Today, the comics industry’s seen as a sister to the movie industry, but she’s the sister who carries the mop. Or to use another metaphor, comics are seen as a farm. Scraps of raw idea to be grown and processed elsewhere for “bigger and better” things. Look at last year’s top ten bestselling American movies, and you’ll see that nine of them were sequels. Seven were adaptations from another medium. Out of the top 10 biggest films in Hollywood in 2011, not a single one of the stories was created there.
Ivan Brandon at The Awl on why the comic book counterparts to these Hollywood films will always be better. Most of you have probably read this already, but I want to say he’s absolutely right. The major motion pictures of these comic book adaptations have contributed to this constant recycling to bring in moviegoers to the comics, that is the motivation behind all of these reboots. I’m totally okay with this because if it means bringing more people to comics and sharing in how wonderful they are, I would say this is a win. But Ivan is right when he says:
Watching the comic-book movies at the theaters this summer—The Avengers,The Amazing Spider-Man,The Dark Knight Rises—what stood out to me at the end is that, as fun as these movies are, comics will always be better at that. Bigger at that. These movies have started with the result and worked backwards. They take the same idea and repackage it. It’s just a new format, abridged. Comics are their own perpetual inspiration-collider. Where the movies reheat your pizza, comics builds you a new reality to eat it in, new senses to know it needs a little salt.
We used to make things. Now we just reheat the things they used to make. The big screen’s become a microwave oven.
I grew up wanting to make movies. Watching these movies, I want to make comics.
I love movies. I like making them. I’m not particularly interested in adaptation or adding to the ongoing saga. But I’ll always prefer the creation of things original in comics and film. Comics is where my love for film and writing comes from, and I’ll always write about comics and write comics, because the medium brings me the most joy and I want to contribute to it.