Sunday, October 2, 2016

Complaint 1: Photonovels

Star Trek photonovel
Beginning of rant:

I hate photonovels.

Photonovels are graphic novels--and manga--in which the panels are selected scenes from an already extant movie/series.

Howl's Moving Castle, of which I am quite fond, has a photonovel series. It makes me very sad.

The problems with photonovels ares (1) one might as well watch the movie or episode. I suppose if someone was stuck on the edge of civilization where one couldn't even get movies on one's phone (which nowadays, yeah, people can), the photonovel might serve a purpose. Otherwise, why bother? Why not engage with the real thing?

(2) The scenes are selected to remind the reader of the original story, not for artistic value. 

Manga art can be incredibly clever and evocative; one comes away with a slightly different interpretation of the story based on the artist's choices, from point of view to perspective to additional text.

So, for example, even a manga that follows a series (rather than preceding it), if drawn, can still deliver a different feel. Reading such a manga volume--Library Wars, for instance--provides the reader/viewer with a new "take," like seeing a classic fairy tale in different garb (another of my favorite hobbies is retold fairy tales). One comes away expanded, fulfilled, entranced, and thoughtful.

The photonovel doesn't provide a different perspective and even the perspective it does provide is rarely artistic or connotative. That is, the person who slapped the photonovel together isn't carefully selecting or editing particular scenes to tell the story in a unique way. (Hey, let's present the movie this way!)

The photonovel is not all that different, really, from pasting pictures on a sheet and flipping through them, so they move. Doing so would be far more engaging than reading the stupid thing.

Okay, end of rant.

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