For this week’s “Adapt This” column, I recommended Chuck Dixon and Jorge Zaffino’s WinterWorld, a post-apocalyptic saga that unfolds after the world has frozen over and humanity is left scrounging in the snow.
Honestly, I feel like the people behind that terrible 1995 film “Water World” owe Dixon and Zaffino some money and an apology for A) ripping off this story; and B) screwing it up as bad as they did. Besides the fact that WinterWorld was created almost a decade before “Water World,” there are far too many plot similarities for this to be a coincidence.
For example, here are two elements you’ll find in both projects:
1. The protagonist of both the WinterWorld comic and the “Water World” movie is a mysterious trader who navigates the dangerous, post-apocalyptic world exchanging resources he finds in the remains of old cities with the inhabitants of various settlements.
2. In both stories, the trader encounters a young girl who holds the secret to finding a place that escaped the world-changing events. (In “Water World,” it’s dry land. In WinterWorld, it’s a warm land mass that hasn’t frozen over.)
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg (see what I did there?), folks.
Here’s an excerpt from my column:
In WinterWorld, Dixon has crafted a great, post-apocalyptic adventure that manages to be compelling without any of the flashy, sci-fi gimmicks often used to hide lackluster character or story development. There’s very little going on in WinterWorld that doesn’t have roots here in the present-day, sunny world we know, and there’s little need for mutants or monsters to make the story’s setting any more frightening than it already is.
Tonally, WinterWorld is more similar to “The Walking Dead” than “Water World,” with its characters pushed from one seemingly safe place to another in their constant struggle to survive, and forced to deal with a variety of colorful (and dangerous) personalities in order to make it to the next day. There’s very little thought toward the bigger picture here or some world-changing element that could bring the world back to what it used to be — there’s simply the need to live and stay warm.
You an read the rest of the column at IFC.com, where you can also read the guest recommendation from my buddy Van Jensen, the author of Pinocchio, Vampire Slayer (an excellent comic that is every bit as great as the title suggests). Many thanks to Van for an awesome suggestion, and many thanks to you for reading my column!