1) French cartoons
The comic book series "Asterix" by Goscinny and Uderzo
has been analyzed by historians and other 'academix' several
times. The Asterix books I have concentrate on Asterix'
(quite accurate) portrayal of the Roman Empire - email me
if you need the exact titles.
Asterix has also been made into about a half-dozen movies -
cartoons at first, now digitally enhanced films with real actors.
The latest one, "Asterix & Cleopatra" with Christian Clavier
as Asterix and Gerard Depardieu as Obelix, apparently sold
more tickets in France than "Titanic". For info on the Asterix
films, just search akas.imdb.com for "Asterix". Oh: Amazon.com
has some 190 books, 6 VHS tapes, but no DVD with "Asterix".
Asterix is also turning into a regional phenomenon: Dialect translations
are appearing for many small regions, even those which linguists
put together as one area. In Vienna, dialect poet HC Artmann
did an Asterix version; others have been translated into Bavarian
and other dialects by local celebrities and/or writers.
"Barbarella" was originally a French comic. The 1969 film with
Jane Fonda is cheesy, but great (even if "Hanoi Jane" later said
she had deep regrets about showing so much bare skin). There
seems to be a remake in the works, with Drew Barrymore as
Barbarella. [The new "Barrymorella" is being written as a PG-12
movie, so expect it to be a puritanically-correct, no-nudity version *sigh*]
2) German cartoons / films
German cartoonists have become very successful on their
home markets, some of the films even made it to the US. Here's a
list sorted by cartoonist
2a) Ralf Koenig:
Kondom des Grauens (Killer Condom)
Based on a cartoon which styled itself quite like a film...
a genetically engineered condom which lives off, well,
human fleshy bits that are put into it. And a muscular,
gay police detective...
Der Bewegte Mann (Mabe, Maybe Not)
Young man is thrown out by his girl because he cheated on
her... and moves in with a gay guy he met a few days earlier.
He's too dumb to notice that the guy's in love with him, and
the girlfriend's pregnant... lots of unexpected things happen.
Loosely based on a cartoon of the same name, uses real
actors (though it may be debated whether Til Schweiger is
really an actor or just likes to pretend he can act *grin*)
2b) Walter Moers:
Kleines Arschloch ("Little Bastard" in the - not very
literal - US translation. It's based on an irreverent
cartoon series about a real nightmare of a kid...)
Kaept'n Blaubaer (literal title translation would be
"Capt'n Blueberry" - a seafaring, semi-retired bear
who tells his grandchildren swaggering stories about
his monumental battles with evil (all true, of course!).
Refreshingly "different" adventure with "wave dwarves"
(the little guys who make the ocean move), arch-
nemesis and play-by-mail-chess-partner Feinfinger,
evil "real estate sharks" in the "Capitalist Ocean",
man-eating moles and much more...
The children's cartoon series has also spawned an
animated TV series for small children, a novel for
grown-up readers, and more. Full of great language-
based jokes (which may be the reason why it doesn't
seem to be available in the US)
Broesel (Roetger Feldmann)
Based on a popular cartoon series about a boozing,
hard-rocking biker who works as a plumber's assistant,
several "Werner" movies appeared. If I remember right,
the second one has the cartoonist acting a main role (an
unfortunate choice), but the latest film was excellent (cartoon
only). Lots of merchandise items available :-)
A children's book by Hans de Beer was the basis for a
series of TV shorts (for the "Sendung mit der Maus"
kid's programme). Now Warner is distributing the film
in Germany (DVD) - it seems to be a really sweet
polar children's adventure where a little ice bear, a
polar goose called Peep, a penguin and a little Eskimo
girl together fight an evil, polluting fishing trawler.
2e) Otto Waalkes
German comedian Otto made several trashy comedies
and also created the "Ottifant" cartoons. The cartoon film
"Kommando Stoertebeker" seems to be based on these
3) US cartoons / films
Superheros? Superman, Batman, Spawn are all based on US
comic books. Superman has been analyzed several times (email
me if you need the exact title of a (german) Superman analysis
book I've got at home).
There are several Peanuts films (all the ones I know have the word
"Snoopy" in the title, which makes them easy to find on IMDB) :-)
Kevin Smith's "Jay and Silent Bob" have a weird history: Originally
just a small side-plot in Clerks, they keep reappearing in more
of Smith's films (Mallrats, Chasing Amy, Dogma) - and now apparently
got their own movie, "Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back". This film is about
Jay&Bob fighting against their own cartoon series (which is actually being
produced AFAIK). Silent Bob, by the way, is played by Kevin Smith.
Lara Croft: Tomb Raider - originally a mediocre game which was
hugely successful (there are speculations in the game industry that
the game's success had a lot more to do with the main character's
body proportions than with a the usual sales arguments of advanced
programming technology and good gameplay). After the game's huge
success, there were a few issues of a licensed Tomb Raider cartoon,
and of course the movie.
Editor, DVD-Home Magazine (Germany)
----- Original Message -----
From: zoughi <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Monday, March 11, 2002 7:41 PM
Subject: Comic Book Aesthetic
> I am looking for any academic papers on the topic of the comic book
> aesthetic. I am interested on seeing how the comic book medium has
> influenced the content and form of film. If you know of any movies that
> were originally comic books (besides the superhero movies) I would really
> appreciate it.
> For past messages, visit the Screen-L Archives:
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