Sunday, August 5, 2012

Twilight: the graphic novel, by Stephenie Meyer and Young Kim

Twilight: the graphic novel, vol. 2
by Stephenie Meyer
art and adaptation by Young Kim
240 pages
New York: Yen Press
ISBN 9780316133197

The second half of the graphic adaptation of Meyer's first novel in the Twilight series.

The manga version of the popular YA novel follows the original plot and dialogue closely. The illustrations, done almost entirely in black and white, are well-shaded and have a fair amount of detail, although the characters' faces have the typical big-eyed, pointy-chinned, chiseled features of Japanese comic artwork. (Young is Korean, not Japanese, so her product may technically be called manhwa.) The comic is largely hand-drawn in an illustration software program, and benefits from touches like easy erasure to clean up the edges and scraps of photography added as background. Text is typed, not drawn in, and uses generic oval speech bubbles -- in many cases, it's easier to read than hand-lettering, but a lot of the emphasis and interpretation of dialogue gets lost in the plain font.

While teen devotees of the series will likely slurp up this addendum to the original novels, it's not enough to carry the story on its own. Too much of the non-dialogue text is missing from the graphic novel, so unless one has previously read the story or seen the movie, it may not be clear just what's taking place. There are brief splashes of color, which make sense when the narration is a flashback or the scene takes place in a character's history, but don't really add to the story at two other points (Bella seeing Edward in full sunlight-- although the rest of the scene continues in black and white -- and several pages at the close of the book). If the whole thing had been inked in color, I think it would have been beautiful, but the occasional diversion is just distracting. I also have a quibble with the spacing of the speech bubbles, which often appear out of order, thereby jumbling the conversation. (The dialogue is already... less than stunning, so the spacing emphasizes any confusion.)

I'm recommending this as a PBOR because of the immense popularity of Twilight, not because I personally liked the story. I think it would have high circulation in a public or high school library, particularly if the usual patrons already appreciate manga.

Author Info
No Illustrator Info
Media: computer-generated images including virtual pencil drawings and photography

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