Book of Eli

There are some stories that just scream a particular genre.  Akira needed to be a comic; no other genre could achieve the correct levels with their limitations (too long for a movie, too violent for a kids’ book, too stylized for a cartoon).  The Wall needed to be an album; no other genre could achieve the correct levels with their limitations (too emotional for a movie, too deep for a book, too refined for a stage show).  Same thing for Monty Python or Super Mario Bros. or The Road.  Although these things have been attempted in another genre, nothing can compare to the correct one for that particular story.  The Book of Eli is the same way.  It would’ve been better in another genre.

There’s nothing particularly wrong with The Book of Eli; it’s a fine movie with fine action and fine actors with a fine plot.  But the “twists”, the things we’re supposed to swallow as an audience, are geared more toward comics.

The opening scene has Eli hunting a cat while it’s snowing grey flakes (it’s a post-apocalyptic world; I’m assuming some sort of nuclear winter).  The next big scene shows him killing seven dudes who want to eat him.  The next big scene has him coming across a town in the middle of a desert where he kills more than a dozen dudes.  After that, he shoots his way out of town, gets hunted down, finds his way to a lone country house, and is finally shot for his possession of a book.  I know it sounds like standard movie fare, but there could be so much more done with a comic – so many more believable aspects.

The grey snow would be beautiful in a comic.

Eli killing seven dudes in the shadows would be beautiful in a comic.

The town in the middle of a desert is much more believable in a comic (and would probably incorporate some cool steam-punk aspects) because there is no motion.  While watching it on screen I kept thinking to myself, “How is there nothing for miles and miles, and then suddenly a town full of people?”

The shoot-out where he leaves town would invariably be better on screen (again, because there is motion), but the hunt for Eli later would be much better on the page because there are so many more tricks a comic artist can use without being distracting where a movie director can’t: lighting, panel shape and placement, background, design, etc.

The lone country house would be beautiful in a comic – and if you’ve seen the movie, the bad guys shoot the house to bits, which would also be beautiful in a comic (especially if someone detail-oriented did it, like Geof Darrow).

But the beauty wouldn’t be the best aspect.  The movie is centered around the idea that religion started the war that killed the world, so religion has been eradicated (Eli’s book is the Bible).  The questions of how we should treat religion, how it affects people, how the beliefs that some people have would be perverted, and what religion is ultimately for could be raised and discussed in a comic without being intrusive.  In a movie, especially a two-hour action movie, those questions are skimmed over; barely raised and definitely not discussed.

He's blind and kicks ass. Totally believable in the world of comics. Now think back to the movie...

Also, Eli is blind.  But killing a shit-load of people and bringing a magic book to a post-apocalyptic museum on Alcatraz while blind is pretty standard in comics.

That’s one of the reasons I want Tiny Life to be a comic.  I’m trained to write novels (well, novellas), but it wouldn’t work like that.  It’s gotta be a comic.  Or a long-running, end-in-sight, adult-oriented cartoon.

Know anyone that like to animate?


One Response

  1. ben afleck sucks!

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