Saturday, February 24, 2007

AJC: Ed Hall on Marvel's King Dark Tower Comc

Graffiti: Games, gadgets and graphics: WORDS AND PICTURES | "As a teenager, I enjoyed 'Carrie' and 'The Stand,' among many other Stephen King novels. I came to find his short fiction flat, repetitive and less interesting than his longer work, however. My greatest disappointment came in the lone encounter I had with his character the Gunslinger in the story of that title.

Although I won't comment on 'The Gunslinger' with respect to Marvel's new 'Dark Tower' series (my memories of the story are decades old), I will say that the first issue of the comics adaptation made me want to read the next issue exactly as much as the original tale made me want to read its prose sequels: not at all.

My hope had been that reliable scribe Peter David and graceful illustrator Jae Lee —- whose pictures here are as lush as any he has done —- might give me something to admire in their version of King's pet project. To my dismay, the comic struck me as detrimentally similar to 'The Gunslinger': portentous, stiff and humorless. Fans of the 'Dark Tower' novels can find the original story's ramshackle mix of cowboys, wizards and archaic language ('Mayhap') in the comic, too, even though it's a prequel.

If that combination works for you, yippee ki-verily-yay."

Interesting, I had precisely the same reaction that Ed Hall here did. As beautiful as the book was, and as much care was clearly put into it, it left me feeling totally flat. And I never could get through the first King novel either. So I guess I'm not alone.


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