[ Small Chirp ] Do novels work in comic book form?

Graphic novels, these literary, comic-book-style stories, have become increasingly mainstream since the ’80s–enough that even a square like me has read Watchmen and the Sandman series. They are creative and thought-provoking and wonderful.

But that’s not what I’m here to talk about. There is a growing trend in the graphic novel world that I’m not sure what to make of: adapting pre-written novels into graphic novel format.

A few months ago, I was browsing Barnes & Noble and saw a graphic novel version of Neil Gaiman’s Coraline. Since Coraline looked a little older than her book self, I guessed it was produced as a way to bring the older Sandman crowd in to check out some of Neil’s other work. I finished it in a sitting and went on my way.

Not too long after that, my mother came home from the library with another graphic novel in her hand.

“I saw this and remembered you’d read it,” she said. “I don’t think you’ve seen this version, though.”

I had read the book, all right. Continue reading

[ Book Review ] Looking for a Scapegoat

Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett

I am going to be shunned for heresy, but I’m going to come right out and say it. Here goes: I did not enjoy Good Omens as much as I thought I would.

I am no longer a proper Pratchett loyalist, and the knowledge burns. But instead of huddling somewhere, trying to process this suddenly upturned world, I’m going to pin the reasons I had trouble with the book on three major issues:

  1. Gaiman
  2. Gaiman
  3. Gaiman

Thus, the fangirl in me is mollified.

Good Omens is a fun book, make no mistake. It combines the light writing style of the Discworld series with Gaiman’s penchant for making the fantastic out of our everyday world. The story begins with the end of the world–the apocalypse is nigh, the four horsemen are ready, and the divine troops are preparing for battle.

Everything is going as planned when the angels and demons realize something. Both sides have misplaced the Antichrist.

The story and characters are hilarious, the social commentary wonderfully biting, and the marriage of the real and the magical delightful. This is a book I would recommend to anyone.

So what kept this from a five-star? There really are three reasons. Continue reading