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Southland Tales: The Prequel Saga

(Southland Tales #0)

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3.49  ·  Rating details ·  239 ratings  ·  41 reviews
The stage is set and destiny continues towards its fulfillment at breakneck speed. Southland Tales: The Prequel Saga collects writer/director Richard Kelly's (Donnie Darko) three graphic novels that set the stage to his second film, Southland Tales. Graphitti Designs and View Askew in conjunction with Darko Entertainment are proud to present this special collection prior t ...more
Paperback, 311 pages
Published November 6th 2007 by Graphitti Designs (first published October 29th 2007)
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 ·  239 ratings  ·  41 reviews


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Greg
May 07, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
As a whole I liked the entire collection of the three prequel 'chapters' more than any of the chapters by themselves. Taken as a whole the book adds a lot to the story and adds a different spin to the movie (at least for me, but I might be the only person in the world who thinks of the movie as a perfectly executed piece of absurdist disappointment). I'm curious to watch the movie again now with some crucial plot points that were given in the graphic novel, but left out of the movie. ...more
Jill
Jan 30, 2016 rated it liked it
I have a really soft spot for Southland Tales, in all its snarky, apocalyptic surrealism. Before anyone judges it (judge me, I don't care, but before you judge it) -- this article is required reading. It's weird, man, no one's denying that it's weird -- but there's something at its core screaming out the potential of art.

So as with a lot of movies these days (though this was a precursor to all that, published in 2007), Southland Tales was a multimodal experience. Yep, there's that strangely-cut
...more
Toby
Feb 11, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
I'm probably in the minority of people who actually quite liked the movie, albeit with the knowledge that it was a bloated confusing version of an alex cox or gregg araki movie. Infact i think when it comes to rewatching a richard kelley movie i might be more inclined to pick Southland Tales over Donnie Darko.

This prequel graphic novel has been of interest to me since i first heard about the blending of artistic mediums to tell the complete story of richard kelley's apocalypse. And it just so h
...more
Andrew
May 12, 2008 rated it liked it
My friend recommended the movie. He watched the movie and then read the book. We planned that I'd do the reverse and then we'd compare notes.

We both found that after one experience of Southland Tales (either print or film) you are mostly left intrigued and confused. After you get another shot at the story - perhaps especially through another medium - it makes more sense. I'm going to re-read the book now so that I can understand more as I read it.

The film is a really interesting adaptation - usi
...more
Zack
Nov 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
As a companion piece to one of the strangest and most confusing movies I've ever seen, I was somewhat surprised at how relatively straightforward the story told in this comic is. Don't get me wrong--there is a *lot* of insanity to go around in these pages, and every new twist in the story just makes it crazier and crazier and somehow better and better. As a standalone book, this would be severely disappointing; but in conjunction with the film "Southland Tales" it's definitely something very int ...more
Naessens
May 30, 2020 rated it liked it
I read this just before watching for the second time the movie by Richard Kelly.
I liked the backgrounds given on several characters later seen in the movie, but never properly or fully introduced. In my opinion, viewers ought to read the comics before watching the film or they will miss a lot of references. There is nothing special about the graphics. What I did not like is that there are many pages which are plain film script and could have been replaced with drawings.
I like this comic prequel
...more
Rachel Tremblay
Mar 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Ha! 5 star for this crazy graphic novel. Basically explains more of the beginning of the story that leads up to the film, which i love and will now rewatch. It’s wild and ridiculous and a wonderful sci-fi about fuel, drugs that transcend time and space, and the apocalypse. I’m thinking fifth element meets trainspotting. All star cast, we recognize them all here and they’re awesome. From the writer / director of Donny Darko, Southland Tales is a cult film to be watched and this here is just pure ...more
Nick Black
Sep 21, 2017 rated it it was ok
i don't much care for the "graphic novel" format (this is probably the first i've read through since childhood), and yeah, even for one of my favorite movies, this didn't do much for me.

certainly of no value without the movie, which most people hate in the first place.
...more
H
Oct 31, 2017 rated it liked it
Provides unnecessary exposition to a misunderstood modern day cinematic masterpiece.
Jack Mells
Jan 25, 2020 rated it liked it
not necessary to understand the film any better (the most misunderstood and one of the greatest of the century) but you should read it if you care
Dan
Jun 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
I love big ambitious sci-fi like this. Can’t wait to revisit the movie with this in my rear view.
Scott
Mar 29, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, comics, dystopia
This graphic novel includes chapters 1-3 of Southland Tales, with the movie completing the story with chapters 4-6.

