Saturday, April 25, 2009

Pages From Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Comic

Chip Mosher, a longtime subscriber to the PKD newsletter before the intertubes and one of the guys over at Boom Studios who worked on the comic adaptation of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? sent me a couple pages from the very begining. Click to enlarge.

What do you guys think? Admittedly, I'm not much of a comic book guy, but these look pretty good. I guess I imagine Deckard as more of a bureaucrat. He looks a little too pumped up in these images, but I'm being picky. Isn't interesting to see how others imagine PKD's setting - and how that setting may always look like Ridley Scott's Blade Runner?


Isa Dick Hackett said...

Hi All-

We would love to hear feedback from fans on this! What do you like? What do you not like? We are working really hard with the guys at BOOM to make sure it's totally reflective of DADOES...I am humbled by the level of talent on this project. These comic "greats" have gathered out of the love and appreciation for DADOES.

Please do feel free to tell us what you think so far!



Kyle said...

Yes it looks great but both characters are too young and good looking for my idea of the book. I always though of them of older, more ground down and close to being beaten. Interesting project though.

Mike White said...

"I think it's kind of crappy"
He said.
"It'd be kind of nice," he paused, "if there was more of a show, don't tell philosophy behind it."

He re-read his work and hit the "Publish Your Comment" button with joy.

Craig D. said...

I'm liking the artwork. I think there's going to be a lot of crying about it looking too much like Blade Runner, but we need to keep in mind what PKD said about the movie capturing perfectly what was in his head; not to mention the fact that this comic, like any adaptation, is going to be an interpretation of the book and take artistic liberty.

The only complaint I have is that using PKD's text verbatim instead of adapting it is seeming more and more like a poor choice. Using text like "he said to her" and "Iran said" is simply unnecessary, and do we really need the text telling us that Deckard is seating himself next to Iran and taking her hands in his when we can see that happening right there on the page?

Anonymous said...

Deckard looks terrible, like batman. Too many muscles.

"I guess I imagine Deckard as more of a bureaucrat" I have the same imagine.

Anonymous said...

I would lose the "he said to her" and "Iran said" stuff.

When I read the galleys, I was thinking, "Uh...I know. It's a comic. I can see 'em talking."

These extraneous word balloons just get in the way of Deckard's superhero muscles. :) So I'd probably tone him down a bit.

Otherwise, it's looking good. And thanks for asking for folks' feedback.

Isa Dick Hackett said...

I hear you on Deckard RE the muscles. (The Deckard illustration on page five is not the final version.)

Hard to see in just the first five pages the major differences between DADOES and BLADE RUNNER, but it will become very obvious as the story progresses...

Input is appreciated --stay tuned....


David B. Ellis said...

He is a bit muscular for a PKD story.

I don't really care for the style of the comic. What I'd like to see is a comic using digitally manipulated photographs in a highly realistic, if slightly stylized (maybe monochromatic), style. I think that would work better than traditional comic book cartoons.

I saw something similar done very effectively in a graphic novel recently. Can't recall the title though.

Anonymous said...

The artwork is fantastic. BOOM! seems to have upped the quality of their work in the past year.

I have to respectively disagree Craig D when in comes to using PKD's text. I'm actually amazed out how well the creators made something not designed flow so well. It captures the rhythm of PKD's prose extremely well, IMO

pete said...

I read comics sometimes now, and read them obsessively up till 15 or 16.

The best thing these pages have going on is the layout (although I think it's odd the POV is largely from the floor, or below - almost like it's trying to be the OPPOSITE of Blade Runner since often the POV was from above in that movie.)

These characters are simply too good looking, and too pumped. It's kind of absurd, really. That's a fact.

Here's something that's not a fact, it's an opinion - the work I'd change FIRST, is the colorest, not the penciler. The people shouldn't be shiny, light shouldn't bounce off their skin. Their world is dingy and cultered. The dawn scene looks a bit too much like Metropolis (Superman's, not Fritz Lang's.)

In DADES more than half the apartments are empty. Trash is everywhere. The sky if full of radioactive dirt. It is not someplace I'd like to move. I need to not want to live there (outside of wounded, existential hero fantasies of course.) These pages are good, they might make a good intro to Palmer Eldrich - vain coporate guy, sleeping with hot girl, in spanky, wealthy looking city about to be bathed in sunlight. (Course, after the sun comes up, I wouldn't want to live in Palmer Eldritch world either.)

Also I agree with the other guys, all the "he said," "she said" stuff, and the descriptive content in boxes, simply has no place in a comic book. That's the whole point of making it a visual medium. It's honestly so annoying to read that I had trouble getting through these pages. (That sounds mean, but I'm just being honest.)

