Sunday, April 27, 2008

Serenity: Those Left Behind
By Joss Whedon, Brett Matthews, Will Conrad, Laura Martin

This story takes place between the TV series and the movie. It feels much like an episode of the show, maybe a two-parter. The dialog and story beats fit. Will Conrad and Laura Martin make the characters look like the actors.

The art is strong. It conveys the same world, the same "look" as the show. Martin's colors are an equal part of the equation with Conrad's pencils/inks. The lighting effects add to the dramatic quality, and some of the space scenes would be hard to follow without the colors to distinguish and shape the objects on the page.

I liked the story, but it wasn't quite like the show. Some film properties translate well to books. (I've enjoyed several Star Wars novels.) I'm not sure that Firefly is one of them. I didn't like the movie b/c i felt it departed too much from the show, thematically and stylistically. This comic matches the show better, but the intangibles added by the cast are missing. A new Firefly comics series has begun recently. I'll try it and see if this trend continues.

The detail and "realism" of the art detracts from the storytelling, IMO. The characters look mostly like the people from the show, the sets look like the sets, etc., but there isn't much sense of movement. I don't know why not b/c i'm not sure what makes static images in panels convey motion in the first place. It happens in lots of comics, but it doesn't happen here, or it doesn't happen often enough that it stood out to me. Or maybe it's just that no drawing of Inara can ever be as gorgeous as the "real" Inara