The Good, The Bad, & This Kid: ďAdaptationĒ
By Josh Stone
Welcome one and all to the not so greatest show on earth. Youíre tuned into GBK, your one stop shop for comic rambling on the web. This week, as you can tell by the name, Iím going to discuss comic book adaptations. If you were thinking it was about the Nic Cage flick, sorry. Adaptations is a bit of a broad topic, so Iím going to narrow it down for you. Iíve always been a big fan of video games and cartoons, so those are the adaptations Iím going to talk about. Well, thatís enough jibber-jabber for an introduction, so letís get going.
Alright, the most well known video game to be turned into a comic is Tomb Raider. Everyoneís favorite large breasted video game heroine stars in her own monthly comic book. Iím not sure on the numbers, but Iím betting it does relatively well. Someone I work with, a woman, loves this book. She loves it so much that she often buys more then one copy. When this happens, I usually get her extra one. This means, I have more issues of Tomb Raider then Iím proud of. Anyway, Iíve only managed to read through one of these damn comics. I donít know if I donít enjoy it Ďcause Iíve never played the game, or if the story was just that damn bad. Either way, Iím not feeling it. Confession time, my girlfriend (Mary) and I do flip through the comic every time I get one. Not so much Ďcause we like the art and breasts, but because we like to laugh at how over-the-top it is. I mean damn Top Cow, could you have anymore tits and ass shots in your panels? So, this is a bad example of a video game turned into a comic book. Letís go on to see if there is such a thing as a good video game comic.
Leading the way in video game adaptations is Dreamwave Productions. In their arsenal of books theyíve got; Megaman, Devil May Cry, Maximo (from SBCís own Beau Smith), and a couple others Iíve never heard of. The common denominator between all these titles is the company Capcom. You know, the video game people. Anyway, Iíve never read any of these titles, well two of them arenít even out yet, but still. Iíve been wanting to pick up an issue of Megaman, but I just havenít yet. I did enjoy playing the video game back in the day, but that doesnít mean Iíll enjoy the comic book. Like all Dreamwave books, the animation is very Japanese influenced. Which, when you think about it, makes sense. Either way, someday soon DW will be getting more of my money on the nostalgia factor.
Alright, to wrap up the video game section, weíll talk about the newest release, Street Fighter. Like most things that UDON Studios touches, Street Fighter has some great art. In fact, I donít think any other art studio should work on SF. Once you get past the art, however, there really isnít much else. The story is the same tired Street Fighter tale. Eye candy can only take you so far with a comic, pretty soon youíll need a good story. I read two issues of Street, and then I gave up. Iím a big fan of UDON, so I felt bad dropping there book, but I need some damn story. If I ever have some extra cash, I might pick up another issue, but me having extra cash doesnít seem likely.
Thatís the video game section, and damn is it pathetic. I canít think of one reasonably good video game based comic, the only one that comes close is Street Fighter, which is kind of sad. You think with the market who buys video games and comics, that theyíd at least try to make the combination better. One video game that Iíd love to see turned into a comic would be The Legend of Zelda. Think about how bad ass thatíd be. If someone from Nintendo is reading this, contact a cool comic publisher and set up a deal. I mean, I shouldnít have to be the one saying this. If youíre in desperate need of a writer, Iíve got some time. Anyway, letís move onto the cartoon comic books now.
If any two things were meant for each other, itís cartoons and comic books. They have a pretty good history. There havenít been many bad comics based on cartoons. For the most part, theyíre usually rather good. Weíll start off with the newest one, Teen Titans Go. I know TT was originally a comic book, but this book is based on the new animated series. So, there! Iím a big fan of the cartoon, and the comic book ainít bad either. J. Torres and crew have done a good job translating the cartoon into a comic. J. gets the characters ďvoicesĒ down perfectly. Anyway, TTG is one of the best ďall agesĒ comics on the market. So, if youíve got some little ones running around, catch them and have them read that book.
Dreamwave makes another appearance in my column, this time with Transformers and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Two 80s cartoons that have come back from the dead. These ďnewĒ comics arenít based on the old cartoons, theyíre based on the new cartoons. Iíve read a couple issues of both these series, and Iíve since learned my lesson. Just like theyíre respected new shows, the comics suck. Man, Iím not being to kind to the Dreamwave folks today. In all fairness though, they did lure me in for a few issues, so good job. Thatís not all for the 80s comics, though. Weíve still got more to go.
Another publisher with a toe-hold on 80s cartoons is Devilís Due. Theyíve got G.I. Joe and Voltron. Iíve never watched Voltron when I was a kid, and Iíve never read itís new comic either. However, I have read the new G.I. Joe comic. Itís not that bad, but itís not that great either. Iím going to lump He-Man in here now, and just say this, NO GOOD. Okay, Iíve got that out.
So, what comics based on cartoons do I enjoy? Well, like I stated earlier, Teen Titans Go is good. Also, Batman Adventures and ThunderCats are usually good. Anyway, all the cartoon comics are better than the video game ones. Thatís really the point Iím trying to make. When cartoons get turned into comic books, the creators usually do a good job. When video games get turned into comics, the creators usually botch it up somehow. The video games that get adapted are good games, I donít understand why they arenít so easily translated into comic form. Either way, whenever I hear of another video game being turned into a comic, my hopes go down; but somehow my wallet still stays open. Iím a damn sucker.
The good is off again this week. Itíll be back next week for a special episode.
Well, thatíll do it for another week. I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas, a Happy Hanukkah, and a Happy Kwanza. Come back in seven days for my farewell column. You heard right, next week will be the end of The Good, The Bad, & This Kid. ĎTil next timeÖ
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