Driving around the city after Christmas, I heard a bit of David Cronenberg on Fresh Air, as Terry Gross was doing her 2005 retrospective of her favorite interviews. Cronenberg was answering questions about his most recent film, A History of Violence, which I haven’t seen.
Later in the day, I was in Borders, taking advantage of a holiday gift card, and I picked up the graphic novel A History of Violence. I had no idea this is where the story started (in 1997), but with all the comic-to-movie conversion over the last decade-plus, I’m hardly surprised.
The graphic novel is written by John Wagner, with art by Vince Locke. Reading it took 40 minutes or so, but left me thinking much longer. I now wonder whether or not I could stomach the movie, which is getting rave reviews. The story stuns. The violence is brutal, but it’s part of the tale. Only the full-page image of Richie on p.268 lingers too strongly, though. Made me think of something from Sin City (the movie) or maybe Silence of the Lambs. Gruesome, iconic, and barely human.
I think I’m going to have to see the movie at some point. The story is just too strong, and I’m curious about the differences. Moving from one visual medium to another should be less jarring than print to screen, but the menacing mood will have to be built differently in the movie, without the black-and-white starkness of the novel.