Neverwhere 3.0

[Cover]Also in comics news, the nine-part adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere begins in June.

The basic premise is this: In urban areas, we tend to tune out the homeless to the point where we don’t even see them. What if we really don’t see them? What if there’s another world, just slightly out of sync with this one, where the rules are all different. (JMS used a similar springboard for Midnight Nation, but took it in a completely different direction.) There’s poverty, and scavenging… but there’s also magic, and honor, and a society with its own strange codes. The story follows everyman Richard Mayhew as, through a simple act of kindness, he slips through the cracks from London Above to London Below. In order to get back, he has to help a mysterious girl named Door on her quest to find her family’s killers and honor their legacy…and escape the assassins tracking them both!

It’s hard to guess how well this will work. Neil Gaiman’s comics and prose are both fantastic (in every sense of the word). Comic book adaptations of his prose, though, haven’t been nearly as good. The writers have a tendency to preserve too much of the text, and it gets bogged down in narration. It happened with “Murder Mysteries,” with “Only the End of the World Again”, and with “The Price.”

Neverwhere has two advantages, though. It started life as a TV script (he only wrote the novel because he realized that budget limitations and producer interference would prevent them from doing the story “right”), and TV, like comics, is a visual medium. And with nine issues, there should be plenty of room to show, not tell, the story.

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