Okay, I have a feeling that this may simply be a topic of debate that is a bit more contentious than I had initially understood. As a relative newcomer to the boards who was inspired to start posting here by the appearance of the brand new Watchmen movie trailer (I should point out that I'm a long-time aficionado of the original novel and graphic fiction in general), I realize that I may not have quite grasped the personal creative politics of some of the regulars here. If I'm ruffling some feathers in ways that are uncomfortable, I apologize. We may have to, in the greatest cliche of the Internet, agree to disagree. But in the spirit of lively debate...
Broken Finger wrote:
Part of the storytelling magic of the comic book is the leap your mind must make from one panel to another, filling in the action or drama. To have that leap erased is to destroy the medium's strengths as well as take away much of the enjoyment. To erase that leap is to insult generations of comics fans as well as scores of talented men and women who toil in the medium of comics for our entertainment, and perhaps a meager living. That, sir, is what I am criticizing: a veritable open-handed slap to comics creator's faces by the burgeoning "motion comic" industry.
I'm guessing that you're also a fan of Scott McCloud? The "gutter"-space between panels is a fantastic device for telling comics stories, but for all intents and purposes the gutter is analogous to the edits and cutaways in a motion picture frame, and much of the same logic applies. Modifications may have to be made to take something from one medium to another, but it's by no means impossible or necessarily harmful to the intent of the original idea. Making a movie (animated or otherwise) out of a comic doesn't destroy the comic, it makes a movie that may or may not feel like the comic. Adaptation isn't a subtractive process, only additive.
Moreover, whether the act of making a limited-animation cartoon out of a comic book is an insult to the original creators or not is in the eyes of the creators. I have a feeling that Alan Moore's feelings on this very subject would probably have less to do with the actual quality of the cartoon and more to do with being screwed over by DC years and years ago. Conversely, if Dave Gibbons minds his art being reused in this way, he's kept mum about it thus far and that's good enough for me. Meanwhile, we can each make up our minds about whether we liked or disliked the final product. I liked it okay, thought the narration was good if a bit uneven and samey, but liked it enough to want to see what they do with the future installments. You clearly didn't. To each their own.
On a related note, many years ago I was led to read and collect one of my favorite comics of all time, Sam Keith's The Maxx
, by seeing a "motion comic" animated series based on the same; you might call the Maxx cartoon an abomination because it removed Keith's images and words from their comics context and grafted them onto a series of limited-animation shorts with occasionally dodgy voice acting. However, it inspired myself and probably a whole bunch of other MTV-watching mallrats to go and check out the brilliant comics series, which I might not have done otherwise. The same will no doubt apply to some who chance upon these Watchmen shorts (and also the eventual film that we're all excited about), so I don't see the specific harm.
Broken Finger wrote:
I don't hate audiobooks, I simply don't care to listen to one. However, I can certainly imagine several scenarios where one could be handy; if I were freshly blinded, say, and had not had sufficient time to learn Braille. The same cannot be said, though, of the filthy whore known as the "motion comic".
This is totally dismissive towards both types of media. I didn't specifically come here to mount a full-bore defense (read that any way you want to, kids) of spoken word on record, and I realize that it's somewhat tangential to the topic at hand, but I think there might be a few unfair cultural preconceptions in play here about people who use audiobooks.
I sell books for a part of my living; in truth, many of the people who buy audiobooks from me may be buying them as substitutes for "real" books, but I also sell a lot of them to bright folks who spend much of their time in ways that limit their ability to have a book in front of them -- on-the-road business travellers or commercial drivers for instance. Do reading and listening use different linguistic and cogitative skills? Yes. Is one skill "better" than another? I say no.
Once again, as comics fans we love a medium that has been unjustly dragged through the mud as much as any emerging artform throughout history. Before we start painting other media (audiobooks/animation) with a broad brush, I think we need to take a step back and realize where we stand ourselves.
Anyway, I don't expect to change anybody's minds, but I just want to get the ideas out there for people to at least think about. Nothing personal is meant, react or don't react however you will. I look forward to seeing what everyone thinks about the merchandising and associated media tie-ins as the film's release nears. No hard feelings?