Monday, October 11, 2010

I read "Red", the comic they based that movie on

Ah, Warner Bros.  I can't say you were wrong to want to monkey with the comic, Red, in order to turn it into a major motion picture. 

Red is written by the always hit-or-miss, but cultivator of a cult of personality, Warren Ellis, and drawn by Cully Hamner, an artist whose work I enjoy and may even border upon really liking.  Simply put, Red is really short.  It was released sometime while I was living in Arizona, and I actually do believe I read the first issue, but never finished the 3-issue series as it arrived during the era of epic decompression, when American-style comics were undergoing this experiment where it seemed like a test amongst editors to see who could get the fewest words into a panel and then cut it down to three panels per page.

In other words, I remember reading the entirety of the first issue in about 3 minutes and then kind of deciding that hadn't been worth the price of admission.   It wasn't even a content-specific problem so much as me feeling like I'd just paid to read about three pages worth of comic spread out over 22.

Ellis, as a writer, is a smart fellow, and almost as fond of the old ultra-violence as Garth Ennis.  Red is a very "Mature Audiences" sort of title, and not just because of the stylized violence, but because the book does, in fact, have a point.  And its a point I am curious whether it will survive the translation to big-budget action comedy with at least four new characters added by my count.

The comic features, really, only about five characters and is mostly handled with a grave and serious tone.  But with so little but the skeleton of the story that exists in the comic, I can see why the studio chose the direction (any direction) once they decided to put real money behind the thing.

If anyone wants to borrow the comic or even sit on my front porch and read it in about 12 minutes, you're welcome to come by and do so.


Fantomenos said...

Yep, I read it at a friends house, and was glad I didn't pay for it. The action in the comic takes all of, what, a half hour?

Did you see they released 4 "pre-quel" comics with backstory? So know you have a 4-book intro into a 3-book mini-series. Life is funny.

The League said...

I saw they had released those comics and I also took a pass. Reprints of the source material? That I'll look at. But I generally don't bite when companies rush product to tie in with a movie or TV show.

I do LIKE Red in the abstract, but... yeah.