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2001: A Space Odyssey in comic form March 23, 2019

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

Thanks to Joe Mooney for bringing this to my attention, the Jack Kirby Marvel adaptation of 2001: A Space Odyssey, published in 1976. It sounds remarkable, something that was on the one hand closely linked to the film and novel and yet which too it in different directions entirely – not least in that it broke away from the original after some issues. As wiki notes:

In addition, the comic narrative captions describe the characters’ thoughts and feelings, a significantly different approach from that taken by the film.

Given how the film completely ignored such matters – offering a vision of the future where alienation from the technologies surrounding people, ahem, saw emotion largely absent, it’s not difficult to see how odd that would be.

This is particularly good showing how Kirby detached from the remarkably iconic design of the original – for example, the Pan American clipper which docks with Space Station Five is more like a then contemporary NASA shuttle than the sleek tail-fin-less craft from the film. That’s an odd decision to make, but the article accompanying it does make the point that Kirby was in a some respects attempting to pull the original into the super-hero comic format rather than presenting a clear adaptation. Given the importance of that iconography to the film to jettison it seems near inexplicable. Then one looks at the photo-collage panels Kirby created and perhaps the effort was to make the comic more rigorously realistic. But was that necessary, particularly in the mid-1970s?

This too has some great imagery.

Some great pieces here from Wired, the latter of which notes that Kubrick likely never saw the adaptation. Then again I have the impression Kubrick was fairly disinterested in his projects once completed.


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