Genre classics resurrected as graphic novels
Several years ago I began noticing some fascinating synergy in the realm of graphic novels.
A friend of mine was publishing a graphic novel, Soldiers of the Dead, an adaptation of a screenplay he'd written in the hopes a studio would pick up tit up and turn the story into a movie.
Of course, as we all know, studios these days are terribly afraid to make anything that's brand new, or isn't already based on a pre-existing movie, TV show, video game, or comic.
At about the same time, stop motion animation genius Ray Harryhausen was working to bring his creations to life on the printed page with Blue Waters Productions - after he stopped making movies in 1981 with the original Clash of the Titans.
Now the classic Hammer films are up for the same graphic novel treatment.
For those who aren't horror inclined, Hammer was the classic British studio that made stars out of Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing, and churned out tons of genre classics such as the Quartermass X-Periment, The Horror of Dracula, The Curse of Frankenstein, One Million B.C., and many, many more. Hammer hit their peak in the '60's, and were out of business by the late '70's.
Although they were considered disreputable at the time, modern film fans now realize the Hammer films did horror with great production value, style and class.
As Martin Scorsese recalled to writers David Thompson and Ian Christie in the book Scorsese on Scorsese, "When I went along to the cinema as a teenager with groups of friends, if we saw the logo of Hammer Films we knew it would be a very special picture."
The Hammer films could never return to their glory days, most of the key people baring Christopher Lee, who's still acting up a storm, are gone, so now we have the graphic novel - Flesh and Blood: Book One.
As USAToday reports, Flesh and Blood is published by Monsterverse, and it's the first of four volumes.
Tim Lucas, editor of Video Watchdog magazine, feels, "Flesh and Blood is nothing less than the epic Hammer horror film that generations of fans have yearned to see, but which the venerable British company somehow never had the vision to produce."
USAToday also tells us Flesh and Blood is "scary stuff, the pace is breakneck, the writing smart and the result is something you've never seen before in comic books – a vampire tale told with genuine suspense, intelligence and cinema-like edits."