the choice of photorealistic CGI makes the characters so lifelike that it looks like people with bad masks or deformed faces performing. Narrativewise I don´t think that there will be any problems. I heard that there already is talk about an academy award nomination.

As far as comic book movies working... that depends greatly upon the point of view of the viewer.

You will never see a comic book movie adhere 100% to the comics. You will never please everyone.

What works in print will not always translate well onto film. The same goes for book adaptions, but also in comics you have pictures that look cool when drawn, but don't always pan out on film in live action without looking hokey.

Most of your more famous comic book titles have been around for decades. They’ve been unable to adhere to their own continuity. Expecting a movie to be able to include all of that and deal with all of the many changes over the years in two hours is ridiculous. Anyone that reads comics knows that because of the various authors and artists either wanting to change things or just not know everything, most of your comics exist in what is called the multiverse. The other thing to keep in mind is how changes were made to comics in the ‘50s and ‘60s thanks to Fredric Wertham’s assertion that comics were corrupting the country’s youth. In the ‘70s, many of them took on a more serious tone again.

Most of your famous comic book titles have been done several different ways already… the same characters have been dark, campy, serious, unrealistic, realistic, young, old… and so on. It’s up to your producers, directors and writers on how they want to portray characters and they have to pick and choose what continuity to use. They also have to make a movie that will appeal to both fans and non-fans and tell a cohesive story in under two and a half hours.
Actually, you could have asked "do novels work for you as movies"?

"Sin City" being the most true adaption of a comic that I know of might be worth looking at.

Just found this while doing research. It's pretty freaky ..really old. It's got a graphic element that works because you can see all the frames at once. In film you can only see one frame at a time , so you miss the larger graphic arcs.(no pun intended) Unless you consider a series getting progressively darker; a visual arc.
As far as comic book movies working... that depends greatly upon the point of view of the viewer.

You will never see a comic book movie adhere 100% to the comics. You will never please everyone.


"Sin City" adhered to the comic almost 100%

The SIN CITY Comparison Library - The Moviefone Blog

Of course b/c og Frank Miller´s involvement. Framing in comics and movies has always influenced each other. Orson Welles was a great fan of Batman IIRC and wanted to make a Batman movie. Can you imagine Batman with a "Touch of evil"?
They work if the more outlandish or stylistic elements are not slavishly followed. What may look cool on the page can often look cheesy on film. I thought Sin City and 300 were awful, partly because the designs were so slavish to Miller that they looked like cartoons. However, despite my deep skepticism, Watchmen was an unqualified success to my mind. So depends :lol

I agree with Micdavis that Peanuts is a perfect example.

Many comics that are not self-contained (such as Watchmen) suffer because they often discard elements that fans enjoy in order to appeal to a non-fan audience. Nonetheless, by selecting certain, effective elements from the stories, and not alienating fans too egregiosuly, they can work. Iron Man was great. However, pandering to teens and the whole "to the extreme!" demographic, Fantastic Four was a train wreck. So depends.
That was a hoax by my pal Mark Millar for the website I did my column for:

The Batman - Orson Welles Hoax

Great. Just great.

It made it into quite a few newspapers and movie magazines over here in Germany in I think 2003/2004. Was it ever debunked by anyone else than you, Larry?

The big question is "why?". Why such a hoax? I can understand the "Kubrick moonlanding hoax" but I need that mental engine nudged a little to understand the "Batman Welles"-hoax :confused
I didn't debunk anything; I'm just letting you know. Google "Orson Welles Batman Hoax" and you'll find out all sorts of stuff. Here's a good one, including that the art was drawn by Bryan Hitch:

Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed #103 | Comics Should Be Good! @ Comic Book Resources

Did that in the meanwhile ;) Damn question posting before hitting up google...

As to why... why does anybody prank anyone? It was his last column and he decided to go out with a bang, I guess.

Ah, THAT is definitely a good reason and understandable ;)

Just noticed something interesting about this Early Nemo strip. Look at the tall narrow shapess of the frames. Now, you can't do that on film, unless you turn the projector sideways (Or make your viewers lay down and project onto the roof). On film you are more or less bound in frame dimension. I wonder what a film shot totally on protrait 2:1 (tall) would look like.
Would it fill the theatres just on novelty value alone?
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