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Veronica Mars as a Comic?

Check out the story here.

“And I had a meeting with DC Comics last Monday and they want to do (Season 4) as a comic series.” – Rob Thomas

That would be pretty darn cool, wouldn’t it?

And I love the fact that it was DC Comics that pitched Rob Thomas about it, and not the other way around. I am mightily impressed with DC’s initiative. You might argue that they are only doing so after seeing the success Dark Horse is having with Buffy Season 8, but even so, it’s still an impressive move by DC, I think.

Thanks to Ain’t It Cool News for the story link.

23 Comments

Makes too much sense not to give it a shot. A decent number of Veronica Mars viewers (like me) are the comic book type, so it’s guaranteed not to be a total bomb, but they also have rabid fans who are distraught over the cancellation who’ve never bought a comic book before. Stick Veronica on the cover and a bunch of promos for your other titles, and you might just create a few new regular customers.

If Serenity and Buffy are any indication, it’s safe to assume that it’ll sell like hotcakes…

-M

Not a “Veronica Mars” fan myself, but why not? More differentatied product (even if its licensed) can’t hurt.

Two things I’d like to see:

1. DC launches this series with the title “Veronica Mars, Girl Detective!” (Including the exclamation point.)

2> After this series is successful, DC brings back “Welcome Back Kotter.” The time is right for Vinnie, Horshack, Boom Boom and all the rest of the Sweathogs to make their big comeback! *cross fingers!*

I would rather have a Danny Phantom season 4 comic.

Oh yeah baby, can Misfits of Science Season 2 be far behind?

I really hope this happens. I’ve been a fan since season one, and I’d love to see it hang around as a comic.

Ah, mainstream comics . . .where mediocre genre shows go when they die.

DOGPILE ON JOE!

…seriously, I like Veronica Mars a great deal. Nancy Drew in Raymond Chandler’s world. It’s smart and funny and layered and generally a terrific show.

That said, I really, REALLY hope it doesn’t become a DC comic. I don’t think it would translate well at all. Novels maybe. Comics just wouldn’t work.

Buffy works as a comic because she, you know, SLAYS VAMPIRES!! What is Veronica Mars going to be other than a lot of talking and some occasional, brief, very grounded in real life action?

The comparison doesn’t work very well. I guess there are some straight up crime/mystery books in comics, but they usually have a fantastic or super-hero element to them. The most popular in recent memory (Sleeper, Gotham Central, Powers, Alias, Sam and Twitch) all had those elements. What will be the point of Veronica Mars?

I basically agree, Ian…this probably won’t be a good comic. But don’t forget “Criminal” and “100 Bullets” for popular crime comics without a fantastic bent. It can be done.

(Not that I think 100B has been any good for the last five years…but plenty of people do.)

I had a feeling something like this might go down…After an astoundingly brilliant first season and a solid if uneven second season, the third season left a horrible taste in my mouth, with the noir elements played down in favor of teenage focus group crap…hopefully by working in another medium, Rob Thomas will get the creative freedom to rectify all that…

Criminal did occur to me as the exception actually. However what didn’t occur to me is that like 100 Bullets (which I didn’t even think of) there is some hard-core action/violence intermingled throughout.

I haven’t really watched Veronica Mars, but is the show really that bloody?

It’s not really bloody at all.

But that’s okay. Does the medium of comics really require a lot of action? I wouldn’t have thought so. If they can capture the tone and feel of the show, with good stories, it could be good. There are a few reasons why such a comic might fail but no reason that it has to fail.

Oh, and I just thought of this… would DC put a Veronica Mars comic in the Minx line?

I would be happy to buy this, but I also don’t know how well this would work as a comic. But I would definitely give it a shot.

Anything that’s done well that has the potential to bring new readers to the medium of comics is always a Good Thing.

Does the medium of comics really require a lot of action?

Not at all. Check out Maus sometime for a brilliant character-driven comic.

I’ve never seen Veronica Mars, so I have no idea if that is relevant. But I do get tired of the idea that only action-oriented (and preferably super-hero) stories can be told in comics. I love action packed stories, and I love super-hero stories. But the medium is capable of so many other things.

Actually, my reservations aren’t related to ‘action.’ It’s more about pacing and density of content. Comics are a very abbreviated, shorthand way of storytelling. Comic books that try to go long-form still feel very sparse compared to a TV serial, and single issues of long-form comics stories are really unsatisfying. I think the translation would be especially hard to make with a premise like Veronica Mars, which is packed with nuance and throwaway bits and, oh yeah, CLUES. One of the reasons Veronica worked so well AS a mystery show was because of the incredibly clever foreshadowing and conscientious fair-play attitude it always had towards constructing a mystery, and because it took its time to let the story unfold.

Mysteries are notoriously difficult to do in comics by themselves. Add all the layered nuance and so on to what one would expect from a Veronica Mars-style mystery and I think the comic will fail on several different levels… none of which are about “action.” Raymond Chandler doesn’t translate well to comics either.

And on top of all that, is there anyone out there who can say with a straight face that Buffy the comic is equal to Buffy the TV show? That they are equivalent storytelling experiences? Buffy season 8, the comic, works mostly because it’s the only game in town for an audience that’s starved for it. If the story was being televised, fans would be screaming bloody murder about how it’s not a patch on seasons 2 and 3.

“It would be very difficult to translate into a comic,” I get, Greg, but “I really, REALLY hope it doesn’t get made into a comic,” I don’t get.

