I was in a comic book shop today and I saw a r…

I was in a comic book shop today and I saw a reissue of the graphic novel of The Death of Stalin, which surprised me because I was not paying enough attention to realize that The Death of Stalin started as a graphic novel. Anyway, as you saw the movie, (not yet out stateside) and frequently comment on Marvel adaptations I was wondering if you had read it, or had any interest in reading it? (I'd offer other comic recommendations, but as I said elsewhere, my Marvel knowledge is small.)

To be quite honest, other than reading almost all of Asterix and Tintin, I have read barely any comics. I never got into the habit, I guess, and they weren’t easily available in Ireland when I was a child/teenager.

I do love comic movies though – a love that virtually none of my friends share – so I always go see them by myself. (I even sat through Justice League, which dear sweet lord that film was terrible. Wasting Ciarán Hinds like that was damn near criminal). I have read Watchmen, which I can tell is a stupendous achievement (the Snyder film butchered the moral complexity of the story, but I’m not sure Watchmen is filmable in any real sense, so…). From time to time I’ve considered starting reading comics – but buying them is expensive, and I must admit, trying to get up to speed with sixty years of continuity is rather an intimidating concept. I wouldn’t know where to start.

I did know that the Death of Stalin is based on a graphic novel, though I haven’t read it. What I saw in the film seemed a reasonably accurate – much like Cate Blanchett’s Elizabeth, I’m sure there are distortions of history in there, but not…egregious ones. It captures the spirit of the period, if not every detail.

I loved the film, and I think Steve Buscemi should have been nominated for SOMETHING because his performance as Khrushchev was pitch-perfect, but I do wonder how it will play in America. The Death of Stalin is DARK in a way Veep has never come close to – it’s still very, very funny, don’t get me wrong…but try to picture Ben raping a child, or Dan accepting Selina having Amy murdered because it kept him close to power, and it becomes clear they are very different beasts. The characters in Veep SAY terrible things, but in the Death of Stalin they do and have done them, over and over and over. The stakes are much, much higher.