Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Graphic adaptations

Looking for a new take on old classics?  Try one of these three graphic novels that we've just added to the collection:
The Odyssey by Gareth Hinds, based on the epic poem by Homer.  Hinds took a little artistic liberty with some of the illustrations, opting for an overall fell of ancient Greece, rather than historically accurate costumes and weaponry.  His watercolors are very nice, and get the point across well.  He also combined the efforts of a variety of translators for the narration, but needed to adapt a great deal of the text to fit the graphic novel format.  This is a good introduction to a classic story for those who don't feel up to diving into Robert Fagles' 541-page translation.
Dante's Divine Comedy adapted by Seymour Chwast, including Inferno, Purgatory and Paradise.  Chwast's black-and-white illustrations look very Art Deco, reminiscent of magazine illustrations from the 1920's.  Most of Dante's text is gone, leaving the bare bones of the afterlife he envisioned.  This is actually Chwast's first graphic novel; he is famous as an award-winning graphic artist and designer of fonts.  As much as I loved Robert Pinsky's translation, this new version is very entertaining.
Dawn Land by Will Davis and Joseph Bruchac.  Bruchac is a prolific Abenaki children's author who has made his reputation as a storyteller incorporating Native American myths and oral traditions.  His 1993 novel Dawn Land is a coming-of-age story set 10,000 years ago.  Will Davis has taken this story and retold it with crisp black-and-white pencil sketches.

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