Monday, December 6, 2010

A First

Last week, I bought a graphic novel for the first time. Oh, I've read them. My girlies are heavily into anime and manga so I've read their graphic novels. (Ssshhh) Gundam Wing, Ruroni Kenshin, Card Captor Sakura, Heat Guy J to name a few.

As reading material goes the graphic novel (comic books for us old folks) was enterntaining enough, but not a genre I embraced. As a kid, reading comic books was severely frowned upon by the nuns and my parents. Perhaps it was a gender thing. Not suitable for girls, but considered more of a boy sport. If I wanted to read a comic book, I went to Himself's house and read his comic books. Superman, The Hulk, Captain America, The Mighty Thor, and a bunch of Micky Mouse and Donald Duck. Himself even had comic book versions of classics like Treasure Island.  I always preferred to read the book version of the classics.

When author, Diana Gabaldon, announced a few months ago, she was releasing a graphic novel based on Outlander, I was both excited and skeptical. How could an intricate story be condensed into the graphic novel format? The entire Outlander series has captivated me, and I wondered if the graphic novel would hold up.

The Exhile tells the story from the Jaime, the hero's point of view and that of his godfather, Murtagh. This version allows us to see things that Claire, the heroine, didn't see or know. (Outlander is told from Claire's perspective.)

The illustrations by Hoang Nguyen are very lush. The pages are thick with a lovely glossy finish. I wondered how the artist would be able to translate the description of Jamie. Each reader as her/his own idea of what Jamie looked liked. Mr. Nguyen came pretty close. Though in some later panels, faces seem to be a bit distorted. As if a square drawing had to be put into a rectangular panel. One amusing point is the drawing of Claire.  She's described in the book as having a well rounded figure. She starts out in the graphic novel as a well endowed woman, and ends with Mother of Heaven, but did you see the size of her MacGuffies? LOL

Perhaps that's part of the graphic novel/comic book genre. All the heroines and villainesses in the comic books seemed to have enormous MacGuffies and very tiny waists. I always wondered how Wonder Woman, for example, could stand up without toppling over let alone run as she was so top heavy.

I enjoyed reading The Exhile. And had the same thought I always have at the end of Gabaldon's novels. That's it? That's it? Though I found the graphic novel to be entertaining and a quick read, I'd rather wait for the 8th book in the series to come out.

Do you like the graphic novel genre or prefer to have your own imagination furnish the illustrations for a novel?

1 comment:

  1. Is it horrible that I'm a teacher and I've never read one? I'm not sure I'd be a big fan of the genre.