What we have here are two TV commercials promoting a two-volume graphic novel that adapts The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Stieg Larsson’s runaway best-selling prose novel and first installment of the “Millennium Trilogy,” originally released in 2005. The graphic novels are being published by Vertigo, an imprint of DC Comics that concentrates on material that is more mature than run-of-the-mill superheroes and adolescent power fantasies.
Take a look, and then we’ll discuss after the jump…
My first thought was, “Does anyone still remember that book?” When the movie adaptation was released last December – yes, it was that long ago – the Millennium Trilogy was already beginning to fade from popular consciousness, which is probably why the film failed to light the box office on fire. (I found it to be a wonderful adaptation of a really complex, very layered novel – with excellent acting, as well, so problem was not the movie itself.)
I also felt like Vertigo had announced this adaptation so long ago that I was sure it had already been published. But no; it’s still coming soon. So that’s another bad sign: Either the project was so troubled that it too this long to complete, or DC had shelved it in hopes that people would forget about it and they could start fresh.
The question I am left with after watching these two spots is: For whom were they made? This is a series of still panels of characters… talking. And talking. This is hardly going to appeal to people who have already read the books. The characters in the panels – with the exception of Lisbeth Salander herself – could be anyone. Is that Mikael Blomkvist, Henrik Vanger or Holger Palmgren in any of those frames? How does that draw in a potential reader?
I applaud Vertigo for spending the money to try to attract an audience to comic books via TV, but is this the best way to do it?
Volume 1 of the adaptation is available next Wednesday, and was written by mystery novelist Denise Mina and illustrated by Leonardo Manco and Andrea Mutti.