05 July 2006

Watching a comic book

Word Nerd does trade in her books for DVDs sometimes and this holiday weekend, she found herself watching MirrorMask.

This was an interesting movie experience because it felt like watching a comic book/graphic novel. The storyline moved by almost in frames or panels, many of which had the color muted out around the edges.

The movie is the brain-child of Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean (out of who's brains also came such things as the Sandman comics, "The Day I Swapped my Dad for 2 Goldfish" and "Neverwhere.") The storyline for the movie is quite imaginative.

Graphic novels and the Japanese manga books are getting quite a lot of attention from teens and other readers. Some people seem to think that they really aren't books, but Word Nerd disagrees. If teens are reading anything voluntarily, that's a great thing in her opinion. And why do we have this attitude that only books for kids can have pictures?

Word Nerd's reading one of the Sandman collections right now and it's as good and as striking as a novel. But without the pictures, it wouldn't be what it is... those images are needed to help tell the story. A novelist does all the description with words, but actually having the pictures there doesn't cheapen the level of story-telling somehow.

Same with MirrorMask. Gaiman and McKean probably could have told the story without doing it as a movie, without the help of the Jim Henson creature shop folks. But Word Nerd doubts it would have been as good.

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