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Thursday, 3 April 2014

On Comics, Their Adaptations and Giving some credit

Comics in Pop Culture

Influential Quotes without the Source

I am sorry, even I can't make sense of what that title is. 

What I am trying to tell you is, is about the emotions that run through me as a comic book fan. 

Recently on Facebook I read a quote from a friend, that quote was said by the Joker...from the Dark Knight movie, of course.

 It got me thinking once again about a very vital and terrific influence comic books have left on pop culture history and the masses who consume it.

I thought long and hard about how important the Dark Knight as a film was in showing the serious sides that comics have and are presumed to not have. I've gone back and again in the years to watch the film and see the reviews, with many a critic and movie goers exclaim how this iteration of Batman is what comics should be. 

In fact, I vividly remember an argument with my class mate on why he should watch comic book 
movies. He in turn told me how childish I am to like such stuff, and how the only comic book based movie he could stand was Dark Knight because it apparently took itself seriously. 

This brings me back to the quote (that I saw on Facebook). 

Even if cbm's are popular now, comic books aren't, at least not in the part of world I come from or I lived in (although it is catching up here in India). 

It's not like every person or most people who loved the movie, statistically picked up the book and continued onwards for a lengthy period. You can't blame them though, even with a reboot; DC has a convoluted universe of stories and mythologies to its characters. Heck I myself, had seriously began reading Batman a year prior to The Dark Knight and only because I knew the movie was coming. 

The thing is, I don't think when it comes to CBM's that their sources get their due as much as they should. This maybe because, of lengthy decades long worth of material to pick from; the comic book movies tend to not follow one particular storyline. 

This is much more seen true to everybody for The Dark Knight Trilogy, where everyone thinks and knows that the theme of those films is a realistic world with a vigilante in it. No superpowers, just a guy with gadgets but in a bat suit. As such they believe that the comic books had no major influence on Nolan's work.

Yet from the smallest of ticks in performances, to the larger writing and certain scenes and dialogues; Christopher Nolan actually adapts a lot from the history of the Caped Crusader. I just wish sometimes that apart from the really invested nerds, the wide world would know that. 

Of course, I do want to make an apology. I'm not venting my frustrations here at anybody, heck I'm just typing and typing without having a concrete point.

Still let me just do what I was initially going to do, give a bit of Joker quotes from the comics and you might also see the influences they had on Dark Knight and any other adaptations; 

Some Mad Quotes

'All it takes is one bad day to reduce the sanest man alive to lunacy'-The Joker, Killing Joke by Alan Moore

'You had a bad day once, am I right? I know I am. I can tell. You had a bad day and everything changed. Why else would you dress up as a flying rat? You had a bad day, and it drove you as crazy as everybody else... Only you won't admit it! You have to keep pretending that life makes sense, that there's some point to all this struggling! God, you make me want to puke. I mean, what is it with you? What made you what you are? Girlfriend killed by the mob, maybe? Brother carved up by some mugger? Something like that, I bet. Something like that... Something like that happened to me, you know. I... I'm not exactly sure what it was. Sometimes I remember it one way, sometimes another...'-The Joker, Killing Joke by Alan Moore

'If I'm going to have a past, I prefer it to be multiple choice!'-The Joker, Killing Joke by Alan Moore

'It's all a joke! Everything anybody ever valued or struggled for...A monstrous demented gag! So why can't you see the funny side! Why aren't you laughing?'-The Joker, Killing Joke by Alan Moore

A whole conversation that you need to read just to see how brilliantly comics can be written, and with the right dose of subtext that not even movies can get;

'Parting is such a sweet sorrow dearest. Still, you can't say we didn't show you a good time. Enjoy yourself out there... in the asylum. Just don't forget -- if it ever gets too tough... there's always a place for you here.'-The Joker, to Batman who he brought to the Asylum, Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth

'Flattery will get you nowhere. You're in the real world now and the lunatics have taken over the Asylum. April sweet is coming...'-The Joker, to Batman when he insults him, Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth

'Look at me; I'm a bird, I'm a plane...I'm a Bat!'-The Joker, Justice by Alex Ross

'Why be a disfigured outcast when I can be a notorious Crime God? Why be an orphaned boy when you can be a superhero?'-The Joker, Batman 663 by Grant Morrison

'I'm not mad at all. I'm just differently sane'-The Joker, Joker painting the idea that he isn't insane but rather he is super-sane AKA ahead of the curve, Batman and Robin by Grant Morrison

'You'll never be sad, and you'll never be lonely. You'll always have me to dance with'-The Joker, Batman Confidential

Granted this was a quote from 2008 when the movie released, but it was just to reinforce the decades idea of no Batman without Joker. 

There's a lot more and better ones as well, but the gist of it is that a lot of Joker's famous quotes formed the dialogues of the films and elements of other adaptations. His most famous story is from Killing Joke, which is why it takes prominence here.

Not trying to offend anyone here, I just wish I can get someone to pick up the books once in a while. Hopefully more such articles will reinforce that. 

If not, I always have the opportunity to do that through the comics I write myself.

PS: There's a lot more than just these quotes that influenced the Dark Knight Trilogy, watch out for a post on that titled 'The Dark Knight Trilogy: The Influences it took and the ones it left'   

'Nuff Said

Aneesh Raikundalia 

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