Sunday, May 5, 2013

365 Comics...125: The Strain #1 (2012)

It's not that I dislike books.  Quite the opposite.  What I dislike is reading books, which isn't entirely true, I just get bored with the process of reading.  With a 4-year-old and an 11-year-old taking up much of the time that work doesn't, there's not a lot of time left for movies and TV and internet surfing and podcasts and music and boardgames and comics and books, so something had to give.  Considering how slow and impatient a reader I am, it was a fairly simple choice.

As a result, despite my interest and access to the books, I haven't read any of Guillermo del Toro/Chuck Hogan's Strain trilogy.  Oh, I've given them as gifts, because I've heard they're good, and those gifts have been appreciated, but I haven't even considered reading them myself.  I just don't have the time to devote to one book, never mind three.  But a comic book adaptation... not quite the same, I know, but it's the same story in, like, 1/8th the reading time.  It's all about being patient.

The first issue is currently free on the Dark Horse Digital service, and it's a quick set-up, a Fringe analog where weird things seem to be occurring on a plane that just touched down and the CDC and a Hazmat team are on the scene alongside the police.  But writer David Lapham takes more time to establish the main protagonist and supporting characters, as well as hinting at a mythos to the nasty things happening in the story... it's longer-form thinking, apparently breaking down the story into well-paced chunks.  It doesn't yet get to the crux of the story or the threat, but it doesn't have to.  Fans of the books (or lazy but curious readers like me) will already have bought into it strictly because we want to read it.

Cost-wise, it's cheaper to read the book, unless you value your time more.  Of course, the Strain is being adapted to television for FX in the fall, but I imagine it'll deviate much further than the comics do from the source, the same way The Walking Dead has.