DID YOU READ

ADAPT THIS: “The Nobody” by Jeff Lemire, plus a guest contribution from Brad Meltzer

the-nobody

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With Hollywood turning more of its attention to the world of graphic novels for inspiration, I’ll cast the spotlight on a new comic book each week that has the potential to pack a theater or keep you glued to your television screens. At the end of each “Adapt This” column, you’ll also find some thoughts from the industry’s top comic creators about the books they’d like to see make the jump from page to screen.


This Week’s Book: The Nobody by Jeff Lemire

The Premise: A modern retelling of the H.G. Wells classic The Invisible Man, award-winning comic creator Jeff Lemire’s graphic novel The Nobody imagines bandaged stranger John Griffen as a drifter who wanders into a small fishing village one day. After taking up residence at the local inn, the mystery surrounding this new visitor makes the locals suspicious, and eventually leads to a series of encounters that not only reveal Griffen’s darkest secrets, but also those of his new neighbors.

The Pitch: We’ve seen the story of The Invisible Man told in film countless times, but Lemire’s take on the classic tale is uniquely different from the rest. In , we get a look at the see-through scientist in the early stages of the madness that would eventually turn him from scientific genius to soulless villain.

Known for his careful, heartfelt exploration of the stories that make small-town life compelling, Lemire applied a similar approach to The Nobody, developing a very real, very flawed world around his bandaged protagonist. While the main narrative follows John Griffen’s experiences in the quiet fishing village, his story also serves as the common thread that brings together the lives of several residents, including a young girl who occasionally serves as narrator. Given the wealth of character arcs that develop around the story’s titular character, it’s the sort of premise that could easily lend itself to a single film or quite possibly an ongoing series, following Griffen from place to place as he wanders the world.

In the character of John Griffen, Lemire has put his own spin on the classic “Invisible Man” that makes him an even more tragic figure than usual — this time, casting him as a lonely soul battling with both the physical dilemma beneath his bandages and his own vanishing sanity. In many ways, John Griffen’s story is a lot like that of Marvel Comics’ own scientist-turned-monster, Bruce Banner. Like that character, Griffen has a secret monster that he’s growing unable to contain, and he’s forced to move from place to place in order to keep his secret.

The Closing Argument: In many ways, Lemire’s tale feels like a mix of the classic television series “The Incredible Hulk,” with Bill Bixby playing the wandering David “Bruce” Banner as he drifts from town to town trying to be left alone, and the 1996 Coen Bros. film “Fargo,” a dark tale of murder and mayhem that unfolds around Minnesota and North Dakota. While it lacks the flashy, overt chaos of “The Incredible Hulk” and its raging green behemoth, Griffen’s arrival in town results in a similar sort of upheaval, and it’s clear that he’s accustomed to things turning sour not long after he settles in. And much like “Fargo,” the setting of Lemire’s story also plays a crucial role in the tone of the tale, with the small, isolated community incestuously amplifying every suspicion, secret, and uncertainty.

While The Nobody would do well as a feature film, it’s easy to see its potential as a television series, too — with Griffen traveling from place to place, fighting his own inner demons, running from the past, and finding more trouble in every sleepy new village he visits.


This Week’s Comic Creator Recommendation: Replay by Ken Grimwood

“The premise is so simple. Man is at his desk. And dies. And wakes up in his freshman dorm room. He gets to replay his life, knowing everything he knows so he makes himself rich. But, when he reaches that same age, he again dies. And when he wakes up, he’s a junior in college. The space is shrinking. And money didn’t make him happy, so he still has no idea how he’s supposed to live his life. It’s so easy, and so much makes you think of your own life. When I graduated college, I tried to buy the rights even though I had no money. (And yes, I know Ben Affleck is now making it now. But not my version).”

Brad Meltzer, the New York Times bestselling author of The Inner Circle, The Tenth Justice, Book of Lies and countless other novels, as well as the Eisner Award-winning writer of the DC Comics series The Justice League and Green Arrow, and the host of “Brad Meltzer’s Decoded” on the History Channel.


Would “The Nobody” make a good movie? Chime in below or on Facebook or Twitter.

The-Craft

The ’90s Are Back

The '90s live again during IFC's weekend marathon.

