Monday, March 22, 2010

Review: Twilight: The Graphic Novel by Young Kim

Title: Twilight: The Graphic Novel
Author/Illustrator: Young Kim, Stephenie Meyer
Genre: Graphic Novel, Romance, YA, Supernatural
Perfect for: Shoujo and Twilight  fans!

I'll be honest, I used to be a Twihard.  I read all the books within a week of their release, went to a few midnight releases, and even have a hardcover (signed) and a paperback (travel copy) of the original printings of "Twilight".  I thought I had overcome this Twihard thing, until I found myself face to face with the fantastic cover of "Twilight: The Graphic Novel".  As well as being a recovered Twihard, I also choose books by covers and this cover drew me in instantly.

Let me start with the story.  If you've read "Twilight", there are no surprises here.  The story follows Bella as she starts life in her fathers home town of Forks.  There she meets Edward Cullen and and her life changes in ways she never imagined.  The graphic novel is adapted quite nicely.  Those who found "Twilight" slow or to 'inside Bella's head' should like its fast paced narrative.  Most of the essential bits from Bella arriving in Forks to seeing him 'sparkle' in the meadow are translated effortlessly to the graphic novel format.  Key lines are kept intact, while, for good reason, others are paraphrased.  The novel stops with the meadow, so don't expect this to be a complete adaptation of "Twilight".  Expect each book to be broken up into at least two graphic novels, if not three.

The greatest thing about the graphic novel is not the fine adaptation, but the fantastic artwork by artist Young Kim.  The Bella and Edward he created are more like 'my' Edward and Bella than the movie ever  will.  The glossy black and white illustrations with occasional color thrown in are pleasing to the eye.  The drawing style is a good mix of traditional disney-esc and manga.  Kim's drawings really help readers see Bella's and Edwards emotions, as opposed to telling us with text.  The illustrations really were the main thing that drew me to picking this title up.  I'm sure you'll love them!

The only problem I have with this book is the binding and price.  Twenty-One dollars is mighty high for a comic book, especially one that is only volume one of many.  While I usually love hardcovers, it seems a bit much to bind comics in the hardcover  format in volume form.  Why not wait till all the volumes of "Twilight: The Graphic Novel" are out and in print?  It's rare for me to even want to pay ten dollars for a paperback manga these days, let alone twenty for a hardcover that isn't a compilation.  I would have preferred this to be in a more affordable format (ie paperback) than in the (however nice) hardcover/glossy one Yen Press decided to go for.

Overall, though, regardless of what I think of the price, I am happy with this adaptation.  I'd even say I prefer this to the movie versions that are so popular at the moment.  Enjoy this read!

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