I think I would have enjoyed the overall story more if all of it were on film. It seems like they could have made two movies, as was done with Kill Bill. Maybe they didn't have the budget, I don't know.

This book definitely fills in some of the backstory, but much of what happens in the graphic novel is at some point described in the movie, so I'm not sure that the graphic novel is
...more
Jamie Grefe
Sep 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: dramatic-arts
To be clear, I read the screenplay (Southland Tales: The Prequel Saga) and NOT this graphic novel collection, but I didn't want to add the Prequel screenplay to Goodreads. It is available online, though, distributed by Kelly himself. And it's damn good. Like these, it presents the ST prequel story (the first three chapters). It answers fundamental questions like: What are the connections between Roland and Pilot? What is Fluid Karma? What are the experiences of "bleeding" Fluid Karma? What is th ...more
Jamil
Nov 09, 2007 rated it did not like it
Shelves: comics, kino-eye
the only thing exciting about this book for me is panel 3 of page 3. that's it. the rest of it was kind of a mess. maybe donnie darko was a fluke, maybe richard kelly only had that one good idea. i dunno. i kind of wish i didn't read this. it's just unoriginal bad watered down LA apocalypse stuff. it reminded me a bit of that Oliver Stone/William Gibson TV miniseries Wild Palms, which I think I was one of the few people to actually like, only not even as good as that. Philip K Dick namedropping ...more
Marsha
Nov 24, 2011 rated it really liked it
Keep in mind that I love the movie Southland Tales. I've watched it multiple times, and think it is absolutely brilliant. Its major failing is that many parts aren't adequately tied together.

This graphic novel ties many missing parts together. It provides necessary history of the characters and the technology. Understanding what "fluid karma" is, and what it does really helps bring together the overall cohesiveness of this world.

Still, even with this prequel, I still think there is plenty of m
...more
Jukka Kuva
Feb 12, 2013 rated it liked it
The prequel books for Southland Tales contain the first three episodes of the saga, while the movie contains the last three. To be exact, the movie actually contains almost everything the comics do, it just fast forwards through the first three chapters and officially starts from number four.

