Posts Tagged ‘Richard Kelly’

ReadComics Podcast #006

May 21st, 2008 by Martin

Topics for this issue: Batman’s Death (we know nothing about this), Secret Invasion (similarities between Black Canary and Mockingbird), Gambit’s accent, Indiana Jones, Spider Man Loves Mary Jane, Joss Whedon, Southland Tales, sex in comics (Cherry Poptart), Iron Man, Starfox, and which superhero gets the most play.

For this podcast we had Martin, Florence, Jason, Mike and Susie.

Listen to Podcast Episode #006 (32 MB, 70 min)

Southland Tales: The Prequel Saga

May 20th, 2008 by Martin

awesome artwork by Brett WeldeleThis comic was awesome for many reasons. First of all, it is an interesting story that ties into an interesting movie. Don’t confuse interesting with comprehensible though, because it’s not.

Florence and I rented and watched Southland Tales (the movie, directed by Richard Kelly, who wrote this comic) a couple of weeks ago from Amazon Unbox (direct to tivo, baby!), and watched it without great expectation. We’d both read mixed reviews of the movie, but I especially had secretly hoped that it would be one of those masterpieces that defies critical acclaim and rises above the popular mass market appeal. I would say that the movie failed in this regard, but that, having finished the comic book Prequel this afternoon/evening, the comic and movie together actually do make up a fantastic and epic story that, while not terribly genius, is completely worthy of the time investment required.

Since I more or less enjoyed this, I’m going to focus on the good aspects, figuring the bad aspects have probably been covered elsewhere. (You can just go read the reviews over at Rotten Tomatoes, where Southland Tales has a 34% freshness rating.) I think what I enjoyed the most about both comic and movie is that they give you a lot to examine and think about. They both operate on many levels at once, which is, now that I think about it, also one of the things that I most liked Donnie Darko (Richard Kelly’s other “cult classic” film). Incidentally, I keep wanting to abbreviate Richard Kelly as R. Kelly, which is wrong on almost as many levels.

The comic is interjected with excerpts from a script to a movie called “The Power”, which was supposed to have been written by one of the main characters, Krista Now. Krista is a porn star, and (in the comic, at least), supposedly has telepathic powers that she attained while everyone else on board her airplane went insane. She wrote the script while under hypnosis, as a response to the book of revelations.

The plot is totally convoluted and involves time travel (or the fourth dimension); a futuristic company named Treer that claims to have developed a technology they call fluid karma that uses quantum entanglement to broadcast electricity; a stupidly violent liberal terrorist group that called itself Marxist, but really did not resemble any kind of thought-out political philosophy whatsoever; the 2008 political election; a recent history that includes two nuclear terrorist attacks in Texas; and a government agency called USIDent that forces you to register before using the internet. These are all related, and culminate in an end-of-the-world type scenario that I won’t go into details about so I don’t give anything away.

I also wanted to give credit to Brett Weldele, whose awesome artwork was really inspiring. This is not your average length trade paperback. This thing is pretty hefty with over 300 pages. Sure, some of those are straight-up text and script, but there is a fantastic amount of really interesting artwork here, and it never gets repetitive or dull, in fact it feels quite the opposite.

I will say that the movie makes a lot more sense in retrospect, so given a choice, I’d try and go with chronological order and read the comic book first. Oddly enough, however, I think the comic book made a lot more sense having already seen the movie, so it’s possible this is just one of those things that requires multiple viewings to fully appreciate. Unfortunately, fully appreciate does not mean fully understand. It’s just not that kind of story. Understanding is secondary to experience, in this case.