"Why are you reading that comic?" My wife asked. "That looks awful!"
"It's a graphic novel" I told her, trying to give the craft a fair shake, as I continued reading, Cowboys & Aliens by Scott Mitchell Rosenberg. Rosenberg's craft as chairman for platinum comics deserved some credit, and despite my typical lack of interest with the genre didn't mean I wasn't going to give it a fair shot. But, I'm admittedly not the comic-con type, so my wife had room to question my reading choice.
So, it didn't take me to buzz through the 100 pages...maybe I didn't take enough time to look at the artwork or absorb the story, but frankly, reading a book like this is mighty simple. In fact, the story was pretty simple. Sure there are some creative thoughts and mash-up of sci-fi and history with some puritan pioneers, soldiers, and homesteading opportunities in the American west. But ultimately, when this comes down to it, the stories relatively simple and non-inventive (beyond the premise of well...cowboys and aliens).
The title of the graphic novel is "Cowboys & Aliens" but a more complete telling of the title would be "How Aliens Taking Over Cowboys With Better Technology is Comparable to Cowboys Taking Over Indians in American History." Sure, it's not as an impressive a title, but ultimately, that's the story.
How this will translate to film with the upcoming science fiction Western coming Summer 2011 is a different question. From what I've read (and even comparing the character names in the upcoming film) I have a feeling that a lot of liberty was taken with the original story in it's translation to film. The character names are different and it seems that what's included in the story would have a hard time filling a film. Of course, we've all seen the film that allows weak dialogue and action sequences fill up plenty of time, so a pessimistic view might imagine this would be the case.
But I will give director Jon Favreau and his Lost-script-writing-fiend Damon Lindelof the benefit of the doubt for now and cross my fingers that the big budget Sci-Fi/Western mash-up is pure cinematic magic. Here's hoping, because no one wants to be a doomsday-type of fellow about one of the Summer's biggest blockbusters.