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Comic books are being adapted into movies as such a pace that studios might genuinely run out of comic books. By 2030, they’ll all be based on hastily drawn stick figures on cocktail napkins. But before Marvel got its shit together, it was thought to be much more profitable to turn popular movies into comic books, especially without anyone’s permission. But instead of sticking to the script, these back-alley adaptations went with some crazy interpretations. For example …


The Japanese Jaws Comic Is Full Of Gore And Nudity

Steven Spielberg’s Jaws is an absolute classic that discouraged an entire generation of teens from going skinny dipping. Naturally, the killer shark flick inspired a crap-ton of merchandise, everything from video games to an inflatable children’s toy for murder-themed pool parties. A Japanese publisher also released a comic book version of Jaws in 1975, though they seemed to misread what people loved about the movie in the first place.

In fact, we have reason to believe its creators weren’t paying attention to the movie at all before popping out this pretty intense adaptation. At least, that would explain why they thought the leads resembled Clint Eastwood, Wreck-It Ralph, and Velma from Scooby-Doo.

Herald Books
“Smile, you son of a bitch!” gets replaced with “Are you feeling lucky?”

They also seemed to agree that Spielberg’s problem was that he left way too much to the imagination. The comic aims to correct that — by featuring actual nudity in the opening scene, as opposed to Spielberg’s chaste, Austin Powers-like use of backlighting.

Herald Books
Because there’s nothing sexier than nudity and 50 rows of teeth.

But the gore’s the real showstopper in this comic. Instead of dying mostly offscreen, the shark’s victims get ripped to shreds right on the page, exploding in waves of viscera as if their last meal consisted out of eight Bloody Marys and a bucket of red paint.

Herald Books
Needs ketchup.

At least the kid on the raft gets a coy angle for when his face gets blendered by shark teeth …

But the most horrifying death is reserved for Quint, the grizzled surly shark hunter. Sure, his death in the movie was traumatic, but here the shark goes full Tarantino on his ass.

Then his goddamn eye comes out of its socket like it’s a rogue grape being squished underneath a boat shoe. Finally, his guts come spilling like they’re auditioning for the part of the baby Xenomorph in Alien.

All in all, the comic mixes its Spielbergs too much, leaving a disturbing blend of Jaws and Saving Private Ryan. Though we do look forward to their upcoming comic, in which Indiana Jones teams up with the BFG to save as many Jews as they can from a concentration camp.


The Bootleg Chinese Alien Vs Predator Book Stars Arnold Schwarzenegger

Not all Alien tie-ins are 100 percent official– this commercial of a Xenomorph partying with a revolting cigarette-man probably didn’t get the OK from Fox, and we’re reasonably sure Prometheus was a YouTube parody video that accidentally got a theatrical release. So it’s not necessarily a surprise that there would be a bootleg Alien vs Predator comic circulating in China. It is somewhat surprising that it stars Arnold Schwarzenegger, though.

So the comic is seemingly about Schwarzenegger’s Predator badass, Dutch — but since this also involves the Alien universe, we get to see the future governor stick his face into a Xenomorph egg like some dum-dum who’s never seen Alien.

And he seemingly space-soils himself at the sight of an alien queen:

Then the comic ends with Schwarzenegger’s wedding, which is ruined when an alien bursts out of his mouth, hopefully when the minister asks if anyone objects to the marriage.

Then, as further acid blood to the steel hull of intellectual property rights, Schwarzenegger dons his Terminator costume and hops in a spaceship. Again, we don’t know the exact translation, but it’s probably still less dumb than Terminator Genisys.

And in the final panel, we get to see a Xenomorph using a headset, either talking to other ships or, in it what would be its most horrifying act yet, cold-calling people to see if they’re happy with their long-distance plans.


The Exorcist Was First Released As A Comic In Japan

With their dwindling sales, a lot of comics these days exist to do nothing but fan the fan flame until the next blockbuster. But comic books can promote more than comic book movies. For some reason, in order to promote the release of The Exorcist, the Japanese magazine Shonen Sunday included a comic version of the soon-to-be horror classic.

The comic is a mix of drawings and photos from the film, either because it would increase the movie’s exposure or the illustrator was lazy as all hell. The result can be quite (intentionally) disturbing, with shots of shocking fright combined with, say, Regan’s mom’s mouth flapping like she’s a Peanuts character.

The artist was none other than legendary horror mangaka Kazuo Umezu — who, let’s be honest, was mostly phoning it in here. For some scenes, he even combined the movie stills with the comic characters, like if Who Framed Roger Rabbit took a dark detour into demonology.

Of course, the story was truncated to fit eight pages, which is why Regan goes from an innocent doctor’s check-up to full-on Gene Simmons in the span of one frame.

And the entirety of the exorcism itself is reduced to Regan projectile vomiting while also throwing around vinyl records like a wedding DJ in the midst of a nervous breakdown.


The Chinese Adaptation Of Disney’s Snow White Is Disturbingly Faithful To The Original Story

While a lot of Disney’s best movies are based on gut-wrenchingly horrifying stories, they all end up as sanitized, wholesome pieces of entertainment, thanks to a company so wholesome that it made you forget Donald Duck is exposing himself to us all of the time. Of course, none of that original horror shows up in the merchandise either. There’s no knife-wielding Ariel doll, and the Peter Pan ride at Disneyland doesn’t end with your kids being shanghaied by real pirates.

