The Sandman is a pretty mediocre TV show, but what’s more interesting is that this is due in large part to it being a terrible comics adaptation. The reason The Sandman is such a good comic is that it exploits the specific possibilities of comics as a form. Because they’re specific to the form, these features of the comic cannot be directly translated to a TV show; the challenge of adaptation is to find analogous modes of expression which work with the TV form. The show is so bland because it never finds such modes of expression, and indeed it rarely tries.
A little while back, Warren Ellis wrote an appropriately sharp post describing the Technological Singularity as “the last trench of the religious impulse in the technocratic community.” The post is worth reading for its own sake, but it’s also fun to read the hilariously pissy trackbacks from members of the singularitarian community. Belief in the singularity, part of the belief system called extropianism and/or transhumanism, is a strange thing; it’s probably best to understand it as one of America’s quaint 19th century excentricities, like libertarianism or private health care. Read more↴
Courtesy of the Internet, I’ve been reading Marvel’s recent comics “event” Civil War. Like all such comics crossovers, it’s largely an excuse to have superheroes get into fights with one another. What makes it actually rather enjoyable, though, is that the excuse in this case is a thinly-veiled version of the US government’s response to 9/11. There’s something fun about seeing superheroes beating each other up while attempting to debate the war on terror in old-school Marvel dialog. Mildly dumb though this is, it’s also extraordinarily charming in its ambition. For any form of popular entertainment these days to escape the solipsism of “postmodern” nostalgia is encouraging, and it’s particularly unexpected in superhero comics, a genre which appears to have been getting progressively more hermetically self-absorbed for the past 20 years.