Wednesday, June 22, 2011

100 Bullets and Creative Control

I recently saw that 100 Bullets is going to be made into a TV series on showtime. This is really exciting news to me, as I love the series, but I am still hesitant to fully embrace the idea. I am really curious if the depth and complexity of the book will come out in the show. Too often I feel like characters or storylines are changed to be more appealing to a mainstream audience, or because someone with some power had a personal problem with the original content. All too often I think that this happens when a generally more ignored art form( I so wish it wasn't this way) is brought into a more mainstream public form such as TV or Movies. I really hope this doesn't happen, and I'm really looking forward to seeing more on the series.

On the topic of creative control, and being able to say what you want to say, I think that part of the reason I am so attracted to comics is because of the freedom that comes with creating it. It can be as introspective as a journal, as biting as the harshest social critique, tell stories just as effectively(if not moreso) than film, and as visually beautiful as any other artform. One of the primary reasons that I make comics is to tell stories, and as these epics swirl in my mind and take form in art or scripts or journals, the thought of someone one day desiring to water down my ideas, or change characters to better appeal to an audience just doesn't sit well with me. If changes are made I believe they should be made with full co-operation from the creator or author. If that is not the case, I just cannot agree with it. As I think about 100 Bullets being made for TV, I really hope that Brian Azzarello has a hand in writing the script and laying it out. His book is genius, and I hate to see it twisted into something that it wasn't intended to. DC owns all rights however, which means this may not happen.

I can't say myself that if presented the opportunity to change my stories to bring them to a wider audience, I wouldn't do it, but I know that I would want a say in what was being changed and why. Some scripts are so perfectly poised, so masterfully constructed, changing things could drastically deform the original meaning, or destroy it all together. People rework masterpieces all the time, but I feel that in the pas 50 years, more classic content (ie Shakespeare etc) have been reworked over and over, and content that was original in the 50s and 60s is know being remade over and over, even movies and ideas from 5 years ago. I don't really know that this is a good thing, and it makes me feel like the creative industry as a whole is in the doldrums right now. I will say however, that I feel like the comics medium, as a whole, still has alot more innovative and creative stories and ideas being presented that aren't being done elsewhere.

I want to see some more hard questions asked, and more innovative stories being told that push the mold in any medium. Entertainment should be more than just a way to relax, it should force you to ask questions and think. I hope that the next decade will be known for bringing this about on a grand scale.

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