Friday, 4 February 2011

SONG OF ICE AND FIRE comic on the way

George R.R. Martin and Daniel Abraham have announced that, in conjunction with Bantam Books and Dynamite Comics, a comic adaptation of A Game of Thrones will begin later this year. The plan is to adapt the first novel in the series into 24 monthly issues (to be later collected as several graphic novels), with a decision on the rest of the books to follow based on sales.

Hmm. Maybe this is because I'm not a 'comics guy' (I like them, especially things like Watchmen and Sandman, but am not a devoted follower) but this feels slightly redundant to me. We already have this story existing as an 800-page novel (plus the audiobook version) and a 600-minute television series, not to mention as the basis for two different computer games from Cyanide launching over the next few years (plus the mods for several more). Plus there's the roleplaying, board and card games which use the events of the first novel as a jumping-off point as well. So, this story has been told already.

I'd far rather have had an original series of new stories set in the history of Westeros, maybe outlined and approved by Martin and written by Abraham, perhaps about such matters as Aegon's invasion, the Dance of Dragons and the Blackfyre Rebellion (assuming that the War of the Ninepenny Kings is being held back for future Dunk 'n' Egg stories), not to mention Robert's Rebellion itself. This would be a good use of the medium, to reveal new information about the setting and backstory. As it stands, are there really many thousands of comics fans refusing to read prose novels or watch TV who need this adaptation to get the story across to them?

I'm sure it'll be well-executed. The art looks good at this stage and Daniel Abraham is a very talented writer. But this news would have been a lot more exciting a few years back (when it was first mooted as a Dabel Brothers project) before HBO optioned the books.


SunnyReads said...

Agreed. Seems redundant and pointless - Would much rather have new stories from the history of Westeros - especially of the time period when the Wall was built.

Anonymous said...

Your right about it being slightly redundant. Something like The Dark Tower comic series would have been good. Also I'd rather have new content coming from Daniel. His talents are better served elsewhere than mere adaptions of previous works.

Gabriele Campbell said...

I want new stories, too, but since I don't care one bit about comics, I'd only read them as stories, so I prefer the comic stuff to cover existing material. Won't want to miss out on whatever back'stories' Martin will hopefully tell in the future.

brainshades said...

Unlike with the DARK TOWER series of comics, I honestly don't see the sense in illuminating the back-story of a series that is incomplete. That was the beauty of what King did, if you liked the material...

It's a shame, but it is very hard to see the path by which George ever finishes the SONG OF ICE & FIRE...

Say it ain't so 'Geo..!

Darkies said...

you go George,

MILK .... THAT ..... COW !!

Anonymous said...

Wow, this is excellent news.

Hope they get Mike S. Miller in for this one, he really hit gold with the ones he did.

Isnt there a Dark Tower graphic novel set out, lenty?


Calibandar said...

Just wanted to chime in to voice my agreement. I'm not excited for this at all. The story is familiar to us and while I read plenty of comics, I just don''t see how this is going to add much of anything to me. I don't even think I will be reading them.

Far more interested in the tv series when it comes to adaptations.

Adam Whitehead said...

To reiterate, I don't have a problem with George milking the cow (which always struck me as odd phrase: if you own a cow of course you are entitled to milk it ;-) ) and it does appear that there's plenty of people interested in it.

But, unlike the TV series which will have much more freedom to flesh out other storylines and characters, this is pretty much the story as told in the novel, just with a lot more pictures. Interesting, yes, just not as much to me as the TV series.

As to the backstory interest, GRRM has already established a lot of tantalising hints and snippers of the Seven Kingdoms' backhistory that look very interesting (and of course with Dunk 'n' Egg he's already fleshing out that one area of backstory). To the extent that it doesn't interfere with the completion of the novels, seeing some of those stories told in greater detail could be interesting (the Dance of Dragons with Rhaenyra and Aegon II's war, the Kingmaker, and the Targaryens wiping most of each other and their dragons out, sounds particularly intriguing).

There is a DARK TOWER comic/graphic novel series from Marvel, but AFAIK that's an original story set between two of the novels, not an adaptation of existing material.

Drake said...

The first Dark Tower miniseries was a direct adaptation of flashback scenes from the first and fourth books, but the rest (so far) have all been original stories about the Gunslinger's past.

I, for one, am very excited about the Game of Thrones comic. I just read the books for the first time recently (in fact, I just finished A Feast for Crows last week) and this will be a nice way to experience the story again before I re-read the books, which I'm not planning on doing until an official release date for A Dance With Dragons has been announced by the publishers and George.

Anonymous said...

poor daniel. and just when I was going to make a preorder on the dragon's path.

taking it to comics, I admit its a cool idea. but maybe moreso if it would done a year or two back.

Anonymous said...

Sorry Adam, but in the eyes of us fans there is a primary event eagerly awaited by even you. And that is nothing else than ADwD and successors. Until those are not done I (personally) don't feel any motivation to read any comic or Wild Cards or buy any miniatures. A GRRM edit is not what I'm looking for. His name as a brand ... names have nothing inside. Maybe I will stumble over a comic issue and read it, find it enjoyable and well done, but it is not my first intention. This is just nothing important even if this comic will be well executed.

I'll just say one name ... Erikson, a man with focus and imagination and friendly responsibility. I do not doubt that Martin doesn't have visions, he has shown us that in the past often enough, but to start a series is somehow a promise.
What we all love most of him is him writing novels. Preferably ASOAIF. Ok, maybe he has more important things to do in his life. But this is what made him as big as he is now.
That has nothing to do with that ominous cow and milking. It's just not the right sign for us fans. Yeah, there are fans and fans, two sides of the story. But no one can be honest and tell everyone that Martin's every move is the right way. "Keep up the good work". Which work some may ask since 1999? Even Alexander was able to solve a Gordian Knot problem ;)

The Count said...

@anon above me--are you saying you now aren't preordering 'The Dragon's Path' because Daniel Abraham is scripting a comic? Wha??

Anonymous said...

@The Count
No, that's not what I meant. I will buy and read books of every author if it could be of interest to me, including D.A., already on my to-read-list, regardless if they plan to release a comic. But in GRRMs case we wait and wait and wait and all we get is other stuff but not the books we all want.
Is there really anyone waiting for other GRRM stuff? Can't imagine that. Or at least it is not the primary wish.

Another problem with comics is that reader's imaginations/viewer's expectations again have to shift to another person's imaginations/visualizing ideas. From book to minatures, calendar illustration to movie, from movie to comic, back and forth. Too much. Just thought that as I saw those first sketches. But that's a problem every visualization has. In LotRs case I thought most of the book was shown perfectly in the movies if there only would've been less studio atmosphere.

Drake said...

This comic (and any milking of the franchise) is not hampering George's ability or speed of writing Dance, and neither is editing Wild Cards or other anthologies. He's been doing that the whole time, while he was writing Thrones, Clash, Storm, and Feast.

And if I had a huge, best selling series I'd be milking it even more than Martin does! You'd have a Cartoon of Ice and Fire, A Cereal of Ice and Fire, A Webseries of Ice and Fire, The Ice and Fire Anthology, and craploads more.