1. In the 4th panel, it appears Baldo is speaking, and accepting that a book can be good, too. In the last panel, his father smiles and admits he liked the movie, too. So, no joke, but some bonding between father and child.

  2. Agree with Arthur, it’s not that kids are hopeless, rather they’ve actually agreed. There’s no joke, but it’s kind of sweet.

  3. I think the (mild) humor is the surprise twist that the expected flame war pitting “original work” vs. “commercial remake” is suddenly extinguished in favor of filial agreement.

  4. Yea, no punchline, almost pleasant, but EXHAUSTING to read. That was the War and Peace of comic strips.

  5. Parents have complained that the durn kids have no respect for things that the parents valued for several thousands years that we know of, and probably happened before there was writing, too. So one of the complaints of the last generation was that kids have no patience for reading books, and want everything quick and easy, as in a movie (except, of course, for those foreign ones with all the reading.).

    You’re set up by this comic that this is what’s happening… Dad is scolding Son for not reading, not valuing the process of reading literature. Then the twist at the end is, he liked the movie.

    Moving on, to use an example from a generation before mine, the movie version of 2001 is a visual spectacle, although Kubrick didn’t do his film any favors by choosing to use long, static shots so extensively. On the other hand, the novel actually tells a coherent story. Switching to my generation, the novel of Jurassic Park explains a lot more detail about the Park and how it was supposed to work and why it doesn’t… things that were reduced to a single line in the movie. But the movie shows us what real live dinosaurs interacting with the modern world would look like, which was not an experience you could get anywhere else at the time. One more generation, and superhero movies had to wait until the development of modern CGI to be able to show super-powered humans in action effectively. (OK, they did it with Superman in the 70’s, but the only other mainline superhero to get decent movies made was Batman, who hasn’t any super-powers, and the first Batman film is not really to be taken seriously.

  6. In the example of ‘2001; Space Odyssey’, I saw the movie, read the book, then saw the movie again with a little more understanding. Same with ‘Midnight in the Garden of Good & Evil’. However, there are movies based on books that I would NEVER watch because I want my imagination to ‘see’ the characters (I’m talking particularly of Sir Terry’s and Ray Bradbury’s books) in my head, and get the full gist of their stories.

    Whilst I worked in a high school library, I can’t tell you how many times students would ask for a book that I KNEW had been made into a movie . . . and *I* knew they were going to watch the movie and claim to have read the book (cynicism is just another word for reality).

  7. What you know (and those students were due to learn) is that reading the book and watching the movie are different experiences. Some of those differences are due to the inherent nature of the media, and some of those differences are due to creative choices made by the writer/director. Spielberg knew that the appeal of a Jurassic Park movie would be the chance to see dinosaurs interacting with the modern world… so he focused his version of the story on the visually-appealing dinosaurs, and discarded Crichton’s narrative entirely by the second movie, because he thought people who came to his movie wanted to see a T-rex running amuck in an American city, not a cautionary tale about letting scientists do things just because they could.
    As a general rule, science-fiction authors assume their readers can think, and “science-fiction” movie directors assume their viewers can’t (or won’t).

    Heinlein’s “Starship Troopers” shares a name with Verhoeven’s “Starship Troopers”, and both are pretty good although highly divergent. Also Dick’s “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” and Scott’s “Blade Runner” Adam West’s Batman isn’t really the same character as Conroy’s, but both work together in the “Lego Batman” series of videogames… which are substantially different from the Lego Batman movie.

    Looping around back to 2001… I read “The Sentinel” before either reading OR seeing “2001: A Space Odyssey”

    Looping around to “movies could never do (x) justice”, I would have said I had the same concerns about Tolkien, before “Fellowship of the Ring” came out. I’m burning out on superhero movies, because they always want to use half the film telling the origin story, when most origin stories are boring and infinitely more so if the current movie is a reboot. I KNOW why Batman is Batman. I KNOW why Spider-Man is Spider-Man. Just jump in with these characters fully-formed. Comic-book Spider-Man was in high school for like, 8 years of his 50+ year history. But in ALL the Spider-Man movies…

    Blech. I apologize to anyone who waded through all that. But I’m not going back to edit it down.

  8. ‘What you know (and those students were due to learn) is that reading the book and watching the movie are different experiences.’

