I know it’s not very popular or cool to like Keanu Reeves, or at least it wasn’t, maybe it is now. Anyway, I like him, I’ve enjoyed a lot of the movies he’s been in and that includes Constantine (did I ever review it … apparently not). I knew it was based on a comic book (sorry, graphic novel, although no one ever goes to GraphicNovelCon2008) but I never really did graphic novels or comics. I read the Beano, Whizzer and Chips, Shiver and Shake and that kind of stuff when I was very young, but I never really graduated onto 2000AD and the like and once I discovered novels I never got into ‘the comic scene’.
I guess it’s a bit odd because I did the other stuff comic readers tended to do, I was a tabletop roleplayer (sounds like a movie), I played computer games on my 16k and 64k spectrum (and atari 400), I even wrote software (I wrote a whole bunch of tools on the speccy for roleplaying, databases for stuff, loot generators, yeh I know how bad that sounds). I loved fantasy and sci-fi movies (and Lost Boys which even features comic loving geek heroes), novels, the whole deal, but I just never ‘got’ graphic novels. I passed up the chance to buy the two David Gemmell graphic novels when they were newly out, I just bought the books instead (although I own them both now), so it wasn’t even an issue with the material. Just the format.
Anyway, I like Constantine, I like the world setting and the general premise. It matches similar work by Mike Carey (Felix Castor) and Jim Butcher (Dresden), modern day anti-heroes almost using supernatural or mythical powers in a modern world to hold back some kind of generally evil evilness. Incidentally if you’ve not read Mike Carey’s “Felix Castor’ stuff you should. Odd kind of full circle here because Mike does a lot of comic book work himself.
I’ve slowly drifted away from high fantasy and heroic fantasy and into an appreciation of a very limited number of books around ‘modern crossover’ or ‘modern fantasy’ or whatever you want to call it, and Constantine fits that bill. So, I enjoyed the film, I bought a novel and it was ‘ok’, and so I thought I’d buy a couple of comic book anthologies and see what the buzz was about. They’re upstairs, one in the guest bedroom on a bookshelf and the other in the bathroom, I read it now and again when I’m in there for any length of time.
Maybe I’ll let you know if I enjoy it sometime.