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Photo Credit: Everett Digital, Columbia Pictures

We know what you’re thinking: “Why on Earth would anyone want to reanimate the decade that gave us Haddaway, Los Del Rio, and Smash Mouth, not to mention Crystal Pepsi?”

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Thoughts like those are normal. After all, we tend to remember lasting psychological trauma more vividly than fleeting joy. But if you dig deep, you’ll rediscover that the ’90s gave us so much to fondly revisit. Consider the four pillars of true ’90s culture.

Boy Bands

We all pretended to hate them, but watch us come alive at a karaoke bar when “I Want It That Way” comes on. Arguably more influential than Brit Pop and Grunge put together, because hello – Justin Timberlake. He’s a legitimate cultural gem.

Man-Child Movies

Adam Sandler is just behind The Simpsons in terms of his influence on humor. Somehow his man-child schtick didn’t get old until the aughts, and his success in that arena ushered in a wave of other man-child movies from fellow ’90s comedians. RIP Chris Farley (and WTF Rob Schneider).

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Teen Angst

In horror, dramas, comedies, and everything in between: Troubled teens! Getting into trouble! Who couldn’t relate to their First World problems, plaid flannels, and lose grasp of the internet?

Mainstream Nihilism

From the Coen Bros to Fincher to Tarantino, filmmakers on the verge of explosive popularity seemed interested in one thing: mind f*cking their audiences by putting characters in situations (and plot lines) beyond anyone’s control.

Feeling better about that walk down memory lane? Good. Enjoy the revival.

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And revisit some important ’90s classics all this weekend during IFC’s ’90s Marathon. Check out the full schedule here.

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Get Physical

DVDs are the new Vinyl

Portlandia Season 7 Now Available On Disc.

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GIFs via Giffy

In this crazy digital age, sometimes all we really want is to reach out and touch something. Maybe that’s why so many of us are still gung-ho about owning stuff on DVD. It’s tangible. It’s real. It’s tech from a bygone era that still feels relevant, yet also kitschy and retro. It’s basically vinyl for people born after 1990.

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Inevitably we all have that friend whose love of the disc is so absolutely repellent that he makes the technology less appealing. “The resolution, man. The colors. You can’t get latitude like that on a download.” Go to hell, Tim.

Yes, Tim sucks, and you don’t want to be like Tim, but maybe he’s onto something and DVD is still the future. Here are some benefits that go beyond touch.

It’s Decor and Decorum

With DVDs and a handsome bookshelf you can show off your great taste in film and television without showing off your search history. Good for first dates, dinner parties, family reunions, etc.

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Forget Public Wifi

Warm up that optical drive. No more awkwardly streaming episodes on shady free wifi!

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Inter-not

Internet service goes down. It happens all the time. It could happen right now. Then what? Without a DVD on hand you’ll be forced to make eye contact with your friends and family. Or worse – conversation.

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Self Defense

You can’t throw a download like a ninja star. Think about it.

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If you’d like to experience the benefits DVD ownership yourself, Portlandia Season 7 is now available on DVD and Blue-Ray.

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Stan Diego Comic-Con

Stan Against Evil returns November 1st.

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Photo Credit: Erin Resnick, GIFs via Giphy

Another Comic-Con International is in the can, and multiple nerdgasms were had by all – not least of which were about the Stan Against Evil roundtable discussion. Dana, Janet and John dropped a whole lotta information on what’s to come in Season 2 and what it’s like to get covered in buckets of demon goo. Here are the highlights.

Premiere Date!

Season 2 hits the air November 1 and picks up right where things left off. Consider this your chance to seamlessly continue your Halloween binge.

Character Deets!

Most people know that Evie was written especially for Janet, but did you know that Stan is based on Dana Gould’s dad? It’s true. But that’s where the homage ends, because McGinley was taken off the leash to really build a unique character.

Happy Accidents!

Improv is apparently everything, because according to Gould the funniest material happens on the fly. We bet the writers are totally cool with it.

Exposed Roots!

If Stan fans are also into Twin Peaks and Doctor Who, that’s no accident. Both of those cult classic genre benders were front of mind when Stan was being developed.

Trailer Treasure!

Yep. A new trailer dropped. Feast your eyes.

Catch up on Stan Against Evil’s first season on the IFC app before it returns November 1st on IFC.