Monday, 30 December 2013

PANELS TO FRAMES: SANDMAN, BATMAN VS SUPERMAN, MARVEL ENDS NEWSSTAND DISTRIBUTION - NOBODY NOTICES


(Note: Lost In The Multiplex is still undergoing maintenance, so my PANELS TO FRAMES column is running here for now)  

SANDMAN: DON'T MAKE IT 

So the news that Joseph Gordon-Levitt is finalizing a deal to produce and possibly direct AND act in a feature film adaptation of the Neil Gaiman comics phenomenon SANDMAN has caused some controversy recently. Then again, what comic book movie news doesn't cause some controversy? This is SANDMAN though - a comics property so beloved and so respected that it's pretty much a given that any film adaptation, no matter how good, will be ripped apart by critics and audiences.

As much as I love comic movies, I believe this is one which really should not be made. Ever. The Sandman comics are so surreal, nuanced, multilayered and densely written and rendered that any film adaptation will be heavily simplified, thus losing a lot of the qualities which made the title so popular in the first place.

If a screen version of the Sandman comics was ever to come into being, then a more sensible and fruitful avenue would be TV, however that would limit the scope and still limit the depth to which the source material could be adapted. The stories of Dream, Death and the rest of the Endless are one franchise that – if you think about it – should never hit the screen.

BATMAN VS SUPERMAN: WELL? 

Come on, where's the title already? Now that Gal Gadot has been confirmed to play Wonder Woman, isn't this basically TRINITY now? Oh yeah, cameos from Nightwing, The Flash and now Green Lantern as well? This is edging closer to being essentially a JUSTICE LEAGUE movie.

So, are DC/Warners pulling the wool over our eyes and making an entirely different movie to what we have been teased? Could it be that in this age of instant media gratification something is actually being kept under wraps for once? Now that would be impressive.

Whether the film is WORLD'S FINEST, TRINITY, JUSTICE LEAGUE or whatever, it's good to see DC characters starting to make it into cinemas with a bit more of a bang. And you never know, Ben Affleck might be the best Batman ever. 

MARVEL ENDS NEWSSTAND DISTRIBUTION

It's been revealed that Marvel will be shutting down newsstand distribution with Barnes & Noble and Books-A-Million in the US. Oh, wait, they did it months ago, but it's only just being picked up on by the comics scene. Nice to know we're on the ball, eh?

Marvel do have a point though, as the vast majority of sales are from direct market comic shops, and newsstand distribution from them actually ended two years ago. See? They had a point – nobody even noticed! Hell, it could be worse, single non-reprint issues of US comics haven't been available from anywhere but comic shops in the UK for over a decade.

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