Graphic Novel Review: The Iliad

The Iliad by Gareth Hinds
The Iliad 
by Gareth Hinds 

2 out of 5 stars on GoodReads

This graphic novel retelling of Homer’s Iliad was not quite what I expected. It’s much too word-heavy for a graphic novel, and I found myself bogged down in the text. Most of the panels have so much text that there is barely room for the artwork. And the artwork itself is nothing special. I didn’t care for the cartoony look, and it just didn’t grab my attention. It looks somewhat amateur, or hastily drawn.

If you are a big fan of the Iliad, you might like this, but I did not enjoy reading it. Usually I love classical literature, and I have read The Iliad before, so I was happy to be revisiting the story of the Trojan War with all the drama. But this book does not deliver drama. It feels stale and static, like the characters are all made of stone.

Disappointed in this one. Continue reading

Manga Review: MacBeth

Manga Classics by Crystal S. Chan
Manga Classics: Macbeth 
by Crystal S. Chan (Adapted by),William ShakespeareJulien Choy (Illustrations)

4 out of 5 stars on GoodReads


Despite its popularity, MacBeth has never been one of my favorite Shakespearean plays. Too bloody and gory and gloomy for my taste. But if you like a dismal adventure with plenty of violence and mayhem, MacBeth has plenty of that! And this manga adaptation rings true with the moods and poetry of the original play. I like that the exact dialogue of the play is used in this manga, and the artwork beautifully illustrates all the action and drama. Continue reading

Manga Review: Romeo and Juliet

Manga Classics by Crystal S. Chan
Manga Classics: Romeo and Juliet 
by Crystal S. Chan (Adapter)William ShakespeareJulien Choy (Artist)

3 out of 5 stars on GoodReads

With all the original dialogue of the play, this manga adaptation of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet bursts with old enchantment and romantic drama. The illustrations flow from one panel to the next in a surge of emotional tension, and the action keeps the wordy dialogue from weighing down the storyline.

This would be a great way to introduce Shakespeare to younger audiences, since the dialogue is easier to understand along with the action of the panels. Continue reading

Recent Reads: Middle Grade, Comics + Manga

 

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Disclaimer: Some of these books were received from the publisher/author via NetGalley in exchange for a free and honest review. All the opinions stated here are my own true thoughts, and are not influenced by anyone.
*Review copies are marked with asterisk in the video. Continue reading

Manga Review: Count of Monte Cristo

Manga Classics by Crystal S. Chan
Manga Classics: The Count of Monte Cristo 
by Crystal S. Chan (Story Adaptation)Alexandre DumasNokman Poon (Art by)

5 out of 5 stars on GoodReads


Edmond Dantes is betrayed by a coworker who wants his job, a romantic rival who will steal his bride, and a crooked government prosecutor with a dark secret to hide. Thrown into prison for decades, Dantes eventually escapes, becomes fabulously wealthy, and vows revenge on those who ruined his life.

Count of Monte Cristo is one of my top five favorite novels of all time, so I was interested to see how one of my favorite stories would translate into manga form. Although they had to simplify the story considerably, and there are really too many characters for a stand-alone manga, I enjoyed this wonderful adaptation of a classic tale!
Continue reading

Review: Manga Classics: Great Expectations

Manga Classics: Great Expectations
Manga Classics: Great Expectations by Stacy King

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I’ve never really liked this story, but reading it as a manga was definitely better! Seeing Pip as a manga character, and being able to read his expressions, brought the story to life for me. I also appreciated that the story is condensed and clear, making it easy to follow what is going on.

The best part is seeing all the characters, both good guys and villains, strongly reflected in the beautiful artwork. Joe has an angelic face, peaceful and kindly in every circumstance. Miss Havisham is old and gaunt and ghastly. And Pip’s face is innocent and wishful. The brilliant thing about the artwork is that their whole character is written in their faces! Continue reading

Review: Manga Classics: Jane Eyre

Manga Classics: Jane Eyre
Manga Classics: Jane Eyre by Stacy King

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Jane Eyre has always been one of my favorite books, so I had high expectations for this manga adaptation, and I was not disappointed!

Jane is beautifully portrayed, and all the complexity and grace of her character is reflected in her appearance, her facial expressions, and in every bit of dialogue. Simply brilliant! I loved her pretty dresses, and her fierce spirit and sweetness absolutely pours off the page! Continue reading

Review: Manga Classics: Les Misérables

Manga Classics: Les Misérables
Manga Classics: Les Misérables by Stacy King

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Somehow, I’ve never been a huge fan of Les Mis, but this manga changed my mind! For the first time, I actually enjoyed reading this classic story!

The artwork really brings the story to life, and enhances the characters so much. I loved seeing cute little Cosette when she’s a tiny little girl, and the brave and generous Jean Valjean striving to protect her. Seeing the expressions on their faces made them more real and relatable. The story is full of action and suspense, and that is reflected excellently in the art panels.

The writing is really brilliant, especially since it can’t be easy to condense such a complicated story into this format. In just a few words, the characters’ deep motivations are laid bare to the reader. The plot is easily understood without losing any of its multiple layers of meaning and emotion.

I loved it so much!! I read it all in one sitting, and I can’t wait to read more of these Manga Classics.

Disclaimer: I received an ecopy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for a free and honest review. All the opinions stated here are my own true thoughts, and are not influenced by anyone.

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