The recent release of The rings of powerr divided a lot JRR Tolkien fans and newcomers. Based on the extensive written works of Tolkien’s Middle-earth universe, the series explores the lore and history leading to The Hobbit film trilogy and critically acclaimed The Lord of the Rings film trilogy.
With so many new series released based on literary content (The Wheel of Time, House of the Dragon, etc.), there may be plenty of room in the future for more. These graphic novels may not be as convoluted and expansive as Tolkien’s works, but they still deserve a chance to shine on screen.
‘White Sand’ (2016-2019)
White sand is a graphic novel series that belongs to a huge group of books (including the popular Born of the Mists saga) collectively known as The Cosmere by Brandon Sanderson. White sand was originally meant to be written as a novel, but when Sanderson was approached by graphic novel makers instead, he thankfully took the chance.
The trilogy takes place on a desert planet called Taldain, which is locked in its solar system. This means that it is always day on one side of the planet and night on the other. Those who live on the dark side are an advanced civilization, while those who live on Dayside are more medieval. However, many who live in Dayside are magical and can telekinetically control the desert sand, using it to fly, attack, or defend themselves. The planet itself would create such an interesting dynamic on screen, and the characters are incredibly memorable and lovable. It would also serve as a nice link to the next one. Born of the Mists film, should it be released one day.
‘Twisted Dark’ (2010-)
twisted dark is an ongoing series of graphic novels by British author Neil Gibson. Although Gibson has written many graphic novels, twisted dark is his most ambitious project to date, currently spanning seven books, with more planned to come. The series, at first, seems like a bunch of unrelated crime stories. Each story features different plots, different characters, and even different art styles.
As the series continues, the stories form an intricate web of characters and organizations, all working for various criminal causes. It covers everything from the Yakuza, South American drug cartels, corrupt politicians and serial killers. Moreover, each story always ends with a major twist, which always makes it exciting.
“The Power of the Black Crystal” (2017-2018)
by Netflix The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance received rave reviews from critics, which is why it’s strange that it was canceled after just one season. Serve as a prequel to the 1982 film The dark crystalit expanded on the lore that Jim Henson built many years ago and helped establish a cinematic universe.
A series of comics titled The power of the black crystal and his sequel, Under the black crystal also expanded on the lore offered by the film; only the graphic novels happened after the film rather than before. The comics were eventually compiled into actual hardcover graphic novels. With an all-new cast of characters, both series complement the film well and add more excitement to the world of Thra.
‘Scott Pilgrim’ (2004-2010)
So, Scott Pilgrim already has a film adaptation, making it a great (albeit underrated) movie. However, compressing six graphic novels into one film meant that a lot of content had to be left out. It would be nice to see the removed content being shown to its full potential.
Starring titular protagonist Scott Pilgrim, the story follows the young geeky musician as he battles seven of his crush’s exes in Toronto, Canada. It’s one of the craziest action/sci-fi novels ever made, playing like a video game but also having a surreal undercurrent. There are also a lot of great comedic moments, naturally. Luckily, it looks like an animated series is already in the works.
Maus is a essential graphic novel. It may not have been the very first made, but it was one of the first to break into mainstream media and remains a popular choice of graphic novel to this day.
The story was inspired by the true stories told to the author by his grandfather, a Holocaust survivor. The story is presented in a more “kid-friendly” way, where Nazis are cats and Jewish inmates are mice. Although sugarcoated in this sense, he does not hesitate to turn away from the atrocities committed by the Third Reich. Its tone, combined with flawless storytelling, is reason enough to merit a screen adaptation of some form.
Bone is another immensely popular graphic novel series, especially among tweens. Originally published as a series of black-and-white comics, they were later compiled into color graphic novels, which spawned several spin-off books. Initially beginning as a series of light-hearted comic adventures, it eventually evolves into an epic fantasy, with war, magic, and dragons expertly woven into the story.
With a memorable cast of characters, a harrowing story of friendship and bravery, and plenty of expansive universes to explore, it’s a wonder this series hasn’t been embraced on screens yet.
‘Essex County’ (2008-2011)
Essex County is an all-Canadian graphic novel inspired by the author’s own experiences growing up in the 1970s and 1980s in Essex County, near the city of Windsor, Ontario.
The critically acclaimed trilogy details all the misadventures of childhood in rural Ontario and resembles many coming-of-age tales popular with young adults. Supposedly, there’s already a TV series in the works, with CBC’s Aaron Martin as a director, although little is currently known about it.
Amulet is an ongoing graphic novel series that spans nine volumes. Eight of the nine have been released so far, with the release of the ninth episode looming just around the corner.
Detailing the lives of two children living in their new mansion, Amulet quickly turns into dark fantasy, as the daughter, Emily, dons an old amulet that unleashes a world of monsters who kidnap their mother. It’s not only great for younger audiences, but the story touches on many different themes and settings, making it visually spectacular for anyone who reads it.
Freak is an epic fantasy series written by Marjorie Liu. Although initially a comic book series, it can also be found in compiled book-length graphic novels.
The story centers on a matriarchal society inhabited by a race known as the Arcanics, a race of humans who are secretly monsters. The Arcanics are a mysterious species in the midst of a war with humanity. The series went on to receive several awards, and one reviewer even called it “as ambitious as George RR Martin Where JRR Tolkien.” These two authors have seen their works adapted for film and television; it is perhaps Marjorie Liu’s turn to see her vast universe come to life.
White veil has also already received a film adaptation. The difference is that the White veil the movie was atrocious, and the thrilling graphic novel deserves better.
Set in the vast icy wasteland of Antarctica, the story follows a group of researchers who are inadvertently drawn into a sinister murder mystery. Not only is the killer dangerous to the characters, but so are the harsh conditions, with the searing cold and total isolation being the two greatest dangers the seekers face. It’s not overly fantastical, but it throws in plenty of twists and turns the reader’s way, keeping things enjoyable and exciting. Although there would probably only be one season if it was adapted as a TV series, it would still be great. Or, at any rate, it would exceed the extremely low bar that the film sets.
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