Weldele's art combined to Kelly's script is an experience quite similar to the movie, with the difference that the comic doesn't have nearly as much content and the narration doesn't work in a comic quite as
...more
Janice
Oct 16, 2008 rated it liked it
i really like this movie, and the complete inexplicable-ness of it. this prequel comic, written as a lead-up to the movie, doesn't really tell you much more than the movie, and somehow bothers me -- i can't really put my finger on why, but i wasn't all that excited after i read this. the story doesn't seem to deepen with more information, instead the aspects of the movie that seem to really bother some people, the "ooooo, look, we're being weird!", really come through in the graphic novel format ...more
Courtney (Pirogoeth)
Dec 07, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Any fans of Richard Kelly; anyone who's seen the movie.
Recommended to Courtney (Pirogoeth) by: Richard Kelly
This book is a must read for anyone who wants to or has watched the movie. It really is the first half of the story. I had the movie for about a year, but never quite felt like watching it. Then I listened to Richard Kelly on SMoviemakers and he mentioned how important the graphic novels are to the story. I sat down and read it, and then watched the movie. I can so see how a lot of the movie would make no sense without reading this. If you haven't read it yet, read it and then watch the movie. I ...more
Leslynn
Sep 10, 2004 rated it really liked it
This collection of graphic novels is an excellent precursor to the film, and as someone who had seen the film first, I found the experience hugely enjoyable and a brilliant expansion of the world within Southland Tales. Certain narrative gaps are addressed that are otherwise untouched upon in the film, and while I loved the scope and lack of definitive explanation in Southland Tales, these graphic novels provide a really interesting multi format presentation of narrative layers leading up to and ...more
Mia
Sep 10, 2004 rated it really liked it
This collection of graphic novels is an excellent precursor to the film, and as someone who had seen the film first, I found the experience hugely enjoyable and a brilliant expansion of the world within Southland Tales. Certain narrative gaps are addressed that are otherwise untouched upon in the film, and while I loved the scope and lack of definitive explanation in Southland Tales, these graphic novels provide a really interesting multi format presentation of narrative layers leading up to and ...more
Richard
Aug 22, 2007 rated it did not like it
Shelves: comics
The artwork is great. It's tough to rate this one seeing as the second half of the story is a movie that may never come out. So far the story is an intriguing tacky mess, and if the movie can manage to pull together the wreckage represented in these books, then it may indeed be the masterpiece we (meaning all us nerds who were obsessed with Donnie Darko) hoped it would be. It would have to be. But watching the true story of this movie being made, hated, and buried, has been far more interesting ...more
Isa
Aug 26, 2007 rated it liked it
Shelves: comics
I have been waiting for the movie for.. forever. What with all the controversy, hatefest at Cannes and now a release in November. This serves as a prequel to the movie. Book 1 totally got me hooked and I couldn't put it down. Book 2 left me a little confused. Book 3 somehow was a little too much and I fear they won't be able to tie all this together in the movie. It's somewhere between Philip K. Dick, George Orwell and David Lynch. In any case, I'm pretty sure there's never been a movie like tha ...more
Jamie
Oct 29, 2007 rated it it was ok
Shelves: graphicnovels
If the prequel is this convoluted, what kind of shape must the movie be in? 300 pages of set-up as a prerequisite for a film seems excessive. Brett Weldele does an amazing job laying the book out, and his storytelling is excellent, but there is no getting around the fact that this book doesn't stand on its own and barely even has enough space to accommodate all of the elements Richard Kelly needs introduced. I'd have given it one more star had the ending been satisfying, but really, this comic b ...more
Anne
Dec 12, 2011 rated it really liked it
As previous reviewers have said, this was not filled with the pretty. But that's ok with me, I've seen the movie a couple times so my imagination graciously bridged the gap between the book and the movie. Plus, I was just looking for more backstory and (foolishly, perhaps) information to fill the cracks.

The story moved at quite a fast clip (yay!) keeping my attention but by the end my head was a little swirly. At least I have a better idea of what fluid karma is and how the characters arrived a
...more
Jana B.
Jan 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This was amazing! I saw the movie a few years ago and was so intrigued by it. It was only a month ago I found out this book existed. It answers so many questions but I must admit it has also generated a few too. I love books that are outside the box, that make you think. I actually finished in nearly one sitting but it is still running around in my head. That my friends, is a great piece of work. You really must see the movie and read the book (in whichever order you prefer) for the whole story ...more
Andrew
Feb 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
This collection of graphic novels is an excellent precursor to the film, and as someone who had seen the film first, I found the experience hugely enjoyable and a brilliant expansion of the world within Southland Tales. Certain narrative gaps are addressed that are otherwise untouched upon in the film, and while I loved the scope and lack of definitive explanation in Southland Tales, these graphic novels provide a really interesting multi format presentation of narrative layers leading up to and ...more
Paul Jensen
Nov 14, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Mind-blowing. The graphic novel tells the first 3 parts of the story, and the film (now in theaters) concludes the final 3 parts. As a whole, "Southland Tales" is the most ambitious, exciting, and wildly imaginative creations I've seen since "The Cremaster Cycle". The scope of Richard Kelly's vision is staggering. ...more
Josh
Feb 02, 2010 rated it really liked it
An immensely flawed story overall that somehow still provokes a great deal of thought and entertainment. While the layout and absurd complexity of events within both this prequel saga and the 2 1/2 hour movie "Southland Tales" (which acts as part 4-6), the world itself is fascinating and has a very unique style to it. ...more
Amy Aldin
Jul 16, 2012 rated it it was ok
The minimal art aside, this graphic novel helps to round out what bits of the story the viewers of the Southland Tales movie might not have been able to piece together by themselves (myself included).

Though this still doesn't help with making the story any better, it just helps the movie make sense.
...more
Dawn
Nov 05, 2007 rated it liked it
This shit is FUCKED UP, yo. I have NO IDEA what happened; I couldn't tell you what the plot is to save my life. Honestly, I hate to say it, but the illustration quality is surprisingly poor. I'm totally going to see the movie though, because now I'm curious where on earth this crazy story is going. ...more
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