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Five For Friday #8: Adaptation
posted December 17, 2004

Name Five Entertaining Adaptations From Literature

City of Glass, Paul Karasik and David Mazzucchelli
Kafka for Beginners, R. Crumb
Nightmare Alley, Spain Rodriguez
Orchid, Various
Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Hunt Emerson

Other Lists and Responses


T. Fraga

"The Myths of Cthulhu" and "Dracula, dracul, vlad?, bah..." by legendary South-American artist Alberto Breccia.

An interesting case is JOE HALDEMAN, a renowned American sci-fi writer who has been adapting some of his novels for the Francophone comics industry since the late 80's:

The Forever War, by Joe Haldeman (adapted from his novel) and Marvano. (published in English by NBM)

and its sequel:

Forever Free by Joe Haldeman (adapted from his novel) and Marvano.

He even has written an original series of graphic novels inspired by his novel "Buying Time; Dallas Barr, by Joe Haldeman and Marvano.

He talks about it in this interesting interview.


Colin Blanchette

There are suprisingly few adaptations worthy of being included on a list. I wonder if anyone has ever catalogued them. Here's mine, belatedly...

Age of Bronze by Eric Shanower
The Ring of the Nibelung by Roy Thomas, Gil Kane and Jim Woodring
The Jungle by Peter Kuper
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Mattotti and Kramsky
The Iron Wagon by Jason

The Ring of the Nibelung isn't really an adaptation from literature, but I thought it was close enough, and quite good. (I haven't read P. Craig Russell's version yet.) Overall, this is really a weak list. I would only really recommend the top two, and maybe The Iron Wagon if someone enjoyed Jason's other work. I didn't include Nightmare Alley because I thought it was mediocre. City of Glass was not mediocre, but I think it's severely overrated, and I wanted my list to be different from yours.


Jonathan Ellis

Five Entertaining Adaptations From Literature

The Collected Beowulf by Gareth Hinds -- Told in three chapters, each done in a unique art style, Gareth's work on this book is just a strikingly luscious display of artistry. Gareth is also working on adapting King Lear and so far it looks great - more at his site --

Ariane & Bluebeard by Peter Craig Russell, adapted from the Opera -- It’s PCR so it really is just lovely

Vagabond, an adaptation from the semi-fictionalized biography of "sword saint" Miyamoto Musashi by Eiji Yoshikawa

And from short pieces; The Murder Mysteries Graphic Novel from Dark Horse also by PCR from the Neil Gaiman short story and Mirror Of Love by Jose Villarrubia from the Alan Moore Poem.


Nick Mullins

I don't think I can think of five new ones, but I have two that nobody has mentioned yet.

• Ian Pollock's Illustrated King Lear. I think this came out in the 80s. My mother had a copy of it and I read it in high school. It's an unexpurgated version of King Lear with energetic and surreal illustrations. It's the kind of thing I wish Classics Illustrated had been.

Here's a link to the book at Amazon:

• The Bloody Streets of Paris. All of the Nestor Burma stories by Tardi are adaptations.

• Well, here's a tentative third. I have to say I still like the illustrations in Bill Sienkiewicz's Classics Illustrated version of Moby Dick. Yeah, he takes a 470 page book and makes it into a 44 page comic book (thereby scientifically proving that the "picture is worth a thousand words" maxim is not true), but there're are some great images of Ahab. And the final picture of the whale is beautiful. Reading this in high school made we go and read Melville's original.