Thursday, August 20, 2009

I Loves Me Some: The Black Hole

No, I'm not talking about Charles Burns' award winning series, although that's also good. I'm talking about the Whitman (Western Publishing) adaptation of the 1979 Disney movie. I am of the generation that was too young to truly spot the difference in quality between Star Wars, Battlestar Gallactica and The Black Hole. I had a Black Hole beach towel,a few of the action figures and various coloring books etc... I haven't seen the movie in nearly 30 year and I can't say that much of it has resonated with me, but when I had the change to pick up the adaptation for $1 per issue recently, I simply could not say no. I realized that I'd never read these as a child, and boy did I miss out.

I don't know who wrote the adaptation (the GCD has been driving me nuts these days), but he did a fantastic job by focusing on the key themes of the film and cutting out a lot of the fat. The script is very efficient; the characters are quickly introduced and we get right into the action (or lack thereof, perhaps). The great Dan Spiegle handles the art chores here, and he does a magnificent job of telling the story. His pacing is fantastic and what I discovered is that this is actually quite an interesting and tense tale. The characters all look quite different than the movie actors, and that's a good thing as they all have that Spiegle touch. His work on Dr. Reinhart is particularly great - with flowing hair and distinctive facial hair really give him the look of a mad scientist. This two-issue adaptation (also published as single volume) demonstrates that there's a lot of good stuff to be found in this story, and it's easier to digest once you've removed the 'funny' robot voices. Great stuff.


craig/benday-dot said...

I loved the Black Hole movie as well Scott. It blew me away when I was a kid. I remember as soon as I got home I got my dad to help me build a wooden model of the robot V.I.N.CENT, which I promptly painted. Thanks Scott, I'll have to track down some of those comics. And yes, the GCD is driving me nuts as well. It's been that way for a while now. It's a killer when one is looking about at non-Big Two books especially!

Paul/The Confessor said...

Hey Scott, it's The Confessor from the CBR forums here! I love these Black Hole comics too...I'm sure you already know this but there was also an issue #3 and #4 continuing the crew of the Palomino’s adventures after they went through the Black Hole at the end of the movie. Issue #3 is pretty easy to find but issue #4 is like hen's teeth...a fact that is usually reflected in its asking price. Both issues are well worth picking up though if you can find 'em at a reasonable price.

Scott M said...

Hey Paul

Thanks for stopping by. I do, indeed, have #3 - but just didn't comment on it as it wasn't part of the adaptation of the movie. I thought it was so-so, too much of a rehash of the film (a new villain would have been better). If I ever see a #4 for less than $5, I'm all over it.

Tonebone said...

Did you know that Kirby also did a Black Hole movie adaptation? There is blog posting about it being published in Disney Comix Zone magazine a while back here: