Twilight: The Graphic Novel Vol 1 by Stephenie Meyer & Young Kim Review

 

Title: Twilight: The Graphic Novel Vol 1

Author: Stephenie Meyer

Art& Adaptation: Young Kim

Publisher:  Yen Press

ISBN: 9780759529434

 

May Contain Spoilers

From Amazon:

When Isabella Swan moves to the gloomy town of Forks and meets the mysterious, alluring Edward Cullen, her life takes a thrilling and terrifying turn. With his porcelain skin, golden eyes, mesmerizing voice, and supernatural gifts, Edward is both irresistible and impenetrable. Up until now, he has managed to keep his true identity hidden, but Bella is determined to uncover his dark secret…

Beautifully rendered, this first installment of Twilight: The Graphic Novel is a must-have for any collector’s library.

I was tickled when I received this book in the mail.  It is certainly one of the most reviled books to hit shelves, becoming a target  for comic and manga fans all over the blogsphere.  While I knew the basics of the Twilight universe, I was unfamiliar with the actual story itself, so it was fun to see what all of the fuss is about.  Having been on a young adult novel reading kick, Twilight felt right at home with several of the titles I have read over the past few months.  Girl falls for handsome, dangerous guy, peril and romance ensue, and happiness is usually the end result.  In the case of Edward, not only is he drop dead gorgeous, but he sparkles as well.  Now that is my kind of guy.  I bet he smells good, too.

This book will be a hit for its intended audience.  It’s a fun, fast read, and the artwork is spot on.  I love the use of color; the illustrations are in shades of grays, until a dramatic scene unfolds, when vibrant, eye-catching colors are used to emphasize the events taking place.  Young Kim’s art made the story for me.  Not having read the novels or seen any of the movies, I had no pre-defined image of what any of the characters should look like, so Young Kim’s character designs worked very well for me.  I thought her sense of motion was convincing and exciting as well, and the panels depicting Jacob turning into a werewolf were very effective.  The blue of the wolf’s eye are striking and made me look at those pages again and again.

The plot isn’t any worse than any other paranormal romance out there right now, despite protests to the contrary.  The novel version is a massive tome of 500 pages, which I admit I probably lack the patience to wade through.  The graphic novel is compact, revealing the story in manageable chunks through Young Kim’s drawings and character-driven dialog.  Sure, it’s corny at times, but so are half of the other graphic novels I read on a daily basis.  Fans of Vampire Knight will find a lot to like here, if they approach the reading experience with an open mind.  Many of the people I have mentioned this title to have already decided that it’s crap, without even opening it, and that is really too bad, because it’s a solid read.

That’s not to say it’s not without its flaws.  I H.A.T.E. how the word balloons look like enormous sperm, and how they are thrown haphazardly onto the artwork.  The font for Bella’s monologs also drove me nuts.  Yuck! And the font for the dialog is only marginally better.  It felt like I was reading the newspaper.  Cold, lifeless, and without any variety, the words, or how they look, are functional at best, and fail to work together with the art to deliver a comprehensively immersive package.

I enjoyed the time I spent with Bella and Edward, and I’m looking forward to seeing two things.  First is volume two, which I believe is still lacking a release date.  Second is whether or not this release has any effect on sales of graphic novels in general.  It is my gut feeling that at least some of the people who read this title are going to interested enough to read another illustrated novel.  Will they give manga a nibble, or maybe read a little Anita Blake, or some other novel adaptation?  To the Twilight haters,  I will still argue that any interest in any graphic novel is a good thing for the industry, especially if some of this book’s intended target market take an interest in comics.  Teenaged girls drove the manga boom in the first place.  I hope they do it again.

Grade: B

Review copy provided by Yen Press