by Peter Jurewicz
After watching the most recent episode of AMC’s The Walking Dead I was both confused and wondering why such a big change from the comics storyline? Now don’t worry, if you haven’t seen the most recent episode, or plan on reading the books, I’m not going to ruin anything for you. When it comes down to it Geeks are passionate about things. Whether you’re a geek for comics, music, cars, art, television or movies we sometimes have to learn to let go. Around ten years ago now, X-Men debuted on the big screen and right off the bat it was a huge change from its comic book roots, and it was praised by critics and fans. I don’t know for sure if it was just because we’d been dying to see Wolverine pop his claws in a live action form for so long that we forget that he isn’t an original X-Man or what, but we let a lot of things slide. But when it came down to the sequels, we got downright nasty.
With X2: X-Men United we started to point out flaws in our actors and story. We said things like “This character would be older” or “That character should be dead by this time.” Then when X3 came out, we bashed it. “JUGGERNAUGHTS NOT A MUTANT!” “WHY’D YOU KILL CYCLOPS?!” and so on and so forth. After having attended film school, you start to realize you have to let go. Comics and movies (or TV), don’t always translate well between their formats. Why do we love Batman Begins when it is so very different from the book? Why do we love it yet we will jump to bash another comic book movie, like X3, for being so different?
The point is we as geeks have to let go sometimes. You can’t fit a years worth of comic book storylines into a two hour movie or sometimes even a 6 or 7 episode story arc for television. If we made a movie or TV show EXACTLY like its comic counterpart, the non-geeks who aren’t familiar with it out there would probably turn their noses up at it. You can’t make everyone happy and that’s the truth. I long ago accepted that nothing is going to be 100% like the comic book or novel it’s based on, even the Green Mile was different than the book! If you have trouble letting go, think of it this way. Batman in the comic books, is Batman of Earth 1, Batman Begins is Earth 45. They’re two different beasts and are going to be different somehow.
So for those of you, myself included, who watched The Walking Dead tonight and are already saying you’re not watching anymore, give it a chance. I’m not saying the TV show is going to be better or worse than the book, but we owe it to the books creators and the shows creators to give them a chance to tell a different story. Besides, who would want to watch an EXACT copy of a book they’ve already read? Where’s the fun in knowing exactly what’s going to happen??