I have to give DC Comics/Warner Bros. credit when it comes to direct-to-disc animated films. They do a great job on nearly all the movies they make this way! I could spend the rest of this column outlining the ones I love best! I have to give Bruce Timm and James Turner cudos, of course!
On the other hand, Marvel abandoned this way of making movies to devote their time to animated shows on Disney XD. This past weekend their new Guardians of the Galaxy series debuted on Saturday night. I haven’t watched it yet, but it’s on the digital recorder waiting for me to clear some time to look into it!
What attracted my attention not long ago was DC beginning to release DVDs packaged with the graphic novels that inspired them.
Do people really buy them? I must admit I’m torn when it comes to this.
The basic premise behind releasing the discs with the book is the desire to draw people who prefer movies to actually delve into the comic version that they were based on. After all, films never can cram all the details from novels or other stories into big-screen movies. You have to read the source material to get all that.
If you want to explore a story to its fullest, then you must read the book. And if you read the graphic novel, maybe, just maybe, you’ll find that you like reading as well as watching movies. And if you read DC’s graphic novels, particularly a Batman one, hey, you just might want to pick up the various Bat-family comics. Voila! You’re a comics fan! And we certainly need more of them around!
Also, if you really love the story (and there are several I truly enjoy), you could watch or read it over and over again. If you’re at a computer and can view the movie, cool – you’re ready to watch. If you’re traveling and can’t watch a film, then you can pull out the graphic novel and dive in for a few hours to make the time pass more quickly.
Then, too, if you read the book first and then watch the film, you could pick up some pointers on how to turn your idea (or the concepts of others) into a movie. What was included? What was cut out? Did they make the right moves when doing that?
There are good reasons to own both the book and the disc.
Honestly, will people want to read the book after they watch the movie? Or even the reverse, watch the film after reading the graphic novel? If you have poor short-term memory, then you could forget the important parts of the story and enjoy it again. But most of us, I think, can remember what has happened in a book or movie we’ve watched. I don’t think I’m going to want to do both unless some time has passed so I will forget some of what happened.
That said, I know some fans of certain creators who will LOVE to do this. I just don’t know if there are enough to warrant making these volumes available for sale.
As much as I’m a big comics fan, I’m not at all convinced that movie fans will want to read the book after they’ve viewed the film. After all, they didn’t read the book in the first place. Why would watching an animated version turn them on to comics? The number of people who read the original novels after watching a motion picture are actually pretty small.
Then, too, if you love the animation in a movie, you may not appreciate the art or the script in the comic. Or the reverse could be true – you love the graphic novel, but are disappointed by the way it’s translated to the screen.
I spent some time trying to find some reaction on the Internet to this line of products. I found very little in the way of reviews or responses to the release of these sets. And they were often from the folks who hate DC anyway, so they’re going to likely hate anything they do.
I’ve seen some of these sets in comics shops, but not many. Does this mean they’re selling out in a hurry? Or are the stores ordering just enough to cover those clients who ask for them? Store owners and their employees just seem to shrug their shoulders when asked about these things.
Recently DC announced that a second set of them was being released in 2016, but no dates were listed. I guess that means they’re selling well enough for at least another go-round. I do have to admit that I haven’t purchased one of these yet.
I normally have pretty strong opinions about what the industry is up to, but this is a case where I’m genuinely uncertain if this is a good thing or not. Of course, if they don’t sell well, this next series could be the last we’ll see of them.
I’d really love to hear from those who have bought these sets and those who are against them. What do you think – good or bad? Are they worth your hard-earned shekels? Please feel free to share your thoughts below!