Why the War of the Worlds Comic Book Adaptation is a Masterpiece in its Own Right

Ian Edginton and D’Israeli are two names you may not have heard of. D’israeli recently collaborated with Warren Ellis on SVK, but mainly illustrates Ian Edginton scripts.

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I’ve read two of their works and thought they were both masterpieces. Kingdom of the Wicked’s initial description sounds contrived and treacherously derivative. The story is about a children’s author who begins to black out and hallucinate. His hallucinations are of a childhood fantasy land of his own invention. As time wore on, however, it also strode on in the land. In a particularly pessimistic metaphor for aging the land has become dark and war-torn. The conflict is lead by a hairless version of the author. Now this sounds like it dances on a slippery quagmire of obviousness. Thankfully however this is not the case. Ian Edginton manages to put an original twist on the story and creates a real threat to his character without resorting to uninspired and mainstream methods. The twist itself is so strange and uncompromising in its creativity that I implore you not to Google this book.

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D’israeli, who always makes good use of his computer captures a more whimsical, fairy tale side of his art. When he twists and corrupts this it becomes especially creepy. The book goes very dark places, and occasionally violent ones as well. One stands out however.

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As the main character catnaps in front of the television we can see a Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd representation chasing each other. As the main character completely slumbers Bugs and Elmer turn to each other and say “oh good he’s asleep,” or something of the sort. This is by far the most subtle of the translations from reality to fantasy. Even more disturbing is the fact that as the panels progress the cartoon characters become more and more disturbing. By the end of it Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd are leaking fluids of some kind and Bugs’ genitalia are flapping in the breeze.

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War of the Worlds is a whole different kettle of fish.

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WOTW creates some of the best cinematic storytelling I’ve seen in comics. This is clear shortly after the first transport lands. An orb on a rod extends from the ship. Three identical wide panels follow. The first shows the orb with the crowd in the background. Now you haven’t been familiarized with every member of the crowd you are aware of them as human beings. The next panel shows the orb turned to the left with a faint glow emanating from it. The left side of the crowd us covered in flames. The next panel is the same but on the right. The next series of panels track the main character up close through the action and chaos. The entire comic feels like it could be cinematography more so then any other work I’ve read.

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