Sunday, September 09, 2007

Southland Tales

Over the last few weeks my normal schedule has gotten a bit wonky and my reading has suffered for it. But I'm nearly done with a 3-in-1 Michael Moorcock collection, and in the meantime I finally finished the last chapter of Richard Kelly's Southland Tales. This is Kelly's follow up to Donnie Darko, one of my top ten films and perhaps the only movie in recent years to generate an honest to goodness cult following. Needless to say expectations are high.

So, what Kelly has decided to do is write an overly ambitious story about the apocalypse occurring in Southern California. Now what really makes this such an unusual project is that the story takes place over 6 acts, and the upcoming film is only the second half. The first half was produced as three graphic novels, incorporating large portions of a film script. Unsurprisingly the early hype regarding the movie has been less than promising.

Which at last brings me to the comic. The story is a bit hit and miss as none of the characters are particularly easy to identify with. I found this particularly disappointing as that was what Donnie Darko did best. The books also suffer from the obvious lack of a resolution that film (which still doesn't have a release date) will provide. But there are plenty of good ideas in here and the art from Brett Weldele gorgeous. The story is certainly worth checking out, but I would probably say to wait for the movie.

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