In reviewing the film A History of Violence (2003), questions around the adaptation process often arise. For example, is it easier to adapt a work that is largely in picture format, and much like the cinematic tool the story board? What are the pitfalls faced by filmmakers in bringing such a work to the screen? Is there any value in exploring such texts? In the following pages, these questions and others will be explored, taking a closer look at the adaptation of graphic novels, such as the Vincent Locke and John Wagner piece that David Cronenberg adapted. From this, a look at the rise in cultural prominence that such adaptations give to comics will also be reviewed.
Firstly, it is necessary to understand that graphic novel is a fancier way of saying comic book, in an effort to qualify the work as suitable for scholarly examination (Schwarz, 58). The graphic novel is also closely associated with the Asian manga. Much like comic strips and comic books, the graphic novel has struggled for respect in the academic world, seeking a status alongside great works of literature (Baetens, 95). Thanks to burgeoning cultural studies at universities and other intellectual strong holds around the world, acceptance of cultural art and similar expressions experience greater respect. As a result, many universities currently have a faculty member who is “up on” the graphic novel and comic book scene, and may teach the media format in his or her classroom.
Acceptance is still a problem, however. The wavering respect afforded those expressions categorized as graphic novel is in part due to the fact that “the field of cultural production is a site of struggle and of power disparities” (Beaty, 322). The graphic novel is quite new in the tableau of human cultural history and “anything new often faces resistance, especially if it is part of popular culture” (Schwarz, 63). Resistance is a key issue for many art forms ….
Read the entire review at: Of Graphic Novels and Adaptations: A History of Violence.
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