Thursday, June 17, 2010

More "graphic novel" nonsense

A Google news search for "Jonah Hex graphic novel" comes up with 47 results. This weekend being the release of the frustrating and disappointing looking Jonah Hex movie.

Look, Josh Brolin looks perfect as Jonah Hex, so I'll see it eventually, but as a fan of the character and the comic book, I can't bring myself to pay good money to be insulted right now. So I'll have to hear something very uniquely positive in order to show up to the theater.

I can't quite believe that they've taken it to such shockingly Wild Wild West lengths of embarrassing looking - not to impugn the wonderful Wild Wild West TV series, but neither to suggest that it would be the right approach to the material either - that they've actually turned me away, but every single thing I've seen and heard leads me to believe they have, so sorry Warner Bros., I don't have money to throw at being insulted by your movies.

But I come here not to criticize Warners, Jimmy Hayward or anyone else involved in this very disappointing looking cinematic outing.

I'm hear to criticize lazy damn journalists or editor or every other person involved in the decision to write the phrase "based on a graphic novel" in virtually every article about this movie.

What "graphic novel"? No Way Back is the very first "Jonah Hex" graphic novel and it came out last week, June 8, 2010. Origins is arguably a graphic novel, but is the movie really "based on" it?

I've occasionally, such as in Funny books, complained about the way words for "comic books" are used.

But if we assume Graphic novel has a unique meaning and isn't just a high fallutin' term for "comic book", so people don't have to be uselessly ashamed of the medium the story they're reading is in, then Jonah Hex isn't based on a "graphic novel", it's based on a "comic book".

It's a story that's been told month after month for 20 (non-consecutive) years (or more) in floppy thin magazines with funny pictures and word balloons.

Jonah Hex is based on a comic book!

A comic book that I'll bet a far sight better than this ridiculous movie!

UPDATE: I'm reading the review of Jonah Hex by Roger Ebert, Josh Brolin and Megan Fox fall flat in embarrassing Jonah Hex by Drew McWeeny and any of the others at Rotten Tomatoes, where Jonah Hex is at 4% at this writing.

None of these sound like the movie is of the comic book I know and love.

None of these really sound like a movie that tries to be the comic book I know and love.

James Gunn tweeted the message Shit. I'm bummed out over the staggeringly awful Jonah Hex reviews. Big fan of the character & the filmmakers.


As Marty McKee wrote here, "Making a good Jonah Hex movie is not all that hard. And now we'll never get one, because Warners has destroyed the franchise for good."

And that is, to me, the most frustrating part.

For all the excellent work that guys like Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray have done to help restore the reputation of the character, it's incredibly annoying that to the general public, the name "Jonah Hex" will be synonymous with some kind of joke. I'm sure Palmiotti, Gray et al will be more diplomatic when they react publically, but I think the reception to this movie, if not the movie itself, will have to feel like a kick in the balls to them.

SECOND UPDATE: Palmiotti tweeted so yeah, saw Jonah hex, thought it was better than expected and had a good time. Josh was wonderful.

Can I say "Wow!"? That was barely diplomatic!

THIRD UPDATE: Palmiotti then tweeted, in reply to your friend and humble narrator @bleeding_tree I thought it was fun. really.

So, maybe I'll hold just a little hope in my heart that when I see it on DVD it'll be enjoyable in some way... some way that isn't an adaptation of the comic books I love, so not really satisfying... but perhaps enjoyable for whatever it is.

I do still think Brolin looks great. Maybe that'll be enough in my living room with a beer and a pause button.

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