Several weeks ago I ordered the 300 Graphic Novel since I enjoyed the movie so much, and it was really quite the let-down. The writing was horrid, I mean it’s not like the movie was a masterpiece, but geeez – my kid coulda’ done better. Naturally there were the one-liners and quips from the movie that they splashed all over the previews, but other than that I think it took me all of 5 minutes to go cover to cover.
The story seemed very truncated and disjointed – leaving out far too much detail removing any epic quality to the journey. There was no history, build up or any of the usual bits you get in a good story; you know, the protagonist, the conflict and the resolution. The Protagonist was loosely set up as King Leonidas, and it continued to be paper thin from start to end. Insufficient history was provided for me to care in the slightest, and the level of detail seemed to be assuming the reader had already seen the movie: which is funny since the movie was based on the graphic novel.
Now, that’s not to say it was a total waste of dough, because it wasn’t. The artwork is excellent – that’s really the only saving grace, had this been otherwise I would have been totally torqued-off.
That being said, it was a bit inconsistent from panel to panel with its quality and in some cases the style of the art seemed to drift. In some ways it reminded me of the old comic books where the important bits of the scene got most of the attention, and the rest seemed to get white-washed and completed just enough to get by. The image off to the right is definitely one of the best from the book. Lynn Varley did the color for the book, and she is an exceptional artist, her work in the Dark Knight Returns series was phenomenal.
The 300 DVD on the other hand, I would recommend buying. Its chock full of extras and the movie was visually stunning and very entertaining. Keeping in mind I was in full expectation of it not being a stellar movie when I went to see it – not thinking it would be as bad as Doom with The Rock, but not as good as any of the Bourne trilogy.
Overall, I still think that the 300 Graphic Novel is worth a look just to see the artwork, even with its short comings it was very well drawn.