Thursday, March 18, 2010

Twilight : The Graphic Novel Volume 1

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

By now, everyone knows the story of Twilight.  Girl meets boy.  Boy wants to kill girl.  Girl nearly gets run over by a van.  Boy wants to kiss girl and kill her at the same time.  Girl finds out boy's secret.  There's a scene in a meadow.  Boy only wants to kiss girl, but now afraid of killing her.

There's more, but this is as far as Volume 1 gets.

I'm going to break away from my normal synopsis format and give some straight talk.

On, there is much praise and love for this graphic novel.  People are praising the art and loving the fact that the illustrations are closer to the original descriptions of the characters in the book than the movie versions.
Rabid fans with enjoy this without a question.

However, there really is much to be desired.
Young Kim has beautiful illustrations, but I found the book as a whole to be sorely lacking.  At some points, actual photographs are used and then colored over, instead of drawn from scratch.  There seems to be no rhyme nor reason for this.  It almost feels like laziness.  Like "I don't feel like drawing the mountains in by hand.  I'll just take this picture and scribble some lines over it.  That'll work!"

I understand the shifts from black and white (or, sometimes, sepia tones) to color.  It is meant to emphasize things.  But what could be the most beautiful image of the entire book, the one that's only half shown on the cover, isn't even in the book.

I am also less than impressed by the illustrations of the characters.  Facial expressions rarely change.  When Bella's face does emote, it's usually anger, though often in places that she wasn't angry in the novel.

Important scenes (IMHO) were deleted completely.  Some things seemed to be randomly added. 

Of course, my biggest pet peeve (as a former English teacher) is the onomatopoeia (words that are their sounds like buzz, ring, bap).  For some reason, Young Kim has decided to completely make up works like squlck, tok, puh, and crk (my spell check is going insane).

One more thought... part of my problem with this graphic novel is the fact that it is a bad cross between manga and the graphic novel format.  Certain cues that are used in manga are used here, but not all the time.  And the illustrations go back and forth between extremely detailed and barely outlined.  It gets confusing.

People will buy this and librarians will stock it.  However, I just don't see it lasting long as more than a passing fad in the vampire/supernatural culture that is currently dominating the YA industry.

Rating: 1/5

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