A Wrinkle in Time
Dismissed as a fad 10 years ago, big-screen adaptations bring comic book characters to millions of people every year. Just when you think they’ve peaked, out comes another blockbuster that tops the previous one. Sure, there are also the moderate hits and outright stinkers, but then there arrives an Iron Man or a Dark Knight or a Walking Dead or an Avengers. They’ve long passed the point of being a fluke. They even influence the collectors’ market, with optioning deals causing spikes in sales of back issues and original art, most recently demonstrated by the crazy prices people are willing to pay on eBay for The Walking Dead #1.
So if going from comics to film and television is so great, why is the reverse so rarely true? Comic books that adapt stories from other media (TV, film, video games, books, etc.) are only sometimes great and rarely garner the same kind of enthusiasm and attention. Someone who’s better at Photoshop than me should whip up one of those “said no one ever” images because no one has ever said, “I can’t wait for my favorite blockbuster movie to get adapted into a comic.” And yet most of us could barely keep our composure over the prospects of seeing Marvel’s The Avengers.
To see what Ethan and the Robot 6 crew have been reading, click below …
Welcome to Food or Comics?, where every week we talk about what comics we’d buy at our local comic shop based on certain spending limits — $15 and $30 — as well as what we’d get if we had extra money or a gift card to spend on a splurge item.
If I had $15, I’d catch up on Joe Keatinge and Andre Szymanowicz’ Hell Yeah with the first trade, Vol. 1: Last Days On Earth (Image, $9.99). I admit to dropping off after the second issue, but it’s always something I wanted to get back to; and reading Keatinge’s interviews on the more recent issues has pushed me over the top. If nothing else, $9.99 for five issues is a good deal. After that I’d get Avengers Vs. X-Men #12 (Marvel, $4.99). Of all the group-written issues, Jason Aaron’s seems to have been the most organized and engaging, so I’m glad they opted to have him do the finale. Seeing Adam Kubert on this is surprising, as his previous issues of Avengers Vs. X-Men felt rushed – but previews of this issue show him more measured and confident, like his Astonishing Spider-Man and Wolverine work, also with Aaron.
If I had $30, I’d double back and gleefully grab Thomas Herpich’s White Clay (AdHouse, $4.95). When I first heard about this the onus of Adventure Time was heavy given the cartoonist works on that show, but after seeing the previews and hearing Chris Pitzer talk about this book I’m in for it. I’d also get the debut issue of Andy Diggle’s Doctor Who #1 (IDW, $3.99) with artist Mark Buckingham. Bucky’s a real treat here, and I’m interested to see what he does with Diggle’s words – and what exactly Diggle does. I’m okay if it’s not Lenny Zero – but that would be nice too. Finally, I’d get Uncanny X-Force #32 (Marvel, $3.99). At one time this was my favorite book coming from the Big Two, but it seems to have grown long in the tooth; I’m not confident enough to say Rick and crew are doing something wrong, as maybe it’s just me. But the first 18 issues had a special kind of magic, and that doesn’t seem to remain here in these issues. But still, I’m in ’til the end.
If I could splurge, I’d get The Nao of Brown (SelfMadeHero, $24.95) by Glyn Dillon. I admit I already received an advance review copy of this book, but if I didn’t I’d surely have it on pre-order. A read a review where they compared to this to Gene Yang’s American Born Chinese, but I think that’s a mere surface examination. After reading this (and flipping through it a dozen times since), this is just a pure coming-of-age story that reminds me more of Hope Larson or a very chatty Adrian Tomine. Very great, very great.
Creators | Following last week’s news that Stan Lee has canceled his sold-out Thursday engagement at a Toledo library event due to “a very serious circumstance,” Wizard World has announced the 89-year-old writer won’t be appearing as scheduled at this weekend’s Ohio Comic Con in Columbus. Responding to a blog post titled, “Is Stan Lee OK?” the administrator of the Stan Lee’s Comikaze Facebook page wrote, “It sucks Stan had to cancel [the Toledo event], but you know the man doesn’t just do conventions. he puts in a hard days work creating. Its really sad that the Toledo Blade had to go spread nonsense. If you want to be up to date on stan then follow us, cuz he kinda owns our company. Its sad that a some blogs are scaring fans. not really nice.” [The Beat]
Creators | Artist Molly Crabapple, who was arrested Sept. 17 in New York City during a protests marking the one-year anniversary of Occupy Wall Street, writes about the experience and her involvement with the movement. [CNN.com]
As I’ve reported before, cartoonist Hope Larson has been working on a graphic novel adaptation of Madeleine L’Engle’s classic science fiction novel A Wrinkle in Time. If you’ve been wondering what some of the characters might look like, Larson recently posted the banner she’s designed for convention season that gives you a glimpse of them.
