Graphic novels, transitioning from page to big screen, are a hot button issue nowadays. There’s no denying that the comic book industry is in the middle of a resurgence with the success of The Avengers and the upcoming Superman reboot Man of Steel. But before superheroes were gracing the big screen, graphic novels were already being turned into Academy Award-winning movies.
No matter how many times we say it, there’s little denying it: Comic books make great movies. But, the process from page to screen is seldom straightforward. In fact, even more so than in other genres, with comics, it’s often a case of “one step forward, two steps back.” The best comics are often those that have proven to be the most unfilmable. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t some really great graphic novel to screen adaptations out there.
The graphic novel movie trend is in full force. Graphic novels, or comic books, have an appeal that can be hard to understand for those who aren’t fans. The stories are often dark and complex, filled with characters that are just as likely to die as the main characters.
Luckily, studios are starting to realize the potential of the genre and are turning many graphic novels into movies. In the last few years, we’ve seen successful film adaptations of Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, Watchmen, The Walking Dead, 300, and V for Vendetta. It seems that every week there’s an announcement of a new graphic novel to movie adaptation.
Comic books are great, and they are only getting better. Gone are the days when most comic books were silly and light-hearted, with little to no realism. Now, graphic novels are taking a role in the film and television industries, and although they are not quite as popular as their non-illustrated counterparts, many of them have been making their way into the limelight.
The book-to-movie adaptation has always been a tricky proposition. After all, books give you the chance to imagine the characters in your head instead of on a movie screen, and even the most ardent fans of the novel will admit it’s sometimes difficult to visualize an on-screen adaptation of a favorite tale.
However, there are a few films that have made the transition perfectly. This list is of four of the best graphic novels that have been made into movies.
- The Walking Dead
Zombies are a staple of horror movies, but they also appear in other genres as well. You can find them in comedies, like Zombieland, and even the occasional science fiction movie, like 28 Days Later.
This graphic novel turned show is a great example of a post-apocalyptic world filled with zombies, and while it’s primarily a horror show, it also has a lot of drama and thriller elements. The show is all about the characters and how they react to the zombie apocalypse, and it’s definitely worth a watch.
- V for Vendetta
One of the most celebrated graphic novels of all time, Alan Moore’s “V for Vendetta” is all about fighting against totalitarian regimes. The masked vigilante of the story, known as V, wages a one-man war against a fascist government and a police force that runs amok. Alan Moore based the story off on the fascist regime of Margaret Thatcher, but the story works for any action story in which the government is corrupt and run by a single individual.
Whiteout was a comic book mini-series written by Greg Rucka and illustrated by Steve Lieber and Rebecca Buchman-Moore. Published in 1999 and set in Antarctica, it told the story of Carrie Stetko, an FBI agent who is sent to the southernmost continent to investigate the murder of a colleague. Stetko has a history with the murdered agent. When she arrives, she is plunged into a complex crime story involving smuggling and corruption, the threat of another murder (her own), and a mysterious past.
“Watchmen” by Alan Moore is a dark and complex graphic novel. The story follows several of the “heroes” that used to fight crime in a 1985 America. The country is now more like an authoritarian dictatorship. These former heroes are forced to re-assume their roles when someone begins killing past colleagues. The main character, Rorschach is a sociopath who believes, “Sometimes the only sane thing to do is the craziest thing you can do.”