Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Graphic Novels and Adaptations

So I've been trying to familiarize myself with the graphic novels published this year (since I'm on the Cybils GN committee this year) and came across some interesting trends. Do you know how many graphic novels adaptations have been published in the last year? It's a lot, and I've gathered a list here to illustrate my point.

I've also noting where the titles are eligible for this years Cybils, when applicable. So if you've read any of those that are eligible and liked them, head over to nominate them. Then come back and enter my Cybils contest, because you get three entries for nominating a graphic novel. Or you can add another suggestion to my What's Missing list.

But I digress. Check out all of these adaptations:

Artemis Fowl- This one I read for the Cybils two years ago, and it actually won. It was kind of weird seeing one of my favorite books turned into a graphic novel, just because the artwork was so wayyyyy different than I had pictured any of the characters. With the exception of maybe Holly. And I just found out that the second one, The Arctic Incident, is eligible for this year. Cool! I wonder if someone will nominate it?

Here's an interesting one. The Tale of Despereaux was made into a graphic novel, but one based on the movie, not the book. Has anyone seen the movie? I haven't and I wonder if it's any good. And speaking of movies... Coraline was also adapted to a graphic novel around the time the movie came out, but NOT based on the movie.

There's also a lot of adaptations of classics going around. Marvel has at least two out (that I could find) one for The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz (eligible for this year), and one for Pride and Prejudice. I think that one started out as a comic series, but then got turned into a single bind up volume. Can anyone confirm that? Though come to think of it, knowing Marvel, probably both of these are like that. I do like the cover of Pride and Prejudice though. I like the look of the artwork for Wizard of Oz too. It seems really "happy".

Of course Shakespeare gets adapted all the time. There seem to be two companies that are doing this a lot. One if the more traditional-looking Classical Comics, while the other is the Manga Shakespeare series published by Amulet. I actually like the Manga Shakespeare series a little better, since I tend to like manga-style artwork more than traditional comic book styles and also because they often give a little spin to the story. For example, thier version of Hamlet is set in the future. Much Ado About Nothing, Othello, As You Like It, and Manga Shakespeare: King Lear of that series are all eligible for this years Cybils.

Here's another adaptation of the classics. There's a series called Graphic Spin that I learned about thanks to Kristen from Bookworming in the 21st century. They do graphic novel adaptations of fairy tales. It looks like some of them have a little bit of a Gothic feel to them. Gothic fairy tales... now that would be interesting to read! The have a bunch that can be nominated for this year's Cybils including Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, The Princess and the Pea, Thumbelina, The Ugly Duckling, and Rapunzel.

How about a television adaption now? Did you know several episodes from The Twilight Zone series has been adapted into graphic novels? It looks like a whopping six volumes are eligible for this year's Cybils. One of those episodes, The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street had a place in my sixth grade literature textbook. Freaked me out for weeks after reading it. Twilight Zone messes with your head man! Two (I think) were nominated last year, and almost right away, so I'm kind of surprised one hasn't show up on the nominated list yet.

Spin offs also seem to be very popular with graphic novels right now. I just found one called CSI: Intern at Your Own Risk. You can guess where the inspiration for that came from. And yes, it is eligible for this year's Cybils. I'm not sure how I feel about this one, mostly because it looks like it can get really bloody. Which is understandable considering the subject. And although I love CSI on TV, for some reason "book violence" really makes me sick. Go figure.

Book spin offs are also doing quite well. I'm pretty sure these are unique stories, and not adaptations, because they act as companion novels to the books. One of the first books to get this treatment (as far as I know) was Meg Cabot's Avalon High Coronation series. The conclusion Hunter's Moon, just came out last month (so it's eligible). I've actually read the first one in this series, and I enjoyed it a lot.

There's also spin offs for the Maximum Ride books, Wicked Lovely (Desert Tales), and The Faerie Path (Lamia's Revenge) (all of these are eligible), as well as a series for the Vampire Kisses books (Volume III is eligible). Not sure if the latter or the Maximum Ride ones are an adaption or a spin off, since I haven't read either series yet.

And last but not least is the Return to Labyrinth series, which is based off Jim Henson's Labyrinth movie. I read volume 1 my first year in the Cybils, and the story and artwork here are amazing. I'm kind of hoping that Volume 3 will make the Cybils list this year.

So that's it for me right now, although there are many, many more out there I'm sure. So have any of you read any of these? Are they worth picking up?


A Bookshelf Monstrosity said...

Ooh, cool! Pride and Prejudice in graphic novel form. Thanks for sharing.

Kay said...

I did see Despereaux the movie and I loved it! But then again I have yet to read the book.

I am not very happy with this adapting famous novels in graphic form (this is probably my old and conservative side speaking), although I can see how they can address a new bunch of people (i.e. most teenagers are probably more interested in P & P the graphic novel than P & P the classic book). I cannot help feeling that most of the original book's depth is lost by this adaptation (plus they are putting faces on characters and I very much like imagining my own). But, of course, that's just me.


Unknown said...

Very nice collection here!

I watched The Tale of Despereaux and found it insulting to my intelligence and absolutely painful to watch. I suspect that the book is more enjoyable than the movie, but have not yet read the book.