For a good reference to a "book to comic" adaptation that works well, check out Marvel's current versions of Ender's Game and Ender's Shadow. Now, don't get me wrong, Orson Scott Card is NO PKD, but his stories can be engaging and the comic versions are engaging and fluid. They seem natural as comics.

Really, in a comic, you either have brilliant art or you don't - a good or crappy comic can happen either way. I sometimes read stuff where they seem to believe a genius penciler is all it takes, so they spend about five seconds on the dialog, and what you wind up with is juvenile crap. Now, this work for DADES does not constitute brilliant art, but in and of itself its better than average, and that's great, as long as the storytelling is fluid (because all we need is fluidity from the talent here, the rest of the work PKD did forty some years ago.)

Sorry my comment is so long. I'm kinda jazzed up to hold forth on this subject because it's actually free comic day at my local Comic Book Store and I'm planning to head over there this afternoon!

Isa Dick Hackett said...

Hey, Gang-

These are great comments --keep them coming!

I've now heard this same comment about the "he said" and "she said" inclusion several times - and in various places. We'll discuss internally. It is a bit tricky as we are using the entire text -it is NOT an adaptation. (But the entire novel is, of course, being adapted visually.)

Pete --Your description of the DADOES world is spot on...The artwork should indeed reflect the "dusty" and mostly abandoned world. We will continue to work with the artists on this. To their cedit, they have been great about making adjustments as we go along...

Thanks again-


C.A. Chicoine said...

For me, when reading the book, I have a distinct vision of the characters in my mind's eye. The muscle-bound Rick of this comic, and the Deckard of Blade Runner do not fit the characterizations. If I had to illustrate how I believe the personalities, and demeanour of the characters are by using a "typecast" of a popular actor, here's who I would compare them to.

Rick Deckard : Matthew Broderick
Iran Deckard : Constance Bennett
Phil Resch : Jeff Goldlum
Eldon Rosen : John Malkovich
John Isidore : William Sanderson
Wilbur Mercer : Jonathan Pryce
Hannibal Sloat : William Hickey
Rachael Rosen : Sean Young
Luba Luft: Eva Marie Saint
Buster Friendly : Frank Morgan

Everyone has their own visions! But, do take into consideration the styles and "typical" performances of the actors I associated them with. (Note: NOT the Broderick of Ferris Bueller era, but of the "Godzilla" {1998} period.)

But, I'll take whatever you offer! I'm looking forward to this release.

Anonymous said...

Agreed things look too clean, too perfect, and that the colors could be less... shiny. Agreed also that Kyle is right and they look to young and pretty.

BUT all that means is that this doesn't look perfect, that there is room for improvement.

It also looks like it will be a fun read and a faithful read and I love the art - even if I don't love the character designs and the colors.

I'm sold. I'll be on the look out for it.

Anonymous said...

The main thing that leaps out at me is the really not very good and cornily idiomatic American comic-book-style art; characters look steroid-pumped up and facial features look like they're right off a generic "how to draw faces" sheet. There are some really good cartoonists out there who can breathe life into a graphic novel's characters. Some of the amazing artists in Metal Hurlant or other European comics come to mind. This looks too much like it was drawn by someone from American comics dark ages somewhere in the mid-Seventies and computer colored by someone with a rudimentary understanding of lighting and shadow.
DADOES is a classic piece of sci-fi literature. This comic wouldn't convince or convert anyone unless it had the visual appeal to carry the story along.

W. Owen Powell said...

Just reread DADoES for the first time since 1992, and I am force d to concur with pretty much every concern expressed above.

Particularly the cityscape; if they're worried about it resembling BR too much, they could easily make it look distinctly more San Franciscan instead. (It also bears pointing out that Phil actually saw the BR effects footage and said it was exactly what he imagined writing the book, so there's no particular reason why at least some of the mise en scène shouldn't continue to be at least somewhere close to the film.)

jose said...

Why is Deckard so muscular. In the book I feel that he is just an everyman, and in the film Harrison Ford spends so much time on his ass.

I think Rick's character should be toned down and get a good dosage of the ugly fallout stick in the face.

Make him rugged yet humanly fragile.

I really liked the Harrison Rick Deckard and find it difficult to distance myself from him anytime I mull over the text.

This behemoth of a Deckard just seems too alien and remote from the cunning and fragile character that I feel PKD created.

Milton Keynes is Vaporwave said...

Too late too join in on this one? Well, anyway, it's all been said, the characters look like actors in an American soap opera. And I really dislike the trend for computer inking in comic books, it looks too slick. Anyway, I do like to turn up 2 years late and complain.