10 Of The Best Graphic Novel And Comic Book Film Adaptations - Raindance

The highly celebrated comic book writer, novelist, playwright and screenwriter Tony Lee teaches the Raindance Introduction To Comic Book And Graphic Novel Script Writing course.  A New York Times Bestselling author and Eagle Award winner who’s worked on series including, X-Men, Doctor Who, Starship Troopers and Spider-Man, Lee is the master when it comes to writing for comic books and graphic novel script writing. So whether you have a film screenplay, novel or a fledgling idea that you want to get off the ground, make sure to check out the course and learn from one of the best in the business!

To get you inspired for Lee’s course, we thought we’d list 10 of our favourite graphic novel and comic book adaptations!

1. Sin City– Frank Miller


A series of neo-noir comics set in the fictional location of Basin City, the first Sin City story was published in 1991 and then serialized in Dark Horse Presents from issues #51-62. The creator, Frank Miller, went on to co-direct the 2005 film adaptation with Robert Rodriguez which was based on the 3rd and 4th books in the original comic series. The movie received widespread critical and commercial success, seeing its sequel Sin City: A Dame to Kill For being released last year.

2. Ghost World– Daniel Clowes


Long before Shia LaBeouf was sky-writing him apologies for plagiarism, Clowes created the cult classic Ghost World. Particularly popular amongst teenage audiences, the serialized story followed the day to day lives of Enid Coleslaw and Rebecca Doppelmeyer, two teenage-outsiders. Clowes went on to co-write the screenplay alongside Terry Zwigoff for the filmic adaptation in 2001. The movie was critically acclaimed, earning Clowes and Zwigoff an Oscar nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay.

3. V For Vendetta– Alan Moore and David Lloyd


This 1982 graphic novel depicts a dystopian near-future (in the 1990s, feeling old?!) in which a nuclear war has destroyed most of the world. V is an anarchist in a Guy Fawkes mask on a revolutionist campaign to bring down the government and convince people that they should rule themselves. The story inspired the 2006 movie of the same name which, after his previous disappointment with the adaptations of From Hell and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen,  Moore declined to watch and be credited for. Despite this, however, V For Vendetta was met with great commercial and critical success.

 4. Road to Perdition– Max Allan Collins and Richard Piers Rayner


Set during America’s Great Depression, Collins’ original series of Road to Perdition was published in 1998 and went on to inspire further sequels. Sam Mendes directed the 2002 adaptation starring Tom Hanks as Michael O’Sullivan, a mob-enforcer who sets out on the hunt for revenge with his son. The film was well received and went on to achieve six nominations at the 2003 Academy Awards.

5. The Crow– James O’Barr

Originally written as a form of catharsis for O’Barr, whose girlfriend was killed by a drunk driver, the comic book series The Crow became an underground success after it was published by Caliber Comics in 1989. In 1994 it was developed into a film with the same name, which would later become famous due to the untimely death of Brandon Lee during filming. Despite this tragic incident, however, the film was applauded for its interesting visual style and the way it honoured Lee. Three film sequels, a television series and numerous books and comics have subsequently been produced.

 6. 30 Days of Night- Steve Niles and Ben Templesmith

A comic book, turned film, turned back to comic book pitch; 30 Days of Night was shelved for several years before it became a successful 3 issue mini-series of horror comic books in 2002. A group of vampires descend on the Alaskan city of Barrow which is located so far north that it doesn’t see the sun for 30 days a year. This month-long polar night offers the perfect killing opportunity for the light-sensitive vampires who go on a feeding frenzy. After its success, 30 Days of Night was developed into a 2007 film directed by David Slade and starring Josh Hartnett.

7. Scott Pilgrim– Bryan Lee O’Malley

Winner of the 2006 Eagle Award for Favourite Original Graphic Novel, Scott Pilgrim is a series about a young Canadian slacker/part-time musician who falls in love with an American delivery girl named Ramona Flowers. Split into 6 volumes, Scott must defeat Ramona’s 7 evil exes in order to date her. A film adaptation titled Scott Pilgrim vs. the World was released in 2010, spawning a videogame and the re-release of the original graphic novel series in full colour hardback edition.

8. Creepshow– Stephen King and Bernie Wrightson

Mixing things up, Creepshow is a 1982 graphic novella based on the George A. Romero film of the same name. The film begins and ends with scenes of a young boy being punished by his dad for reading horror comic books, serving as a homage to the EC and DC horrors of the 1950s (including House of Mystery and Tales from the Crypt). Like the movie, the graphic novel consists of 5 short anthology stories and still remains popular among fans of the genre today.

 9. 300– Frank Miller and Lynn Varley

A 1998 comic book limited series, 300 is the second Frank Miller creation featured on this list. The series depicts a fictional re-imagining of the Battle of Thermopylae for which Miller cites the 1962 film The 300 Spartans as inspiration. In 2007 he served as an executive producer on Zac Snyder’s filmic adaptation, which used a super-imposition chroma key technique to replicate the visual style of the original comics. A box office hit, the film led to the 2014 sequel 300: Rise of an Empire which was based on Miller’s unpublished graphic novel prequel.

10. The Mask– John Arcudi and Doug Mahnke

The original 1987 comic book series followed the story of main protagonist Stanley Ipkiss, an ordinary man who encounters a magic mask with reality-bending powers.Whilst the series often explored some dark and sinister themes, the 1994 film adaptation was much softer and cemented Jim Carey’s status as one of the best comedic actors of the era. A huge success, The Mask movie went on to inspire an animated television series and the 2005 sequel Son of the Mask.