BOOKS to TUBE to SCREEN

Storytelling worlds evolve.  Plays become operas become movies become essays become performance art.  Sherlock Holmes has been reincarnated and re-imagined every other year for over a century.  What compels creative people about favorite characters? How did a modest 1960s comic book (“Stan, we need  to throw together another team title to go against DC!”) that died after seven years turn into a billion-viewer motion picture franchise?  How did it find a way thrive over 50 years as members of the team changed and world culture changed around it?  I don’t have an answer.  But I think it has something to do with “translators.”  By 1992, thanks to Len Wein and Chris Claremont, people could see that the X-Men could be a memorable comic book, yet no one had been able to transfer that experience to another, larger medium.  Producer-Director Larry Houston got what was special about the books.  Chance put him, with the needed talent and experience and determination, in a position to give the X-Men a new kind of life.  Eager colleagues jumped in and helped. Writers who wanted to write movies, not commercials, crafted episodes. Suddenly conservative mainstream Hollywood, with its power to reach the world, which had had no clue what to do with the X-Men before this, could see and hear and feel it.  Looking at the picture below of Larry standing by the lobby art from the recent release of “X-Men: Apocalypse” reminded me about how 1963 became 1992 and has now become 2016.  Five-minute stories of drawings and thought-bubbles have morphed into 150-minute epics bursting with all-star casts.  Without Larry’s and others’ care and sensitive translator’s insight into the needs of a new medium, there would be no X-Men movies.

larry-at-movie

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