Comic Book Prequels

Recently, a couple of films have had comic book prequel releases before the movie. I'm not sure if this is the cool new way to market movies, or (to quote Alan Moore) just "one step in the digestive process of Hollywood eating itself."

All the buzz seemed to indicate that The Covenant (which hit theaters in September) was based on a graphic novel published by Top Cow (see Comics2Film, Comic Book Movies, Superheroes Lives). But further digging seems to point to the fact that the comics were based on the movie idea and were intended as a prequel to the film (see this Comic Book Resources article or this IGN set visit). While the entire graphic novel of The Covenant is now available, the first two issues can be read on Top Cow's web site.

E. Favata's Comic Book Movies has been keeping up with Southland Tales, which should be released sometime in January. This is something I'll definitely plan on seeing. Not necessarily because it has anything to do with comics, but because it was written and directed by Richard Kelly, who also wrote and directed Donnie Darko, one of my all-time favorite films. Southland Tales has an eclectic cast: Sarah Michelle Gellar (as Krysta!!), Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Sean William Scott, Mandy Moore, Janeane Garofalo, Christopher Lambert, John Larroquette, Jon Lovitz, Cheri Oteri, Justin Timberlake, Kevin Smith. It would be worth seeing just for the cast, even if it didn't have an interesting premise - several people's lives intertwine with a setting "in the futuristic landscape of Los Angeles on July 4, 2008, as it stands on the brink of social, economic and environmental disaster."

You can see on the official web site that parts I (Two Roads Diverge), II (Fingerprints), and III (The Mechanicals) are graphic novels, while parts IV, V, and VI are the movie itself. The first 2 graphic novels have been released, while the 3rd has a release date (according to Amazon) of October 18. I don't know how I missed these in Previews. Southland Tales: The Prelude Saga, a collection of all 3 parts is set to be released in December.

To read more about the film and the graphic novels, take a look at this Interview with Richard Kelly.

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