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PostPosted: Sun Feb 06, 2005 8:48 am 
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Martian War Lord

Joined: Wed Jan 12, 2005 7:01 pm
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To see the book cover and first 8 pages <a href='http://www.calibra.eclipse.co.uk/eve/booksillpress.htm' target='_blank'>CLICK HERE</a><br /><br />A new publishing company with offices in Los Angeles, New York and Miami, Best Sellers Illustrated will launch its line of graphic novels in early 2005 with an adaptation of the H.G. Wells science-fiction classic, The War of the Worlds.<br /><br />Vice-president Aron Kessler said, "Wells was far ahead of his time when The War of the Worlds was first published in book form in 1898. Not only was he a visionary, but he was also an astute social critic whose writings are as relevant today as they were over a century ago. For these reasons, we're able to remain true to the original story, while completely updating it for a modern audience."<br /><br />The adaptation is written by Stephen Stern, writer/creator of the independent comic-book, Zen Intergalactic Ninja. Stern's other credits include the comic-book adaptation of the animated classic, Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol, and the collection of novellas and short stories, Alien Hero. Stern's comic-book stories have been illustrated by such noted artists as Michael William Kaluta and Jeffrey Jones.<br /><br />"It's obviously both a great honor and a great responsibility to be chosen to adapt one of the most significant books ever written," said Stern. "The War of the Worlds isn't just a great science-fiction novel; it's great literature. As always in modernizing a classic, the task is to remain faithful to the spirit of the source material while re-imagining it in a contemporary context. In this instance, I'm also shifting the locale from London and its environs to the New York metropolitan area. In light of recent history, this attack by the Martians takes on a chilling relevancy and poignancy."<br /><br />War of the Worlds is illustrated by veteran Star Trek comic-book artist Arne Starr. Starr holds the distinction of creating more Star Trek comic art than any other illustrator. His credits also include Deep Space Nine for Malibu Comics, and Spider-man for Marvel, as well as artwork for Ballantine Books and Scholastic.<br /><br />The graphic novel will feature a cover by legendary artist Frank Brunner, whose credits include Howard the Duck, Doctor Strange and Conan the Barbarian.<br /><br />"Many older readers will remember the Classics Illustrated adaptation of The War of the Worlds published in 1955," said Kessler. "But that version is now as dated as the 1953 Paramount film. It's time for a WOTW graphic novel that speaks to today's audience."<br /><br />War of the Worlds will be published by Best Sellers Illustrated in May, 2005, with additional titles to be announced shortly.


Lee
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 06, 2005 5:20 pm 
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Ugh. I hate the way this press release has lots of gushing quotes from the publisher and the writer about what a great author Wells was, and how WOTW is a timeless classic, before shameless announcing all the changes they're making to the setting & location.<br /><br />All the previous comic book adaptations of the novel, of which there have been several (including the Classics Illustrated version mentioned in the press release), at least tried to be as faithful as possible to the original material. And the various publishers who have previously produced modern-day WOTW series have had the good grace to make them sequels to Wells' book.<br /><br />You can't publish a version that differs so substantially from the original narrative and still call it a straight adaptation. What next: To Kill A Mockingbird transplanted to ancient Rome, for no reason whatsoever?<br /><br />Despite all their excuses about making the story 'speak to a modern audience' (both pointless and a contradiction, since they state WOTW is as relevant today as when it was published), it's clear that what we actually have here is a bandwagon jumper. They couldn't be bothered (or couldn't afford) to pursue Paramount for the rights to adapt Spielberg's movie, so - because WOTW is in the public domain (mostly - it's complicated), they've simply churned out their own present day version in order to cash in.<br /><br />Just say no, people.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 06, 2005 7:03 pm 
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Martian War Lord

Joined: Wed Jan 12, 2005 7:01 pm
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Yeah I must admit I was a little shocked at the New York placement!


