30 Movies You Didn't Know Were Comics

Art School Confidential (2006)

The Movie: Cartoonist Daniel Clowes’ first solo screenwriting attempt reteamed him with director Terry Zwigoff for the tale of an art student (Max Minghella) who finds that he will do anything to get the girl and the appreciation of his peers.

With a cast featuring Sophia Myles, John Malkovich, Anjelica Huston and Jim Broadbent, the movie took a blackly humorous look at the dubious value of art school.

Based On: A short strip by Clowes in a 1991 issue of Eightball lampooning the various stereotypes encountered at art school.

Faithful To The Source Material? There were significant alterations, considering the direct involvement of Clowes. Necessarily, it introduced a narrative and characters to the short piece, but was also sadly lacking in the complete contempt that the original reserved for the business of teaching art.

Jonah Hex (2010)

The Movie: Josh Brolin struggled to carry this universally panned western despite the support of a promising cast including John Malkovich, Michael Fassbender, Michael Shannon, Will Arnett and... er... Megan Fox.

Horton Hears a Who director Jimmy Hayward proved himself to be out his depth in the tale of the mutilated bounty hunter on a mission of revenge.

Based On: The DC Comics character has starred in a string of titles since his creation by John Albano and Tony DeZuniga in a 1972 issue of All-Star Western .

Faithful To The Source Material? In typical Hollywood fashion, the movie version of Jonah Hex was far more sympathetic and noble than his merciless comics counterpart. The ability to speak to the dead was also a new addition to the character.

The Crow (1994)

The Movie: This supernatural tale of revenge is best known for the tragic on-set death of star Brandon Lee. The film is remembered fondly for its impressive action and the dark tone of the tale which sees a dead man return to life to seek revenge on the killers of his fiancée.

Based On: James O’Barr self-published the cult series as a way of getting over his own girlfriend’s death at the hands of a drunk driver.

Faithful To The Source Material? The tone and events of the movie stuck closely to the original, dreamlike comic.

Bulletproof Monk (2003)

The Movie: Coming out of the popularity of The Matrix and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon , Bulletproof Monk teamed martial arts master Chow Yun-fat with Hollywood funny man Seann William Scott. What followed was a fluffy and predictable but entertaining outing that mixed comedy and action.

Based On: Fan favourite Powers artist Michael Avon Oeming teamed with writers Brett Lewis, Gotham Chopra and RA Jones on the Image Comics miniseries.

Faithful To The Source Material? The core idea remained unchanged, although an extra element of comedy was added to the movie.

Barb Wire (1996)

The Movie: Pamela Anderson’s much derided sci-fi action is supposedly inspired by Casablanca, although we can’t quite see it ourselves. Set during the ‘Second American Civil War’ the film centres around nightclub owner Barbara ‘Barb Wire’ Kopetski and a struggle over weaponised AIDS and futuristic contact lenses.

It lost out to Demi Moore’s Striptease for the Razzie Awards’ Worst Film, just to show that it could have been worse.

Based On: John Arcudi, Lee Moder and Dan Lawlis’ Dark Horse Comics series.

Faithful To The Source Material? The film diverged greatly from the comic, which had been relatively well received but is said to have been killed by the horrible adaptation.

Alien Vs Predator (2004)

The Movie: Maybe it was inevitable that these two hit movie franchises would collide in the mother of all movie mashups. The film - which spawned a 2007 sequel - saw the two tribes of unstoppable aliens go head-to-head with a bunch of helpless humans caught in the middle.

Paul WS Anderson’s film is generally considered an entertaining but silly film that failed to capture the acclaim and originality of the original Alien and Predator films.

Based On: Dark Horse Comics had the idea for a showdown between the two deadly species long before, publishing the first comic in 1989. Later instalments would draw in The Terminator, Witchblade, Superman and Batman.

Faithful To The Source Material? Not at all. The original comic was set in the far future on a distant planet, while the film was based on Earth. The showdown concept was the only aspect to be reused.

Tamara Drewe (2010)

The Movie: Taking a step away from the stereotypical comic book movie, Stephen Frears comedy centres around a small English village, the residents of which are astounded by the return of Gemma Arterton’s Tamara Drew following her nose job.

Returning home following the death of her mother, the young journalist finds herself drawing the attention of Dominic Cooper and Luke Evans’ very different love interests.

Based On: Running in The Guardian between 2005 and 2007, legendary British cartoonist Posy Simmonds strip was a modern retelling of Thomas Hardy’s Far From the Madding Crowd.

Faithful To The Source Material? The film sticks largely to the original, but for the occasional tweaking and an altered ending.

Cowboys and Aliens (2011)

The Movie: Despite the impressive pairing of Harrison Ford and Daniel Craig, Jon Favreau’s mash-up tale of - you guessed it - aliens invading the Wild West failed to make much of a splash.

Craig’s amnesiac outlaw teams with Ford’s lawman and Olivia Wilde’s mysterious and beautiful stranger for an adventure featuring both futuristic gunfights and the traditional search for buried gold.

Based On: Scott Mitchell Rosenberg, Fred Van Lente and Andrew Foley’s Platinum Studios graphic novel was actually developed after the rights had been sold. Former Malibu Comics president pitched the idea to Universal in 1997 before publishing the story in book form in 2006 when the project continued to stall.

Faithful To The Source Material? Co-writer Roberto Orci has said that the graphic novel was adapted with sufficient changes to surprise cinemagoers who had already read the book.

Weird Science (1985)

The Movie: The John Hughes teen classic sees two high school nerds (Anthony Michael Hall and Ilan Mitchell-Smith) using their computer to create their perfect woman in the form of Kelly LeBrock’s Lisa.

Their supernaturally powered saviour sets about helping her creators find themselves girlfriends and emerge from the bottom of the social ladder. Watch out for a young Robert Downey Jr as one of the boy’s high school tormentors.

Based On: The film was based on Al Feldstien’s story 'Made of the Future' from a 1951 issue of the classic anthology from which the movie took its name.

Faithful To The Source Material? The film both expanded and modernised the original Weird Science story, which was set over 30 years before.

Monkeybone (2001)

The Movie: Henry Selick’s poorly-received film starred Brendan Fraser as Stu Miley, a disillusioned cartoonist who falls into a coma and finds himself in a fantasy world occupied by his own creation, Monkeybone.

Praised for its imagination but damned for its lack of focus or direction, even Whoopi Goldberg’s turn as Death couldn’t save the hybrid live action and stop-motion from its fate.

Based On: Mad Monkey Press’ Dark Town. Kaja Blackley and Vanessa Chong’s series telling ended on a cliffhanger which would never be resolved.

Faithful To The Source Material? The film took many of the concepts and characters from the book, but unlikely the comic, would receive a conclusion.