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Adapting to the new-old times
An edition about adaptations, Simpsons, old men, and more dirty fiction stuff
And welcome to the last edition of 2022 of my newsletter. This is the time of the year usually destined for reflection and blah blah… Let’s be like Rambo and live day by day.
I can tell you about my social media disconnection a little. I removed my apps from the phone and limited my time on the computer a month ago. I’m not totally isolated, I briefly check twitter and facebook from time to time, morning on workdays, never on weekends. I barely checked Instagram because I don’t know why I don’t feel like seeing it in the browser. But basically just a little glimpse to the media with the morning coffee to be sure everybody is alive or the doomsday arrived and nobody told me. But most of the time I am reading my subscribed newsletters and some articles I had saved the previous days.
I observed something funny and it’s if I don’t check the social media platforms, I quickly lose interest when I connect again. With the phone apps installed I was checking every five minutes to refresh IG or TW… But now, when I enter after some time, waiting for a lot of things I missed… I get bored right away. This fact says a lot about how SM captures our attention, but at the same time seems like a stream easy to forget when you put some distance.
READING AND WATCHING
I tried to use this extra time out of the SM properly. I can’t say I always made the most of my time but like some experts say, we should recover the skill of getting bored too. But I have been reading some good comics, like The Simpsons Treehouse of Horror Omnibus volume 1, recently published by Abrams Books.
The Halloween Treehouse specials are some of my favorite Simpsons episodes and this first compilation (of 3) has a lot of stories done for people you wouldn’t not think to find in the classical franchise comic-book. Authors like Stan Sakai, Kelley Jones, Sergio Aragonés, Evan Dorkin, Eric Powell, Jill Thompson and more.
I also saw a lot of movies, Japanese B and Z films, and Korean crime movies and American 70-80s exploit-blax/rapeandrevenge/prison-tation films. The material the dreams are made of. At least, my dreams and the dirty things that fuel me. Speaking of these “naughty” genres, I also saw Promising Young Woman in Prime Video, which is a very clever twist to the female-revenge-films tropos.
The Spanish publisher Planeta Comic recently announced an official graphic novel adaptation of Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 I have been working on during 2021-2022. This is the first adaptation for a book I have ever made and I tried to avoid certain things I hate when I read an adaptation or derivative work. I mainly focused on a very simple truth, but sometimes forgotten: This is a comic, this is an independent medium with its own codes and strengths. I hate when some adaptations are basically an illustrated cut-and-paste of the original texts. I put this first rule when I began to work on the script: no supporting text, no narration with words, only dialogues. I would never write a thing I could show with images. I am a devotee of Bradbury's prose but we have the novel if we want to enjoy it. The narration was my script. I won’t describe the expression on Montag’s eyes. I will draw this expression. It seems a boutade, but you can read a lot of adaptations with this reiterative storytelling.
(Please don’t share the image in your social media, I prefer you share the newsletter.)
I have tried to emulate the rhythm and cadence of the prose using the panels, using their size and like the partiture of a piece of music. I think P. Craig Russell did a wonderful job adapting Wagner's Tetralogy, transforming the music into storytelling. This was really inspirational to me, because prose has its own music too. You will judge when you read the book if I accomplished that goal, but I think this attitude is important when you work on the material from other authors: You need to be respectful and disrespectful at the same time. My previous assignment as “adapter” of another medium was writing the Infinity game graphic novels, where I did not have a story to adapt but I needed to create something new set in its sci-fi universe. Again, I tried to play by their rules but moving the game to my own field.
MY PENDING PORSCHE GN
In 2019 I produced a serialized comic written by the uber-talented bestseller writer Alma Katsu titled THE SPY COLLECTOR, a 64-pages graphic novel in the vein of TV shows like Homeland or Jack Ryan. It was originally published for Porsche Club of America but it’s no longer available on its site. Alma and I own the publication rights, so if you are interested in publishing it in paper, contact us.
The trailer of the series:
AN ANGRY OLD MAN
I have made some recommendations at the beginning of the newsletter (well, I told you what I have been reading/watching) but I don’t want to finish without recommending the FX series The Old Man, starring Jeff Bridges and my admired John Lithgow.
I know this was an easy bet because this is the kind of shit that seems made for me if you know my books: A lonely bad-ass retired agent, bad people coming for him, conspiracies, secret agencies… Nothing new under the sun. But it’s so fucking well done! So well acted, so well directed, framed and edited. I read a lot of criticism of how the story develops but I think it’s something more motivated for the expectations (“I thought the story would go this way”) than the series itself, which I find really coherent.
Sometimes you only need your medicine. The latest shows I had seen were fantasy (because my body demanded this kind of escape) but “Young Adult target” and some of them were cool, like the British The Bastard son & the Devil himself or Wednesday, but others… Well, when I saw the two first Willow new show episodes I wasn't expecting a story about teenage anger. The point is that I was a little tired of the emotional-First-World-problems of these damn brats. I needed something with a cast older than 40.
Sometimes you only need a story about an angry man who puts the young ones where they deserve: six feet under (I must say this show has a wonderful young character played by Alia Shawkat and Jeff Bridges’ character kill some old bastards but don’t ruin my joke).
And that’s all for 2022! Have a wonderful holiday time and a great entrance in the new year!
I’ll see you on the other side!
Copyright © 2022 Victor Santos. All rights reserved.
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