Sep 1, 2017

Having the Same Characters Is Not Enough

Making recommendations is horribly hard for me. I either tell everyone to love a thing, and know fully that I’m being hyperbolic, or I hem, haw, and freak out while weighing every variable - real and imagined - as to what the person may enjoy, reject, or be numb to. I don’t believe enjoying an author or artist is enough to recommend all their work. I think brand loyalty is so absurd, I’m not going to tell anyone to buy more things just because of the publisher. And, why characters or a setting, a world, may seem like a surer bet, I cannot commit that it is even partially or partly likely.

Having the Same Characters Is Not Enough
Travis Hedge Coke

There are, of course, people who love a character or love a cast, a small fictive world. But, how far does that love honestly extend? How much of the Cheers audience is going to follow, for instance, to a season on a deserted island with no laugh track? Who wants the spinoff 2 Broke Girls’ Side Characters Get Murdered In Spaaaaaaace?

So, I cannot recommend to someone who likes Spider-Man in one thing to read just anything at all that happens to have Spider-Man in it.

I am, also, aware that crossing mediums can affect one’s enjoyment as much as a change of author or performer. I am constantly expected to adore adaptations, from comics or to comics, because… comics. Beyond being unreasonable, this is awkward for me when I do not. Animation and comics are not the same. Cartoons and cartoons, if you understand my meaning, are not the same. Nor, are all cartoons equal. Why would they be? What part of a Popeye short or American Pop means I am going to want to dive deeply into Avatar or Family Guy? Or, vice versa?

Honestly, I am almost inevitably disappointed by animated adaptations of comics, because they, in their preemptive turn, almost inevitably deviate completely from the style of art and kind of storytelling that the comic excelled in. To go back to Spider-Man, I have never seen a Spider-Man cartoon that was drawn or paced as brilliantly as a Steve Ditko comic. I don’t think they happen.

Revolutionary Girl Utena was conceived as a comic and a cartoon at the same time, released contemporaneously, but the comic and the show are not the same thing, and I would not be able to recommend one to a fan of the other simply because of that lone factor. The comic, aside from being one of the weakest outings for the author, does not contain the multitudes of what I love about the show. That isn’t a mark against the author; I could cheer you on to reading other things she has done, and I respect and sometimes adore her contribution to the tv show. I just don’t care about the comic.

I have a strong love and admiration for Twin Peaks. I love the stuff, even, that many fans despise, from Nadine to John Justice Wheeler, beauty pageants to pine weasels, but would I buy a Twin Peaks comic? I doubt it. I doubt I’d even take the risk.

A television show based on I Was Kidnapped By Lesbian Pirates from Outer Space? It’s a fun comic. I’m angry by the cheap business that prevents the author from doing more with it. But, what I like is what Megan Rose Gedris does with her panels, her pages, her faces and scenes. A television show, to stay on the air, to get a TV-warranting audience, it’s never going to be that. Animated, live action, whatever, it’s a new and different beast, and I may like that animal for itself, but because of its source material?

Wheat and chaff come from the same source. To consume a thing because of its source is careless. To offer them, on a plate, to someone else, solely on that basis, is nuts. It’s dumber than nuts. That they have some of the same content? Everything has some of the same content. All of it is atoms or ideas, things smaller and truer and less figural than that. This is no basis for recommendation.

No comments:

Post a Comment

All comments on The Comics Cube need approval (mostly because of spam) and no anonymous comments are allowed. Please leave your name if you wish to leave a comment. Thanks!

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.