Here I go again. Thinking I can do this again. Maybe I can, maybe I can’t. Either way, I’m going to post this and go from there. “But you’ve hurt us before with your lies!”. I sure have. I’m not going to apologize, shit happens. Nor am I going to waste time to explaining it. So I’m just going to go right into it.
Recently I saw Kingsman. I thought it was a sensational film and I was so enthused I immediately picked up a copy of Mark Millar’s Secret Service (the source material). Can I just say that the book is awful. It lacks the humor and imagination of the film and proved my opinions right. Millar writes his books in hopes that someone else can make a better film.
Enter Chrononauts. The highly touted Millar and Murphey comic. If you’ve read this blog before you know I’m a big fan of Sean Murphey’s art (you totally can look it up if not). So naturally I was excited for this book. Plus Millars’ Jupter’s Legacy has changed my tune on his works (though Frank Quietly’s art is the big reason I love the book as much as I do). That being said I had hoped that this book would be another solid book on Millars’ pedigree, and with the positive early buzz, I thought it was going to happen. I thought I would be proven wrong. I read it, and aside from Murphey’s solid turn on art (so sensational, I’d pick up the book again, but that’s me). The story however, lacked much to be desired. I felt Millar had just given me an early screenplay he was ready to pawn off to someone with more vision and the skill to follow through with it. Not even 24 hours later was it announced that a movie deal was agreed upon. Look’s like Mark Millar wins again. Some talented visionary will make Chrononauts into a sensation film franchise, and the book will be syndicated and celebrated with hipster and nerd alike claiming they read the book before they saw the movies. Great, so did I.
This made me think about how often this happens these days. This book landed a deal after the first issue, Lemire’s Descender landed a media deal months before the first issue was in our hands. And the list goes on. So who are comic books aimed towards? It certainly doesn’t seem like they are aimed for us. With Image and Dark Horse and the like being a safe haven for those disillusioned with the big two (Marvel because of it’s gimmicks and over glorification, and DC because no one at the company seems to have a clue what they are doing, what they should be doing, and that their audience is more than just 40 year old white men). That being said, if these independant books are now no longer being written because the writer wants to right a book they have been dreaming up for years, should we dare read them? If the writer is only creating something in hopes of cashing out in film, can we honestly expect the books we are reading to be anything but half assed attempts at a screen play?
This isn’t to say it’s all doom and gloom. We still have books like Saga, Sex Criminals, and the Nameless. Creators like Vaugh, Fraction, and Morrison have proven that they genuinely care about their craft and continue to thrill us with creator owned stories or by with big two properties (like Fraction’s Iron Fist and Hawkeye and Morrison’s everything). But I am rather disgusted by the current trend of creators and comic books in general. I am slowly growing to despise the films based off of these books too. Despite how bad the industry looks, I know there will always be a book I can dive into as long as the likes of Morrison and Vaughn continue to publish books.
I guess I’m not just burnt out about all of the comic book films, but disappointed that the shelves of the comic store are being flooded with books published not in the sake of art or craft or even livelihood, but because someone wants to cash in with a Hollywood exec.
Maybe I’m taking things to seriously and not looking at the big picture. But when will enough be enough?
Until the next time,