Adapt to Survive
While I lean towards manga series, I have also found graphic novel adaptations of the written word intriguing. I've only read a handful of them, and they are usually of the books that I love/am obsessed with. As I keep saying that I should branch out more, I thought it would be helpful for me (and those following the SMCL blog) to create a list of some of our graphic novel adaptations. Not only do these adaptations create a new spin on books, it can also lure in new readers into reading the "classics" that they may be loathe to pick up otherwise.
When we read Julius Caesar in high school, my friend and I adapted images from the manga series Gensomaden Saiyuki and applied the text of Julius Caesar to the speech bubbles in overhead format. It was a hit, mostly because of the gorgeous drawing style of Kazuya Minekura, and also because it added background, imagery, and characters to pure dialogue.
And now, there are real graphic novel adaptations of the classics, done, I have to say, in a much more professional manner than our photocopy > white out > convert to overhead transparencies. It actually amazed me to find out how many of the classics have been adapted into graphic novels. And I wonder how long it will be before these are integrated into classroom curriculums to supplement (or replace!) the original texts....
- A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
- Jane Eyre
- Julius Caesar
- King Arthur
- The Odyssey
- A Wrinkle in Time
And, not to be forgotten, there are plenty of graphic novel adaptations of "modern" books that have not, as of yet, made it to the list of classics. I only read a handful of them but I really, really, really loved the manga adaptation of Soulless as well as Coraline. On the other hand, while one of my favorite fantasy series of all times is the Wheel of Time, the text boxes were SO tiny that I had to squint while reading. I had the same experience with the Thief of Always. The drawings were nice, though!
Similarly, the Korean artist who illustrated Twilight: The Graphic Novel made extremely pretty-boys... I highly recommend the Maximum Ride graphic novel series, as...admittedly, I didn't care for Max's narration in the original novel series. My only pet peeve with the graphic novels is that Fang looks like a carbon copy of Kanda Yuu from D.Gray-Man!
- City of Ember (Jeanne DuPrau)
- Coraline (Neil Gaiman)
- Game of Thrones (George R. R. Martin)
- The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini)
- The Lightning Thief (Rick Riordan)
- Maximum Ride (James Patterson)
- Neverwhere (Neil Gaiman)
- The Red Pyramid (Rick Riordan)
- Soulless (Gail Carriger)
- Thief of Always (Clive Barker)
- Twilight (Stephanie Meyer)
- Vampire Academy (Leigh Dragoon)
- Wheel of Time (Robert Jordan)
Jenna V. can read a manga series over and over...and over once more if it’s really good.