Nut Ink. Mini reviews of texts old and new. No fuss. No plot spoilers. No adverts. Occasional competency.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Shaun of the Dead (2010)

Author: Chris Ryall (based on a script by Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright) | Illustrator: Zach Howard / Sean Murphy | Page Count: 96

You've got red on you.”

If you've not already watched the FILM (2004), put your Hog Lumps down and go do that before you read the official adaptation because it’ll help you fill in the gaps, of which there are many.  That’s the consequence of editing a packed story down to just 96 pages, which is what Chris Ryall had the unenviable task of doing to Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright's original script.

There are of course things about the film that can’t be recreated in a comic medium, such as the long tracking shot as Shaun goes to buy the newspaper, and Queen on the Jukebox, both of which are highlights, but the sharp wit of the dialogue translates well and it’s that part of it that Ryall captures almost perfectly.  I say ‘almost’ because obviously the inflections are absent, but if you’re familiar with how Pegg and Frost speak then you can add them yourself.

The biggest casualty is that the absence of some of the quieter moments results in Shaun seeming more of an anxious depressive than the lovable loser he ought to be, and the bromance between he and Ed is compromised.

The artwork is excellent.  The resemblances are there but it’s also uniquely stylised.  There’s great use of free form lines, meaning it’s not overly rigid in its depiction.  It exaggerates some of the action scenes but hey, it’s a comic, it’s allowed to do that and it works in its favour.

A small number of panels are added showing events that aren't seen in the film but they’re nothing to get excited about.  The main difference from a story point of view is that some of the action is presented from a different character’s perspective.  That was a welcome change.

I consider it more of a fan-pleasing companion piece than a standalone work.  That way I can overlook the fact that locations change suddenly, characterisation of secondary characters is almost nil and the ending is even more abrupt than this.

3 dangerous vinyls out of 5

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