Twilight: The Graphic Novel – Volume 1

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Twilight: The Graphic Novel – Volume 1

Art and Adaptation by Young Kim

Spoiler Warning – But why would you read the graphic novel before the canon?

Based on Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

Under the auspices of Ms. Meyer, Young Kim has created a beautiful graphic novel that follows our favorite vampire-lover to halfway through the first Twilight novel.  This is the first ‘real’ graphic novel that I’ve read, so it’s a whole new medium for me to take in.  Ms. Kim tells the story fluidly, with illustrations and textual interjections that keep a smart pace.  She manages to keep the true spirit and tension of Twilight, while leaving aside minor details that aren’t vital to the telling of the story.

Judging by the graphic novel itself, Young Kim didn’t seem to draw (punny?) too much inspiration from the movie adaptation, except perhaps that the character Jessica resembles Anna Kendrick from the film series.  Kim’s drawings are really mesmerizing, and portray a more well-rounded Bella than in the films; her facial expressions make her seem like she actually has doubts and fears and is really human.  Drawings of Edward, although not in line with my taste in men, showed powerful contrast between his good and bad days (aka satisfied vs. hungry).  Billy, with  his hat shadowing his warning expression, was incredibly close to what I’d imagined while reading the original text.  Overall, the graphic novel was far less emo and Bella was far less angry than in the movie version; this was an advantage of this volume for me.

Bella and Edward

The story frames use an interesting combination of black and white drawings and edited photo backgrounds.  For instance, Bella is drawn in at the Phoenix airport, surrounded by a [photo of a] real terminal.But what really captivated me about this retelling was the use of color; Ms. Kim used technicolor only sparingly, and to heighten the meaning and delivery of important scenes.  Here are some examples:
1. When Bella dreams about Edward an a mysterious wolf facing off, she sees the wolf in an Earthy, bloody red.
2. Edward describes why twilight is his favorite part of every day, shimmers of topaz[!]-like orange and yellow break through the background sky to lend our cold hero some power in getting the reader to sympathize with his turmoil.
3. The meadow – Yes, the cliches remain, but the strong influx of greens and golds gives us a clue as to what sort of elated joy Bella and Edward felt, finally knowing that they were, for now, safe and happy in each other’s presence.

Although I thought some scenes were a bit brief or glossed-over, I had no problem with continuity because I’ve read the canon and am familiar with the storyline and characters.   So, I recommend this graphic novels to readers who are already well-versed in Twilight-ology.  Note: Even though I’ve listed this under “Children’s Books,” I do it with reservation; just as with the original, Twilight‘s themes, attitudes, and [eventually] content is best for mature/older teens or adults, in my opinion.  Personally, I enjoyed the graphic novel far better than the movie, and on par (granted, in a different way) with the original novel.  For a first graphic novel read, I’m impressed and I look forward to more!

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