"In the right hands, comics are an excellent medium for revealing character with a few concise words and lines."
- Michael Berry
Mum and dad both encouraged me to read comics. It wasn't anything they specifically said so much as it was that they read comics themselves and would then pass them on to me. I grew up reading Peanuts, Little Lotta, Hagar the Horrible, Asterix and Archie and Jughead. In fact, if I remember right, I had a crush on Archie and wished desperately that he would choose Betty over Veronica :) Even at 7 I was looking for the romance angle in a book. That's slightly disturbing and yet sickly sweet at one and the same time. While both of my parents read comics much like Spider Man and Superman I stuck to the kiddie fare and never really ventured outside of that. Years later, as an adult working in libraries, I decided to make a tentative foray into graphic novels...and was blown away by the content, the art, the darkness and most of all, the depth of the stories. My problem, though, is that there are far too many to choose from. I am constantly spoilt for choice. A little bit of time surfing for book recommendations made me ask myself, 'What are the best and the worst comic book movies?' Which was a crazy question to ask because, hey, it's all subjective. One quick and dirty Google-fu session later I managed to find a list on Metacritic.com that, roughly, appealed. So, here are the top 5 best comic book movies according to Metacritic.com :)
Spider-Man 2 [DVD videorecording] / Producers, Laura Ziskin, Avi Arad ; screen story by Alfred Gough, Miles Millar, Michael Chabon ; screenplay, Alvin Sargent ; director, Sam Raimi
Starring: Toby Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, James Franco, Alfred Molina, Rosemary Harris, Donna Murphy
Rating: PG: Parental guidance recommended for younger viewers. Note: contains medium level violence
Tagline: Sacrifice. Destiny. Choice.
Peter Parker's having a rough time. His double life as the superhero Spider-Man is having a devastating impact on his civilian life. Things are so bad he declares that he's quitting, and never putting on the suit again. However, his sense of duty forces him to become a hero again when the brilliant scientist Dr. Otto Octavius is deformed in an accident and becomes Dr. Octopus. With four metal tentacles sticking out of his back, he'll prove to be a more than worthy opponent for Spider-Man.
Superman : the movie [DVD videorecording] / Produced by Pierre Spengler ; directed by Richard Donner
Starring: Christopher Reeve, Margot Kidder, Marlon Brando, Gene Hackman
Rating: PG - Parental guidance recommended for younger viewers. NOTE: Contains violence
Tagline: You'll believe a man can fly!
As an infant, Superman is sent to earth from the doomed planet Krypton. As he grows up, he learns he has super powers which he must hide from the ordinary mortals around him.
Ghost world [DVD videorecording] / Directed by Terry Zwigoff ; written by Daniel Clowes and Terry Zwigoff
Starring: Thora Birch, Scarlett Johansson, Brad Renfro
Rating: M-suitable for mature audiences 16 years and over. Note : contains offensive language and sexual references
Tagline: They're high school graduates, and the world's got hell to pay!
Set in the summer after graduation, Enid and Rebecca are both outsiders in a world slowly being engulfed by fake 50's diners and Starbucks. Enid must attend an art class to officially graduate high school as Rebecca gets a job. When the two play a mean joke on a much older, geeky record collector Enid finds a fellow soul and begins to discover the complexities of becoming an adult in the modern world.
Persepolis [DVD videorecording] / Written and directed by Marjane Satrapi, Vincent Paronnaud ; produced by Marc-Antoine Robert, Xavier Rigault
Voices: Voices, Chiara Mastroianni, Catherine Deneuve, Danielle Darrieux, Simon Abkarian, Gabrielle Lopes, François Jérosme, Arié Elmalah, Mathias Mlekuz
Rating: M - Suitable for mature audiences 16 years and over. NOTE: Contains offensive language
In 1970s Iran, Marjane 'Marji' Statrapi watches events through her young eyes and her idealistic family. Their long dream is realized when the hated Shah is defeated in the Iranian Revolution of 1979. Now ruled by Islamic fundamentalists, Marji grows up to witness first hand how the new Iran has become a repressive tyranny on its own. With Marji dangerously refusing to remain silent at this injustice, her parents send her abroad to Vienna to study. This change proves an equally difficult trial for Marji as she finds herself in a different culture loaded with abrasive characters and profound disappointments that deeply trouble her. Even when she returns home, Marji finds that both she and her homeland have changed too much and the young woman and her loving family must decide where she truly belongs.
American splendor [DVD videorecording] / Produced by Ted Hope ; written and directed by Robert Pulcini & Shari Springer Berman
Starring: Paul Giamatti, Hope Davis
Rating: M; suitable for mature audiences 16 years and over; contains offensive language
Tagline: Ordinary life is pretty complex stuff.
Pekar is a frustrated file clerk working at the local V.A. Hospital. He is also a comic book fan who befriends the young illustrator Robert Crumb and is soon inspired to create comic books based on his own life. Along his bumpy journey he meets, marries and falls in love with Joyce, an admiring comic book seller.