    The students wouldn’t learn this ’cause they’d never read the books. That was a given, considering the type of students who attended this ‘alternative’ high school.

  9. “The students wouldn’t learn this ’cause they’d never read the books.”

    They would when they turned in homework with work based on the movie instead of the book. (Unless the teacher didn’t read the book, either…)

  10. Arthur is right. Unfortunately, the artist didn’t help our understanding because he switched perspective. We had been seeing “books are great” coming from the left side, and that continued in the 4th panel, even though the perspective changed and the characters effective switched sides. I had to go back to see that. It would have been easier to follow if the “shot” had stayed the same as in panels 2 & 3.

  11. “So one of the complaints of the last generation was that kids have no patience for reading books,”

    Except of course when they DO (witness graphic novels fan or the Harry Potter craze, for instance), at which point said last generation switches to either “well, they shouldn’t be reading THOSE books, but only the ones WE liked (or only the ones WE were forced to read…) and/or “well, nose in a book isn’t healthy, they should be outside getting some fresh air instead (of course not far enough outside that we can’t hover over them. . .).”

  12. Our Library was the only one in the school district to offer both ‘MAD’ and ‘Rolling Stone’, as well as free paperbacks BobMyBoss picked up at book sales. We both were of the opinion that reading ANYthing is better than reading NOthing. We did have to draw the line at ‘High Times’, tho ‘-).

  13. “Except of course when they DO (witness graphic novels fan or the Harry Potter craze, for instance)”

    Most parents (and almost all librarians, AFAIK) applauded kids reading HP. Note the identity of the American publisher. The ones who didn’t were of the opinion that reading pretend stories about people who can do magic inexorably leads to devil worship and youngsters becoming interested in sex and disobeying their parents, and at least a dozen more horrible, awful things which they’d spell out but I won’t.

    Amazingly, the widespread popularity of the HP series has resulted in approximately 0 cases of devil worship, although there has been a case or two of youngsters being interested in sex since the first book came out.

  14. Back in the olden times when I was in grade school, there were lots of books that never got touched. Rather than take those out and replace them with books that children wanted to read, we got a dozen record players, with headphones, and about seven total records. None of them was “Dark Side of the Moon” or “Sgt Pepper”. OK, I know why Sgt Pepper didn’t make the cut… “A Little Help From My Friends” has bad ultranaughty things in it unsuitable for children.

  15. I remember thinking at the time that J.K. Rowling deserved every penny (pence) of the fortune she was making, for the way she made her books something kids couldn’t wait to read. I was teaching a class of middle-school kids the morning after one of the books was released, and I had to order the kids to put their books out of sight the same way teachers today have to do with cell phones.

  16. ” I was teaching a class of middle-school kids the morning after one of the books was released”

    I was teaching a college class the morning after one of the books was released, and only one student showed up.

  17. I guess my kids liked me better.

    To be fair, though, I was teaching criminology which, while not on par with magic, is a pretty strong draw.

  18. Here in Kuwait, HP is banned in schools by the ministry of education, as well as a host of other books which reference sorcery such as The Crucible, His Dark Materials, and, by some schools anyway, Green Eggs and Ham. The latter is not sorcery, granted, but they will not have them, KME they are!

  19. “I guess my kids liked me better.”

    Some of my “kids” were older than I was. We had mandatory attendance, and I maintained a reputation that every one of my classes had stuff that would be on the test.

  20. Problem is the differences due to point of view of the movie (creator) and the original book. Example is “Little Women” my favorite book from as far back as I remember.

    I grew up with the June Allyson version and hated the differences in the storyline. I was sure I would love the Katherine Hepburn version (favorite actress, favorite book) – different but certainly not a better version.

    Version I liked best was a 1970s TV mini series with Susan Dey. (William Shatner played Prof Bhaer.)

    I decided that if I don’t like it I don’t have to watch it. I have never seen the Winona Ryder as it was described as more feminist point of view and I have no interest in it. The latest version, from the UK, was on PBS this past year – the commercials for it convinced me not to watch it as the characters were just so wrong.

    I will watch the Hepburn version sometimes (it is Hepburn after all) but none of the others. They just spoil the story and the memories of it and vary too much not only from the book, but seem to not understand the actual circumstances of the story.

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