Comics Based On Video Games
By KingofMetal79, Jul 27 2011 01:59PM
Like many a film franchise before it, recent years have seen video games given the comic book treatment. As you are all aware Hollywood (or any of its global counterparts) up to now has been unable to create a faithful and enjoyable, live action, cinematic version of a game (Street Fighter with Kylie is one of the worst films I have ever seen and in stark contrast to the Manga interpretation). However with some film royalty sniffing around some large game franchises I’m sure it is only a matter of time that some of the uber rich, wondrous universes of games such as Uncharted (formerly David O'Russell), Mass Effect (Legendary Pictures), Bioshock (Gore Verbinski was initially attached), Halo (Steven Spielberg, Peter Jackson & Neill Blomkamp involvement), Dead Space (confirmed but no recent news) e.t.c. get the cinematic translation that they deserve. However with just an ink pot and good idea some of the aforementioned game franchises have already successfully been expanded into printed form.
The recent influx in video game based comics has seen graphic novel interpretation of famous, sprawling games such as Mass Effect, Halo and God of War, as well as smaller or newer titles such as Silent Hill, Infamous and Darkstalkers.
Whereas film studios have had many high profile misfires, comic book artists/writers have been able to make great comics - but why and how? The main reason I think this has been possible is due to the reduced finances and therefore risk involved with the production of a comic book. Also there is a (perceived?) intrinsic link between the comic book culture and video game culture and therefore its highly likely that the writers of specific comics are already massive game fans and have played the game (in question) to death. To be honest I don't believe any writer would complete a literature project based around and idea they either didn't like or understand, that would be insane. Whereas its highly plausible (and probably well documented) that a film studio would green light a specific project as the Subject matter was aimed specifically at a particular collective of passionate people (i.e. fans!) and then wouldn't think twice about meddling with it to make it as palatable to as many people as possible - therefore a money making exercise. Therefore for all the opposite reasons a video game comic is art and content over money and profile raising. Like Death Metal, you can't/don't get into comics thinking that you're gonna become a mutli-millionaire and therefore everyone involved (at least initially) does it for the love of the art form.
The beauty of comics is that they can be as long or as short as the writer desires - ranging from 100's of issues published over decades to a single one page, 'one shot'. As they do not have to conform to the 90 to 120 minute run time of a film there is a lot more freedom given to the artist and can be as epic or as short as required. On top of this comics can serve a similar role as story based DLC - bridge two canonical entries in a franchise (Gears of War), flesh out backstory/mythology (Mass Effect - Evolution) or act as an epilogue/prologue to a game's main story. (I am a big fan of video game comics and) until someone in Hollywood has the balls to make an ultra-violent, faithful adaptation of Kratos and his God slaying tales the only place to get an additional fix between the releases of your favourite games is in comic form.
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