[My strict pick is late this week on account of my giving out a project in the course I'm teaching, which I then had to grade. Oy! I had no idea how long that would take me. Thanks for your patience, and back to the usual MO next week.]
So I was originally going to pick this as my strict pick for this week, but then I hemmed and hawed about it. See the thing is, Twilight has one hell of a reputation in the literary circles. People rail on it for being poorly written, too sensationalized, over-rated. But in some ways, it almost reminds me of Simon Cowell's response to Rebecca Black's "Friday:" "Anyone who can create this much controversy in a week, I want to meet."
Plus, honestly, I'm kind of fascinated by the whole thing. And the way they've been spun out into these graphic novels is well worth talking about. So this week's strict pick is the Twilight Graphic Novel, Volume 2. This one I had a chance to read cover to cover before its release, thanks to it arriving in the store two weeks early (and it being a short book). Graphic novel adaptations are fascinating, in my opinion. Until somewhat recently, it was relatively unlikely that a more mainstream book would be adapted into a graphic novel; that was reserved for the space operas and the superheroes. So perhaps a movie would be made, and that would be the extent of any visual representation of an author's words.
But movies have limitations. An author can imagine anything she can dream of and put it down in the prose, but even in these days of CGI and huge special-effects budgets, films are still constrained by what actors can play a role, how much budget they can spend, what the limitations are of the physical world.
Not so with art.
Art has the ability to move past what can be put on screen--anything that can be imagined can be drawn. For that reason, a graphic novel adaptation has the ability to be more faithful to the original, and to transform it in ways a movie adaptation simply can't.
Now, I admit to liking Twilight. I thought it was an interesting concept, if not the most brilliantly executed one, and I think the book raised some very interesting questions. But if I liked Twilight, I've enjoyed the graphic novels even more. As it turns out, Young Kim has the ability to put things on a page that were barely there in the words, and things the actors had difficulty getting across on screen. Even though they are not very traditional when it comes to graphic novels (and in some ways, aren't as well executed as they could be for the genre), I think they add something to the existing books that so far, nothing else has managed to do. Sometimes, simply seeing a beautifully-drawn facial expression conveys more than the words could ever manage.
Therefore, I'm lifting up the second volume this week as my Strict Pick of the week. Not because it's Twilight, but because it's a fascinating example of this way of adapting a book into a visual form.
And….I've got some ARCs to give away, don't I?
Thank you to all who visited and commented (and joined! More on that coming up). I was absolutely blown away (I might have screamed when I saw that Lauren Oliver had retweeted the review). I let random.org pick from the 23 responses, and here's who it came up with:
For Liesl & Po: Person 17, or Lily!
For Eve: Person 7, or Marissa Burt!
Congratulations, ladies! I'll be in touch to find out where you'd like your ARCS sent. And thank you to everyone for coming out to comment!