Four coming-of-age comic books that would make great films

Categories: Comix, Film

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Films based on comic books can really suck. But every once in a while, the stars align and the movies manage to translate a graphic novel into a film that actually works on its own. Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World is one of those successes, an adaptation of Bryan Lee O'Malley's graphic novel series that's charming and funny in its telling of the story of the title character (played by Michael Cera) as he fights off the evil ex-boyfriends of a girl he's trying to woo. Scott Pilgrim screens tonight at Film on the Rocks, and inspired by its cult status we take a look at four other independent coming-of-age comic books that might translate into killer films, rather than the becoming the next Daredevil.

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My New York Diary by Julie Doucet
Julie Doucet's autobiographical comic details her move from Montreal to New York, where she struggles to make a living as an artist as well as deal with greasy, jealous boyfriends and lots of drugs and booze. The acclaimed comic could totally work as a Bridesmaids-style comedy full of ridiculous jokes and nutty drama.
Casting: Marion Cotillard (Inception, La Vie en Rose) already has the French accent and smoky eyes to play a young Doucet, and we'd love to see her do more comedy rather than keep playing the tragic waif. We nominate Russell Brand as one of her lame, long-haired boyfriends because, well, he's already great at looking like a creeper.

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Blankets by Craig Thompson
This elegantly-drawn tale of first love and struggling with a religious upbringing is definitely the stuff of a poignant teen film. The love story between Thompson and his girlfriend, Raina, is full of tender magic and the awkwardness of young love. Add a few quirky side characters and it could be similar to Adventureland.
Casting: Joseph Gordon-Levitt already cut his teeth as a brooding romantic in Brick and 500 Days of Summer and could definitely reprise his role as the sensitive, smitten dude in this tale. Twilight's Kristen Stewart is sinuous and mysterious enough to play a convincing Raina. Plus, she already has tons of experience in the teen romance genre.

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Diary of a Teenage Girl by Phoebe Gloeckner
This dark graphic novel tells the story of Minnie Goetze, a teenager in 1970s San Francisco who's life is very similar to the author's growing up. She reflects on sleeping with her mom's deadbeat boyfriend, dabbling in drugs and unhealthy relationships, and encounters comic book legends like Robert Crumb and Aline Kominsky. The dramatic subject matter is enough to make this a Lifetime Channel original.
Casting: Kat Denning has Goetze's pout down pat, and already has expertise playing an angsty teen having an affair with a creepy older man in Daydream Nation.

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Potential by Ariel Schrag
This graphic memoir that chronicles Schrag's high school experience coming out as a lesbian and dealing with her first relationship with a girl has been reportedly in the works to become a film for years now. So hurry up, movie studios. Schrag has apparently already written the script to this funny, truthful memoir, so all it needs now is to make it to the silver screen.
Casting: Ellen Page has proven her ability to play snarky, eccentric teens in Whip It and Juno, so we think she'd be perfectly cast as a young, sassy Schrag.

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2 comments
Joe Higgins
Joe Higgins

The two I've read ( Doucet, Gloeckner ) get a big thumbs up here. The others are on my list. But hey! No "Love and Rockets"? I realize it's essentially in real time over the course of 30 years and would need to be excerpted, but that's what screenwriters are for!

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