Sporadic Sequential
Sunday, June 29, 2008
The Best Comic Book Movie EVER
(Plus A Pretty Good One)

My wife and I watched Persepolis on DVD this weekend and I feel safe in proclaiming this The Best Comic Book Movie of All Time, Forever and Ever, Amen. It's faithful to the original books without being a slavish frame-by-frame recreation. Creator Marjane Satrapi and co-director Vincent Paronnaud wisely take advantage of the animated format to recast certain scenes, eliminate others entirely, and expand in different directions. The result is a film that respects the source material but stands alone as a powerful work within its own medium.

Plus, the experience of reading subtitles while viewing the striking black-and-white imagery is probably as close as a film will ever get to recreating the unique marriage of words and art that result in sequential art.

In other comic book movie news, I also saw Incredible Hulk this weekend and enjoyed it much more than I expected to. In fact, I'd say I liked Hulk even more than Iron Man. Part of it is undoubtedly based on extremely low expectations. After watching the trailers, I wasn't expecting much at all. And although the previews do give away the general storyline of the movie, there are enough enjoyable, unexpected details (including plenty of in-jokes for lifelong comic fans) to make the film worthwhile. (Rather than list them all out myself, I'll just redirect you to Mike Sterling's review, which does a nice job cataloging the high points of the film.)

After watching Incredible Hulk, I have a sudden urge to read some Hulk comics (much as Johanna became interested in reading some Iron Man comics after enjoying the movie). Does anyone have any recommendations for the best storylines set in the classic "Hulk Smash!" era? (And please: collected story arcs only! I don't have the time or energy to track down individual issues.) Should I just start with the Essentials or are those too tedious? Marvel has their list of the "10 Essential Hulk Collections" but most of them look like they feature different versions of the Hulk (smart Hulk, grey Hulk, etc.) Is the Marvel Adventures digest any good?

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