Branded in the 80s Microcast Episode 16, weird books…

By Shawn Robare

Chugging along with another microcast.  Today features a rambling discussion of odd books including Choose Your Own Adventure style, sitcom adaptations, photonovels, the Pryde of the X-Men graphic novel adaptation of the cartoon pilot, fumetti, and Sadistik (Satanik/Killing) pulps.

  • Esteban

    I’ve never heard of the photonovel approach where photographs of people from shows got used as panels in a comic style way. I’ve never paid attention to comics where animation is used as the basis for the drawings-I knew they existed but they just seemed lazy to me because a still frame or cel from animation will never be as good as a panel crafted to tell the story. That photonovel stuff sounds really strange, though. Although it’s pretty much the same technique as using animation stills for some reason doing it with live action gives it a new dimension of weirdness to me. Your show now has me questioning my understanding of visual storytelling. Is the aim of the comics artist to depict in drawings the actions of people in situations or environments that would be nearly impossible to take real photographs of? Do people draw because taking pictures to fit a comics story cannot be done as cheaply? Are the Marvel and DC comics of today better because their art is more sophisticated than Marvel or DC comics from the 60s? Or are they better looking because they look more real than what could be achieved by artists in the 60s? As technology progresses to the point where digital imagery reaches photorealism, will comics art as we know it cease to exist? Is realism the goal? I get the feeling this has already been discussed in comic book forums but I never thought about it before your show.

  • Esteban

    I am not surprised that in this age of reality television and the endless Hollywood rehashing of old ideas that one of the most popular comic artists is essentially a guy who traces. Back when I was buying comics in the 80s I remember loving Walt Simonson’s runs on Thor and the Fantastic Four, Art Adams on X-Men or Todd McFarlane on Hulk and Spider-Man. Those guys were artists who could really draw and they had style. I was thinking how great it is that those women on the covers of the Sadistik magazines are probably somebody’s grandmas or great grandmas by now. I never got to see color pictures of my grandmas when they were young. All I think we had were tiny sepia toned photos of our grandmas that looked overexposed and ancient.