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2005 3:33 am 
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It sounds like Fenris has an axe to grind against these publishers. Many have adapted or otherwise published various versions of the original Wells material. To say that the company, Best Sellers Illustrated, should have approached Paramount to adapt their motion picture is to relegate them to adapting someone else's adaptation. I for one applaud them for having their own modernized vision of the source material...this is certainly preferable to them simply transcribing Spielberg. I look foward to reading this graphic novel and indeed to comparing it to the film, as it is clearly its own creative work.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2005 10:58 am 
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Martian War Lord

Joined: Sun Feb 13, 2005 10:00 pm
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Hopefully someone will publish a War of the Worlds with the origional setting, time, and story and do it well with some great art. I hope for this because this would please me more than any other kind of adaption.<br />China are about to become the second biggest econamy and it won't be long before they are the biggest so in a few years, adaptions of the novel will probably be set there.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 06, 2005 1:52 pm 
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<!--QuoteBegin-killraven+Mar 5 2005, 04:33 AM--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(killraven @ Mar 5 2005, 04:33 AM)</div><div class='quotemain'><!--QuoteEBegin-->It sounds like Fenris has an axe to grind against these publishers.  Many have adapted or otherwise published various versions of the original Wells material.  To say that the company, Best Sellers Illustrated, should have approached Paramount to adapt their motion picture is to relegate them to adapting someone else's adaptation.  I for one applaud them for having their own modernized vision of the source material...this is certainly preferable to them simply transcribing Spielberg.  I look foward to reading this graphic novel and indeed to comparing it to the film, as it is clearly its own creative work.[/quote]<br /><br />I've nothing personal against Best Sellers Illustrated - I'm sure they are all talented & hard working people, and I certainly admire their courage in launching a new comic book company in the current climate.<br /><br />To explain: for the last ten years, once the speculator boom of the early Nineties ended, comic book sales in the U.S. have been in steady decline, and numerous publishers have gone out of business. In the last two years alone, high profile and established companies such as Crossgen, Future Comics, Chaos, and Dreamwave have gone belly up. The wave of comic book movies that have been crowding your local multiplex for the last few years have done nothing to slow down this trend. Therefore, to set up a new company in a declining industry takes guts, and for that, Best Sellers Illustrated have my respect.<br /><br />However, that doesn't change the fact that they're advertising their version of WOTW as an 'adaptation' - and it's not.<br /><br />If they said that it was 'a new, original story based on ideas and concepts contained within Wells' novel', then I wouldn't have a problem with it. But they're insisting on calling it an actual adaptation.<br /><br />This is even more bizarre when you consider that Best Sellers Illustrated are clearly intent on claiming the gap in the market formerly filled by Classics Illustrated.<br /><br />Classics Illustrated was a series of comic books that adapted famous works of literature - not just novels, but also plays, collections of short stories, even the fairy tales & fables of the Brothers Grimm, Hans Christian Anderson, and Aesop. I'm not sure of the exact dates, but I believe they began publication in the Fifties and continued until the Seventies or possibly the Eighties. The intention of the series was to introduce children to these classic works and their authors, and the series remains critically acclaimed & highly regarded.<br /><br />So for Best Sellers Illustrated, who apparently want to establish themselves as the heirs to Classics Illustrated, to commence their new range of titles with a book that not only isn't an adaptation, but an unofficial cash-in on a movie loosely based on WOTW (thus making it twice removed from Wells' novel) is extremely disappointing.<br /><br />Incidently, in their two page advertisement for their version of WOTW on pages 254 - 255 of Diamond Distributors' Previews Volume 15 #3 (March 2005 issue), Best Sellers Illustrated state that 'The War of the Worlds Begins Now' and that 'It's the perfect way to launch what promises to be the year's biggest event!' <br />The intention is clear: while we on this forum, and anyone else who's been following the development of the Paramount movie, are aware that Best Sellers Illustrated's WOTW is nothing to do with Spielberg's film, the advert is designed to trap the casual, unwary punter into thinking that it's an official tie-in (if it actually was an official adaptation of Paramount's version, I wouldn't have a problem with it either - I'd accept it for what it was, namely a piece of to-be-expected marketing).<br /><br />I can fully understand why it makes good business sense for Best Sellers Illustrated to do this. Why shouldn't a fledgling company, taking it's first cautious steps in a cut-throat industry, play it safe by riding on the coat-tails of a cashcow such as Paramount's WOTW? <br /><br />But for a company attempting to inherit Classics Illustrated's legacy, it's doesn't do their credibility any favours. <br />I'll watch their future output with interest. If they go onto produce faithful adaptations of acclaimed novels, then their WOTW can be regarded as a single mercenary blip. If however they announce that their version of All Quiet on the Western Front will contain all new (American) characters and be transplanted to modern-day Iraq, on the basis that this makes 'more relevant to today's audience', then ... well, I told you so.<br /><br /> <br /> <br /><br /><br />


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