Tuesday, May 27, 2014

#Armchair BEA: From Words to Art

Welcome to Day 2 of Armchair BEA! Today's topic is "More Than Just Words," a chance to talk about the different forms books can take. Today I'll be discussing my love-hate relationship with a recent(ish) trend in YA: companion graphic novels. Graphic novel adaptations are cropping up all over the place lately, and they seem to be especially popular for the paranormal and fantasy genres. What I love about these companions is that, unlike other adaptation mediums such as film or TV, they usually remain very faithful to the source material, very closely following the events in the book. But, since I've usually already read the book and know what happens before picking up a graphic novel, what really determines whether or not I'll read the adaptation or not is the artwork. This is just my own personal preference but I prefer the graphic novels that lean more toward manga-style artwork over ones drawn in American-comic-book-style. Here are a few examples of graphic novels I've loved...and of ones I've not really loved.


Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer and Young Kim 

Excuse me while I take a moment to gush. I love everything about these graphic novels. They are so, so beautiful! Everything was perfect, from how closely they followed the original plot of the books, to the coloring, to the character depictions. And look at those covers! They match! They're holding hands!! It's almost too much for my poor little fangirl heart to take.

Soulless series by Gail Carriger and Rem

Another graphic novel adaptation series with absolutely gorgeous artwork. Also, the humor that makes the books so great really comes across well in the adaptation. (A note: Since this series is an adult paranormal romance series and not aimed at the YA set, the graphic novels are bit more...well, graphic. Just something to keep in mind.)


City of Bones by Cassandra Clare and Nicole Virella

I was so looking forward to the graphic novel adaptation of The Mortal Instruments...until I saw the artwork. Although the coloring of each cover is beautiful, it's the depictions of the characters that I can't stand. They have too much of that comic book superhero look to them. Not my cup of tea.

 So, what's your opinion on graphic novel adaptations? Do you have any favorites? What books would you like to see turned into graphic novels?


  1. Every time I see a graphic novel adaptation in the vaguely Manga style, all I can think of is "Look! It's Twilight as performed by the cast of Speed Racer!" Very distracting. I wasn't a huge fan of Twilight, but my students love the books and the graphic novels and are waiting for volume 3 and 4! I agree with you on the Clare adaptation-- a bit different.

  2. Love graphic novel adaptations! Great choices. I will have to check out the Soulless series soon.

  3. I've actually never read any graphic novels, though lately I've been seeing some books turned into some, which intrigues me. Maybe one day i'll pick some up!

  4. Oddly I have never checked out a graphic novel interpretation of a book I have read - this sounds like a great idea! I love the Soulless books; I will definitely have to check those out.

  5. Thanks for bringing this to my attention. I was completely unfamiliar with graphic novel adaptations. Thank you!

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  7. I have to agree about The Mortal Instrument graphic novels. I'm just not a fan of the look. What a shame!

  8. I've been ignoring graphic novel adaptations of other novels. But these look beautiful! I should be paying more attention.

    Joy's Book Blog


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