Sunday, July 08, 2007


Welcome to High Concept Week here at Dave's Long Box.

As implied, during High Concept Week we'll be looking at comic books that are based on fantastic, pithy, marketable, easy-to-grasp, clever ideas. Wikipedia defines high concept thusly: "The plot of a high concept movie is easily understood by audiences, and can often be described in a sentence or two, and succinctly summarized by the movie's title."

Let's be clear before we begin: high concept does not always mean high quality. It just means the film, book, or comic is built around a wicked awesome idea. As always, execution is everything regardless of how good the idea is.

For instance, here are some high concept movies IMHO. You can clearly see it's a mixed bag:

  • Jaws
  • Independence Day
  • Home Alone
  • Cellular
  • E.T. The Extra Testicle
  • Snakes on a Plane
  • Die Hard
  • Crank
  • The Pacifier
  • The Dirty Dozen
  • Jurassic Park
  • The Terminator
  • Bruce Almighty
  • What Women Want
  • Raiders of the Lost Ark
  • Armageddon

You get the picture. Some of those movies suck total ass, but they're based on a solid hook, a universal appealing and easily understood idea.

You may disagree with whether or not the comics I feature during High Concept Week really are high concept, for the line between cliche and great idea is blurry and squishy and smells of cheese. High Concept Week is go!

NSFW Audio!

(By the way, having a little stuffed animal host your blog is high concept.)


Anonymous said...

I've never really understood what was so "high concept" about Jaws. I mean, yeah, it's a simple, easily understood, and appealling premise, but it seems like it's almost TOO simple to really be high concept. "A giant animal eats people" is the plot to a lot of movies that I wouldn't neccessarily call high concept. With Jaws I think the greatness really was in the execution. Everything else, no argument.

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Anonymous said...

Is it just me or is that foul-mouth little lion inexplicably terrifying?

Anonymous said...

Yes! I love Long Box weeks!

But...aren't all comic high concept?

Spider-man is a man with spider powers. Superman is a beast. Hawkeye can't die. The list goes on.

Dwayne "the canoe guy" said...

A scar-faced bounty hunter.

What more needs to be said?

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SallyP said...

E.T. the Extra TESTICLE? Was this a Freudian slip, or simply a typo? Either way, hilarious!

Bully said...

Whee! I'm high-concept! Dave said it so it must be true!

Thanks, Dave! (big fuzzy kisses)

Ginger Yellow said...

I don't know if I'd call Raiders high concept. Sure you could describe it as "Indiana Jones hunts for the Ark of the Covenant", but that doesn't explain what makes it cool. It doesn't explain to a studio exec why he/she should greenlight it.

Anyway, in comic form, I'd nominate Transmetropolitan: "Hunter S Thompson in the future!" It doesn't come much more high concept than that.

Ginger Yellow

Anonymous said...

"Spider-man is a man with spider powers. Superman is a beast. Hawkeye can't die."

Hey anonymous, that was damn funny (seriously!). I were you, I'd put my name on a comment like that.

Anonymous said...

"A swashbuckling archaeologist races Nazis to find the fabled Ark of the Covenant."

I dunno, sounds pretty high concept to me, but I guess it really is in the eye of the beholder.

Anonymous said...

There is no high-concept movie more high-concept-y than Attack of the Killer Hog:

spacekicker said... the doll hosting the blog. That IS high concept

Harvey Jerkwater said...

My favorite comic book high concept, for sheer WTF quality:

It's Conan the Barbarian meets Iron Man! It's X-O Manowar!

Now that's f%&#ing high concept, yo.

Anonymous said...

I really hope you include Crank in the "suckiness" camp.

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