Saturday, November 3, 2007

Some Stardust for Birthday

My friend Simon tends to read the entire Sandman series written by acclaimed fantasy writer Neil Gaiman. I was told by my friend Edmund that Gaiman writes wonderfully in some of the books including Mirror Mask and AnansJustify Fulli Boys. The book which I picked up that I got hooked up with him is the book 1602 - voted the Quills Graphic Novel of 2006.

The second film adaptation of Gaiman to hit the screen is Stardust. I never read through the book but except to jump to the last part of the book. But it's the story of a out of luck guy who eventually finds that love is not bought but comes on its own. There has been some debate over the later part of the Harry Potter series where there is a serious debate of whether the love relationship between Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger was started out of Ron buying forher relationship. But thankfully, it was clarified at Deathly Hallows, but the debate was hot on this before the release of The Half-Blood Prince.

Let's go back to 1602 for a while. 1602 is a wonderful alternate universe placing Marvel characters in a different timeline. Stardust and 1602 has something in common, an entity, an object that serves the gateway to our world and the fantasy world. In the film, it's the small breach of the wall, in 1602, it's the anomaly of an object that brought Captain America to the past. They also share some similar things like an sky-ship, royalty figureheads, and magic that is seen in both books.

I may missed out the prologue of how Dunstan met Una but the segment that arguably cheered everybody was Septimus's men fighting against Captain Shakespeare (a nod to Bowfinger - shake the spear! ) While the circus music is blaring at the background, Captain Shakespeare was playing female transvestite and suddenly facing Septimus off guard. But I've anticipated how the story played out as in the book. Just as if Aragorn and Arwen ended up well until old age having children, yes they do have. Oops, I've spilled that out but the exposition of how Tristan and Yvaine ended up was simplified. In the book, Yvaine ends up as parallel as Arwen, except their origins.

There was something that I didn't understand. The film played in US in August but started playing here since yesterday. I wondered whether the distribution here is slow given of the audience demand here. In Europe, it played well solid. It didn't make much money but the story is well written and stayed true to the book's spirit. Gaiman recommended fellow novelist Jane Goldman to help Matthew Vaughan (Mr. Claudia Schiffer!) on adapting it as Gaiman was working on Beowulf.

Perhaps that was something to cheer for myself this weekend. You'll see in the next post later tonight or another 20 hours on!

1 comment:

  1. Gaiman's daughter was also a production staff on "Stardust" but most people working on the film didn't know that. She'd come home all the time telling her dad that the film-makers were making changes, deleting scenes, etc. from the original book.

    I bought the first-print four-issue "Stardust" circa 1997 (with the original Charles Vess covers) but never got around to reading it. Must've finished only about the first book or so. Actually got the set for May but she too didn't read it. We were, at that time, a little drained out by Gaiman's style already (having read many Sandman books as well). I also read about half of "American Gods", all of "Mr Punch", several chapters of "Coraline", your copy of "1602", Gaiman's work-for-hire stuff for McFarlane on "Spawn" and "Angela" and finally, his "lost" Green Lantern story. Oh yes, and I love his collaboration with Terry Prachett called "Good Omens" (heard there's a movie coming as well). :)


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