Between Watchmen in theaters and a leaked copy of X-Men Origins: Wolverine now playing on a computer near you, 2009's already had its fill of superheroes. But thanks to this weekend's Stumptown Comics Fest (see Feature, pg. 11), now's the perfect time to revisit comics-inspired movies of the non-spandex sort.
American Splendor (2003)—Harvey Pekar's autobiographical American Splendor comics have been legendary since 1976, and justifiably so; in the excellent film, he's played by Paul Giamatti, with occasional appearances by Pekar himself.
Ghost World (2001)—Crumb director Terry Zwigoff adapted Daniel Clowes' Ghost World into an affecting, melancholy film—then followed it up in 2006 with a less-successful Clowes adaptation, Art School Confidential.
From Hell (2001)—Back when Johnny Depp was just a kinda-weird actor who was mockingly referred to as "Jumpstreet," he starred in an adaptation of Alan Moore's Jack the Ripper comic. Nice one, Jumpstreet!
A History of Violence (2005)—David Cronenberg's creepy-as-hell flick stars Aragorn as a small-town restaurant owner... with a history of violence. (Eh? EH?)
Road to Perdition (2002)—Tom Hanks! Paul Newman! Jude Law! Prohibition! Gangsters! A road! To perdition! Wait. Whatever happened to Jude Law? Did he die?
Tokyo! (2009)—Michel Gondry's contribution to this self-proclaimed "omnibus triptych" is an expanded version of a story from Gabrielle Bell's Cecil and Jordan in New York... but, uh, translated into Japanese.
Tank Girl (1995)—I guess this movie's big with riot grrrls or something? Honestly, I don't even know what a riot grrrl is. They're like the Spice Girls, but uglier, right? Anyway, the only thing I remember about this thing is that Lori Petty does a dude who's half-human, half-kangaroo. Also, Ice-T is in it! As a different half-kangaroo dude! In related news, wow, fuck this movie.
30 Days of Night (2007)—What's scarier than vampires in Alaska? NOTHING. Who would you call for help? Dr. Joel Fleischman? EVERYONE KNOWS FISH-OUT-OF-WATER NEW YORKERS ARE USELESS AGAINST VAMPIRES.
Howard the Duck (1986)—Look, I just said all of these movies were based on non-superhero comics. I didn't say all of 'em were gonna be good.