“If you look closely at the cover of the book you’ll see that the illustrations I used for this banner are the three tiny silhouettes under the title,” she said on her blog. “I thought that was a waste of some nice inks, so I’m glad I was able to repurpose the artwork here. The banner is 33″ x 80″, so I scanned in the artwork, dumped it into Illustrator, converted it to a vector image with Live Trace, blew it way up and tossed some colors in there. The cursive lettering I did by hand; it’s a combination of my own handwriting and handwriting from an old notebook I bought that contains 200 pages of handwritten home ec notes. The type is my old standby Times New Larson, which John Martz put together for me some years ago.”
The graphic novel is currently scheduled for an Oct. 2 release.
It’s been awhile since we last heard anything about Hope Larson’s A Wrinkle in Time adaptation, but last week on her blog the cartoonist revealed not only the cover, above, but also that the book is done and will be out in October.
“The book’s finished!” she wrote. “Inked, lettered, colored (by Dicebox‘s Jenn Manley Lee), copyedited and probably somewhere overseas being printed. It will be out on October 2nd through Farrar, Straus and Giroux, and I’ll be here and there promoting it. Stay tuned!”
It’s just one of several projects she gives an update on, as she also has a project with Tintin Pantoja and short film in the works. Head over to her blog to read all about them.
I’m slightly hesitant to even bring it up given what a bizarre, unnecessarily nasty clusterfuck our last comment thread on the topic became, but one project I’ve been tracking with great interest is cartoonist Hope Larson’s adaptation of Madeleine L’Engle’s classic science fiction novel A Wrinkle in Time. That’s why I was so struck by John Scarff’s report on the Hope Larson spotlight panel at last weekend’s WonderCon 2011:
Having been met by a few audible gasps when she mentioned that she would be adapting A Wrinkle in Time earlier in the panel, Larson explained how her involvement in the project came about. Jokingly referring to “a dinky little interview” a year ago when she suggested that it would be the only other author’s work she could see her self adapting, she was contacted by the publisher and the estate of Madeleine L’Engle. “I just can’t imagine a book that fit me as well as that one,” she said. “I wanted to be the one who was gonna screw it up.”
From Larson’s lips to God’s ears, apparently! I’m always delighted by stories about creative enterprises coming about in so fortuitous a fashion; I feel like it’s a good omen for the resulting work. Fingers crossed!
The past 15 years have brought about one of the strongest — and broadest — generations of new comic creators since the medium’s inception in the early 1900s. For that you can credit the groundswell acceptance of manga, the opening of doors to more genres thanks to the graphic novel format, and a generation of children brought up on comics, cartoons and countless other artistic entertainment. One of those is cartoonist Hope Larson.
Larson started out in comics during her junior year at Chicago’s School of the Art Institute, when renowned cartoonist Scott McCloud happened upon her personal art website and posted on his blog that she should be doing comics. Shortly after that, Lea Hernandez invited her to contribute a webcomic to girlamatic.com. Although Larson calls the comic she did there a failure, it put her on a path toward a career in comics. Hand-made minicomics soon followed, as well as stories in several anthologies including Flight. Her first full-length book, Salamander Dream (2005), was originally serialized as a webcomic. In the following years, she completed three more books, coming to the attention of book publishers and the wider young-adult market.
Following a move west from her native North Carolina with her husband, Larson resumed work on her biggest project yet: a graphic novel adaptation of Madeline L’Engle’s classic sci-fi novel A Wrinkle In Time. It’s Larson’s first adaptation, and one she chose out of love of the book; but while her drawing board might be full with the adaptation, her keyboard is keeping busy as she finishes the script of a new YA comic series, to be illustrated by Tintin Pantoja, that is her first attempt at a series, mixing the magical girl genre of manga with her own takeaway of superheroes.
If you’re one of those people who know that there is such a thing as a tesseract, then you’re in for a treat: Above is cartoonist Hope Larson’s take on Meg Murry, one of the young heroes of Madeleine L’Engle’s beloved science-fiction classic A Wrinkle in Time. Larson’s adaptation of the book for Farrar, Strauss and Giroux is slated to debut in Fall 2012, clocking in at a whopping 392 pages. Visit Larson’s blog for more on the book and this piece, from the bruise on Meg’s face to the reason you won’t be seeing her in this outfit in the book itself.
Great news for fantasy fans: Mercury cartoonist Hope Larson has announced on her Twitter account that she will be adapting Madeleine L’Engle’s classic SFF novel A Wrinkle in Time as a graphic novel.
It’s been a while since I read the book — “a while” meaning “not since elementary school” — but I recall the story of a group of children’s interstellar search for their missing scientist father via the use of folds in the spacetime-continuum called “tesseracts” as being dazzlingly smart, imaginative, and at times dark. I believe the planet Camazotz was the first dystopia I ever encountered in literature. (I always suspected IT was the inspiration for the landmark Orb song “A Huge Ever Growing Pulsating Brain That Rules from the Centre of the Ultraworld,” too.) The book racked up awards upon its 1962 release and launched L’Engle’s four-book “Time Quartet.”
For her part, Larson seems aware of the heady legacy she’s tinkering with. “According to my editor, Margaret Ferguson, L’Engle never wanted her books to be illustrated,” she tweeted. “I’m doing my best not to screw it up.”