If there had never been a good mystery comic book, then I guess I could understand, but there have been – it’s just difficult to achieve.

And “it will be hard to do, so I hope they don’t try” just seems like an odd position to take, especially as this is, as others have mentioned, a nice way to bring newer readers into comic book stores – something you’ve been quite supportive of, right?

Pessimism I understand, but your position sounds more like defeatism, which I don’t understand (at least from you, that is).

MAUS doesn’t have a lot of action, but it has a reason for being in comic form because the art is expresionistic and adds a whole level to the story. Same with most non-action comic stories.

Don’t get me wrong you can do a comic without action, but if you don’t have some other reason for making it a comic, why not just write a novel.

Some good non-action comicbooks: American Elf, Goodbye Chunky Rice, American Splendor, and many more. The art adds somemthing to the comic.

A comic about Veronica Mars would be a bunch of talking heads would it not? It kind of seems like doing a comic about Friends or Law and Order. Wouldn’t prose be a better medium?

(I’d like to point out that I have absoultley nothing against Veronica Mars and have no animosity towards its fans. Additionally, I have no particular love for Buffy)

Pessimism I understand, but your position sounds more like defeatism, which I don’t understand (at least from you, that is).

Some things sound like bad ideas from the get-go. I’d rather have no Veronica Mars than bad Veronica Mars. You are missing my main point, which is not “licensed comics are inferior,” or “mystery comics are hard.” I love a lot of licensed books. If somebody was just pitching a comic book about a teenage girl solving mysteries to DC, I’d be first in line to cheer them on.

This is not the case here. We’re talking about continuing a story from a show with three years’ worth of dense continuity, a show that for most of its existence was telling stories that took weeks to unfold, that was doing mystery and contemporary urban drama and social criticism and even a kind of gothic suspense, all at once, and boiling it down to a monthly 22-page comic book. I think that’s the wrong format for Veronica Mars and that it will be inherent in the format for an attempt at a comics version to be unsatisfying to those of us that really enjoyed the show. If we’re to have a continuation or conclusion, this is a story that would work better as a novel, like Max Collins did with Dark Angel.

Oddly enough, on the other hand, I think Dark Angel would make a hell of a fun comic. I’m not a grinch about the concept as a whole. That was a show where it makes perfect sense to keep going in comic-book form. Veronica Mars, on the other hand… not so much.

And speaking of being a big mean grinch about this particular DC project, I didn’t even get to the part about the history of Big Name Hollywood People when it comes to getting a comic book out on time, or even finishing one. It’s not “defeatism” to look at the record of comics in cases like this, assess the odds on a new project, and suggest that probably it won’t go well. It’s skepticism, maybe pessimism…. and if I’m a pessimist, I have cause.

It’s all in execution.

Schindler’s List and Weekend at Bernie’s are both film. Same medium, drastically different results.

There is no reason a Veronica book couldn’t work, they just need to be creative. Many times I’ve seen writers from other disciplines (novelists, TV writers) add in a page or two of prose to make sure the got everything they needed “into” the 22 pages.

I’d like to see the dangling plot lines resolved, so I’d buy pretty much anything, a novel, a comic book, Broadway musical…

I’d buy this if it came out…well. If it came out and I’d heard good things about it.

Ian – what’s coming through to me in your comments is that you aren’t criticising Veronica Mars, but you are selling the comic medium short. It’s an increadibly versatile medium – although possibly not used to it’s fullest potential most of the time (which, granted, this probably wouldn’t either). The emphasis on ‘comicky’ things like ‘superheroes’ and ‘action’ are stereotypes – comics can and have subverted those stereotypes abd gone beyond such limiting genre boundaries. What comics produce that other mediums don’t is the relationship between text and image – which I would think, as adapting from a filmic medium, would be a better transition from just prose (if done right.)

“A comic about Veronica Mars would be a bunch of talking heads would it not?” That depends if it’s done well or done badly. If it’s done badly, then you’re right it would be talking heads. that’s almost entirely down to the creative direction. In his book ‘Graphic Storytelling’ Eisner warns against large amounts of dialogue resulting in talking heads if the artist doesn’t circumvent it through doing interesting things with the images too (i.e telling a complimentary or contradictary narrative through the art). Have you ever read the Anita Blake books or comic? If not I’ll summerize – the books are basically an adult Buffy; she kills vampires it fulfils a lot of the criteria you mention for a Buffy comic. They did it as a straight adaptation of the first book and it added nothing because they didn’t adapt to the medium. Consequently it basically was just…talking heads and very dialogue heavy – but it didn’t have to be. It was just done badly.

“One of the reasons Veronica worked so well AS a mystery show was because of the incredibly clever foreshadowing and conscientious fair-play attitude it always had towards constructing a mystery, and because it took its time to let the story unfold…a show that for most of its existence was telling stories that took weeks to unfold, that was doing mystery and contemporary urban drama and social criticism and even a kind of gothic suspense, all at once, and boiling it down to a monthly 22-page comic book.”

Greg – you have a point. That said, once of the advantages *of* comics is conveying a lot of information in a short space. In terms of foreshadowing and constructing a mystery and letting the story unfold it might work better as a graphic novel (or collecting the monthly 22 page comic books into a bigger edition(s) at the end).

Ha. I’ve just noticed the date on this. 2008 and no Veronica Mars Comic Book I guess it’s not going to happen.

*posts anyway*

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