Top Ten Comics that inspired Hollywood (or at least should)!
This is a great time to be a comic book geek. Each summer, there are more and more movies that revolve around characters that began their fictional lives in the 'funny books'. With graphic novels now becoming much more popular with people of all ages (both geeks and non-geeks), now is a great time to pick one up and try it out!
I have listed ten graphic novels that have inspired, at least in part, an adaptation for either television or the movie screen. In addition, I have also given a few suggestions for graphic novel 'read-a-likes' that may find a new audience thanks to very similiar ideas in other popular entertainment.
10. The Walking Dead: The immensely popular television show started as a black-and-white graphic novel. The ongoing story of "survival horror" is a must-read for any zombie enthusiast.
9. Watchmen: The only graphic novel to make it onto Time Magazine's Top 100 novels, Watchmen set the gold standard for grim and gritty superhero comics before it finally made the transition to the big screen.
8. Thor: Thor, the God of Thunder, returns to Earth in this volume. The Asgardian drama involves Loki, Odin, the Warriors Three and Jane Foster, all of whom played roles in the recent blockbuster movie.
7. Batman: There are many, many, many great books featuring Batman. I chose one of the most well-known: The Dark Knight Returns. It's influence can be felt in the most recent batman films, including the one that comes out this summer. Very dark, very smart, and Batman figures out how to beat Superman!
6. The Stuff of Legend: For people who like Toy Story, this graphic novel series may be of interest. A boogeyman steals a boy during World War II. It is up to his toys to enter the dark side of the closet and discover what has happened to their friend. Part adventure, part mystery, this book is also beautifully illustrated.
5. Scott Pilgrim: Small confession, this is the only book on this list I am yet to read. I have heard all great things about the hero, Scott Pilgrim, and his quest to defeat his crushes evil seven ex-boyfriends. It produced a cult hit several years ago, and it has been on my 'to-read' pile ever since. It should be on yours too!
4. American Vampire: This is for people who think Twilight has made vampires a little too friendly. American Vampire follows the creation of unique American Vampire that does not fear holy water or sunlight. The story begins during the 1920s, and in later volumes visits the Old West and World War II. Great bad guy, great artwork and a great reintroduction to the vampire.
3. Spider-Man: Easily one of the most popular characters of the past fifty years, Spider-Man speaks to the wimpy geek in all of us. Many people know his origin, but recently Marvel updated it for a new generation of readers. It's worth checking out if you are just getting into the character.
2. Fables: If you are a fan of the recent hits "Grimm" or "Once Upon A Time", you simply must read Fables. Set in a world where all the Fables that you have known for years (Snow White, The Big Bad Wolf, Pinnochio) all live together after fleeing from a mysterious enemy, the series continually impresses with great story-telling and even better artwork. This is my favorite ongoing series, and is a great place for an adult graphic novel novice to begin.
1. The Avengers: Setting a new standard for amazing comic book movies, the recent Avengers film was based on Marvel' super team of Iron Man, Thor, Hulk, and Captain America. They have been around since the 1960's, but I would suggest reading the sleeker and reader-friendly "Ultimates", which takes the famous characters and reimagines them in a more contemporary world. The movie owes a lot to this interpretation, and the book does not fail to deliver on amazing moments of action and humor.
I hope this helps as you try out a new reading experience, either with super-heroes or without. There are many more great graphic novels out there, so keep exploring, and you will find one that may convert you into a comic book geek.