Tag Archives: graphic novel

Uglies: Shay’s Story by Scott Westerfeld, Devin Grayson, and Steven Cummings

Uglies: Shay’s Story by Scott Westerfeld, Devin Grayson, and Steven Cummings: This is the graphic novel of Uglies from Shay’s point of view. It’s something you probably don’t want to read until you’ve finished the series, but I suppose it technically doesn’t spoil the other books. The story itself is fine. They don’t dwell too much on the parts you see from Tally’s point of view, so it is mostly fresh material. My issue with it was the art. Everyone looks the same. I get that the Uglies aren’t supposed to actually be ugly, but they look identical to the Pretties, the Specials, the Smokies, everybody. You don’t even get much change pre- and post-surgery for the same characters. I get that it’s difficult to include the sort of subtle details described in the book, but it got to the point where the Ugly nicknames didn’t even make any sense. I like the idea of a graphic adaptation of Westerfeld’s work, but this just didn’t work out very well.

Maus: A Survivor’s Tale by Art Spiegelman

Maus: A Survivor’s Tale by Art Spiegelman: I read this in two separate volumes but they were back to back so I’m going to review the whole thing as one. This is the tale of Spiegelman’s father’s experiences during the Holocaust in Poland, as told through interviews with his son. There are a large number of flashbacks, but interspersed are present-day exchanges as Spiegelman attempts to deal with his often unreasonable father. A number of interesting things were done here: first, the father’s imperfect English was kept verbatim, so I could completely hear his Polish accent. Second, various creatures were used to represent various peoples: Jews were mice, Germans were cats, Poles were pigs, Swedes were reindeer, and Americans were dogs. Oddly, the animal attributes were only applied to the heads; the bodies were unquestionably human. The tale itself was one of horror, as expected, but also one of love and hope. The choice to tell it as a comic in stark black and white was a wise one: it really drove it home for me, leaving me with both words and images. The Holocaust – much of WWII, really – remains an incredible, almost unbelievable part of human history, and one that must never be forgotten. Maus is only one story from it, but it is a powerful one nonetheless. Recommended.

Twilight: The Graphic Novel, Volume 1 by Stephenie Meyer and Young Kim

Twilight: The Graphic Novel, Volume 1 by Stephenie Meyer and Young Kim: I am curious if the Twilight frenzy will continue long enough for there to be a volume 2. But that’s neither here nor there. This is Twilight from the beginning to the first kiss. Since there is art to go along with the dialog, the reader is saved from Bella’s endless, repetitive inner monologue, and thus we never have to endure constant reminders of Edward’s marble icy granite skin. Which is much appreciated, but also makes the story move so quickly that the blossoming love is even less believable than in the books. The couple moves from “hello” to “you are my reason for living” in just a few pages. The art, luckily, is lovely. I thought it was interesting how most of the characters, most notably the leads, look nothing like their movie counterparts, but minor character Jessica Stanley rather strikingly resembles Anna Kendrick. I was amused at how often I felt Bella resembled Sarah Michelle Gellar, who is most famous for her portrayal of a certain vampire slayer. Once I noticed most of the backgrounds were photographs I found it somewhat distracting; however, I did enjoy the sporadic use of color. I doubt anyone who isn’t already a Twilight fan would enjoy this, especially with the accelerated timeline that occasionally left me checking to make sure I hadn’t missed a page. That said, I’ll be curious to see what else Young Kim does in her career. She is clearly talented. I’ll be on the lookout for further installments of this series, if only to see how she portrays the other characters.

Also posted on BookCrossing.

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