That being said, an unofficial Chinese flip-book of Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs released in 1982 tried the odd balancing act of cashing in on the Disney classic while also maintaining some of the more murderous aspects of the original story.

The original Grimm tale was less Disney-like and more like the kind of short story that results in a lot of intense parent-teacher conferences. Some of those details show up in the comic, such as the witch’s plan to kill Snow White. In the movie, we just see the poison apple business, but the book throws in some other schemes, like the decidedly less nuanced plan of straight-up strangulation — because no bad apple can rival some good old-fashioned piano wire and determination.

Sure, seeing one Disney character garrote another is admittedly disturbing, but even more disturbing is the aftermath, in which seven horrified dwarfs comfort a barely conscious Snow White — and then do nothing.

No chasing the evil queen up a mountain for a little accident, none of that typical dwarven valor. They help Snow White back up on her feet and then let the queen continue her torture routine, such as raking Snow White’s hair for murder by poison comb:


Behold, The Abject Horror Of The Russian Ninja Turtles Books

While the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles started off as a comic book, it’s hard to find a human being who doesn’t originally know them from either their OK movies 20 years ago or their horrible movies right now. But even factoring in some of the dumber branches of the Turtle empire, it’s hard not to be completely bowled over by the insanity that is the Teenage Russian Psycho Turtles.

There’s always something about knockoffs that feels, well, off. In this series of Russian Ninja Turtle books, it’s the fact that these Turtles seemed to have legitimately lost their minds, or at least the part that processes empathy. The entire saga appears to revolve around the Turtles going to fantastical places and killing stuff. Like the issue in which they slay an ogre …

… which leaves them happier than when Splinter finds a flushed Domino’s coupon. Clearly, these Turtles have fewer scruples than the sewer-surfing, spin-kicking New York dudes we know and love. They’ll do whatever it takes to get the job done, including crushing an elderly man to death while his dog watches.

And when their training fails them, they simply pull a gun on a disgruntled golfer.

Yeah, these comics get real dark, real fast, eventually involving some grisly subject matter, such as severed hands, stumbling on corpses, and legitimate bloody murder. We’re a long way from punching robots and complaining about anchovies.

Because these unauthorized books were free from copyright, they could also inject a bit of child fantasy fulfillment by, for example, having Batman show up to become besties with the Turtles. But then, because these books make no sense, Batman cockblocks Michelangelo by putting the emo-moves on April.

But at least that type of madness has its basis in reality. Much of the illustrations seem to come straight out of the chaotic fever dreams of a kid growing up in the ’90s. To protect your sanity, here’s only a smattering of the other randomly insane images from these books:

Sad clowns partying with a pixie, Cronenberg crab, T-Rex in a tutu … yet all of that still makes more sense than Michelangelo busting a cap in OJ Simpson.


Rocky 3 Is Retold … In Hulk Hogan’s Manga Biography

Hulk Hogan has led the kind of crazy-amazing life that would make his mustache proud. In truth, we’re not sure whether the confines of cinema could ever contain the untethered mania of his story. Which must be why the first attempt at a Hulk Hogan biography was not on the silver screen, but in manga form.

The comic goes through all the beats a biopic would in telling the Hulkster’s story, starting with his early days playing in a band — in which he apparently played one of those guitars that emits an electronic orgasm pulse to the audience.

Fate (and likely anyone who wondered why a muscled giant was playing power chords in a garage band) decreed that Hulk should go into wrestling — which it seems involves getting crotch-kicked and what we can only assume is Japanese for what it feels like when your soul screams in agony.

Oh, did we fail to mention that this manga treats wrestling like it is 100 percent real? It does, and it leaves Hogan cutting a bloody path through his colleagues. Like Hulk’s bout with Andre the Giant at Wrestlemania III, which now includes Andre getting his face crushed into a gory mess:

And when we say the manga treated every part of Hogan’s life as real, we really meant every part. No longer did Terry Bollea have a small part as a fictional wrestler named Thunderlips in Rocky 3. In this version of his life, it was Hulk Hogan who up squared off against Heavyweight Champion Rocky Balboa. And, of course, he wins.

The only sad thing about all of this is that this comic obviously came out too early, meaning that the final panel isn’t Hulk body-slamming the head of Gawker until he explodes like a water balloon.


There Were A Whole Lot Of Bootleg Star Wars Sequel Comics In China

We’ve talked before about the bootleg Chinese comic in which even the Lord of the Sith gets one-upped by a prehistoric sidekick. But luckily, other movies in the franchise weren’t immune to their own batshit-crazy bootleg adaptations, such as a rendition of The Empire Strikes Back which looks like it was traced from a third-grader’s notebook by another third-grader.

And in this version of Return Of The Jedi, the Emperor looks like he’s cosplaying as Ming the Merciless.

And in order to maximize their ’80s appeal, the artists also turned C-3PO into a straight-up Transformer.

And the less said about the version of Empire with the suspiciously penis-shaped Imperial walkers, the better for all of us.

But there is one Jedi comic that genuinely improves on the movies. In it, the second Death Star is orbiting a moon populated by Wookies, not Ewoks (which was originally the plan), who use giant centipedes for bridges. Put that on a new DVD, George, and people might forgive you for adding Hayden Christensen to the ghost party.

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