From Hell

February 12, 2010

My wonderful girlfriend (I have to say that because she is and because she’s sat next to me) bought me From Hell for Christmas. It’s been something that I’ve been meaning to read for a while after borrowing it from a friend and failing to read it.

After failing to read it the first time I went into my local Comic shop, Gosh Comics (they’re awesome) and had a conversation with someone there about Alan Moore and his inability to write anything bad. It was at this point that I admitted to not finishing From Hell and was chastised for it. It was actually a little more complex than this and I came away feeling a little stupid.

Anyway, cutting to the chase, I have to say that I think From Hell is probably the best Graphic Novel I’ve read. I didn’t think I would like the artist style at first, a sort of haphazard mess of etchy lines. It really pulls you in though, from the quieter moments to the grusome hacky slashy ripper moments, it all comes together really nicely. Eddie Campbell is an exceptional artist and I have to say I’m looking forward to reading Alec a lot.

The rest is also really great, it drags you in and I think it helps that I’ve grown up and live in London. Being able to recognise parts of London in Campbell’s art and relate to all the places the murders took place. Learning about Hawksmoor’s churches and wondering how much of the whole thing is fact and how much is thought up from Alan Moore’s magnificent mind.

I’m really looking forward to reading the appendix and doing a bit of research into Hawksmoor, the murders and the masonic cut on the whole thing.

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Watchmen

March 17, 2009

I’ve been waiting for Watchmen to be released for quite some time. For those who don’t know, as most of you probably don’t, Watchmen is an adaptation of the brilliant (an understatement) graphic novel by Alan Moore. As with most adaptations, it’s not completely true to the original text. In fact, there are quite a lot of changes, but having said that, and having thought about it long and hard, I have to admit that the movie is very close to the original text. Far closer than most movies ever get and the movie is a good two and three quarter hours long.

For the movie to be completely true it would probably have to be released as a series of movies, maybe 6 or so, each being about 2 hours at least. This is because there are so many side plots, time jumps and things that are explained so well through the medium of comic but which are nigh on impossible to translate on to the big screen without creating a mammoth. An example of this is the psychologist who, in the movie, appears very briefly but in the comic the psychologist passes Rorschach daily. His plotline interacts with many of the other complex plotlines which eventually all come together at the end.

The psychologist goes through trials and tribulations in his marriage because of his apparent kindness and need to help other people.The movie introduces this character very briefly as a means to show you things about Rorschach, but then he’s gone. It’s almost as if he’s only there so as to make the movie feel more complete to fans of the comic book, which is something that annoyed me. There’s no real way of putting all of this into the movie without giving the psychologist character his own movie, or a large chunk of a movie and if you think that there are at least five of these characters you get to a story of about six hours or more. I don’t want this to become a rant on why I disliked the movie.

It’s obvious I’m a seething fanboy who wanted the completeness and quirkiness of the comic to come across in explicit detail and it’s just not something that’s ever going to happen. Either way, finally, I can say I’m pleased with the result, with things to be desired of course. However, something that was brought up with me was what your regular John Smith would think of it. They’re probably not going to get any of the references to the psychologist, or the journalists. They won’t see Rorschach pottering about because they just don’t know that they’re meant to be looking for a creepy fellow with a sign. It also, unfortunately, seems that they don’t get very much of anything else from the movie, or the people I have heard about don’t.

I’d love to hear what other people thought of it who had not read the comic book as, at a guess, I think everyone who has reviewed it would probably have done a bit of research on it and read the comic book.