Oblivion, Based On The Non-Existing Graphic Novel
So there's this film, Oblivion. Based on a graphic novel published by Radical Publishing.
Except there was no graphic novel. In fact it's not clear that there was anything these illustrations and text, part of the Oblivion Preview given away at San Diego Comic Con a couple of years ago.
Wallin started drawing the graphic novel in 2009 and then moved to creating concept work for the film. But as for the comic that was meant to have started this off, this is all we got.
The Radical Publishing website promises it is coming in 2012. But it didn't.
On eBay this publication doesn't have the work "comic" or "graphic novel" in it, it's a concept book for the movie, and now sells from between $10 and $30.
Now that the movie has hit the cinemas, will we ever see any more? Maybe an actual graphic novel as promised?
No. It's vapour ware. The San Diego freebie in 2010 was published to get interest in the film, the graphic novel was a smokescreen at a time when graphic novels were hot, and Radical Publishing were happy to get their cut when Tom Cruise's production company picked it up in their trawl of the booths. Back when more people were doing that kind of thing.
Empire Magazine reported writer/director Joseph Kosinski saying;
"It was just a stage in the project. The writers' strike occurred in 2007 so I had a treatment for a film but I had no way to actually write it. It couldn't be written by anyone in the guild so the partnership with Radical Comics allowed me to continue working on the story by developing a series of images and continuing to refine the story more over a period of years. Then I basically used all that development as a pitch kit to the studio. So even though we really never released it as an illustrated novel the story is being told as a film, which was always the intention."As for whether we'll ever see the printed version of the story? "I don't have any plans to do it right now. To me it's feels like it's in the rear-view mirror, you know? It's like part of the development process. The film is the end result. But never say never. Maybe at some point it will be fun to go back and show the steps and the journey."
There we are folks, we were all just one big workaround. Not only that, it was only ever meant to be an illustrated story.
But when you see that credit "based on the graphic novel", you know what to do.
Blow out a big, big raspberry. Look, we're happy with film people using comics as ways to explore ideas, mayb create a comic and the resultant publicity with the aim of turning it into a movie one day. But you know what? At least publish the comic book or graphic novel.
And also, if you're calling it a graphic novel to get publicity, it should probably be a graphic novel as well…