A growing trend is making itself known in bookstores and libraries. Some of the most popular young adult novels are being transformed into graphic novels. This trend is not showing signs of slowing down anytime soon. Here are some of the most popular books making the transition.
Stephenie Meyer’s unavoidable Twilight has begun making the transition. Fans of the series can read the books, watch the movies and now read the graphic novel version that is on shelves. So far only Twilight: The Graphic Novel, Volume 1, the first half of the story found in the original book is available, but at least the second half of the story is going to make the transition as well. Young Kim, a Korean artist, is doing the artwork for the books. I have looked at the graphic novel and the artwork is wonderful. Twilight fans are likely already aware of this development and love it. For the people that have tried to avoid all things Twilight, this might just be the version that will make them fans.
The first two books from Eoin Colfer’s series about criminal mastermind Artemis Fowl have also made the transition to graphic novels. Colfer was deeply involved to the adaptations, so the original spirit of the book is still evident. The artist, Giovanni Rigano, did a great job of bringing the characters and story to life. To the best of my knowledge, the entire series is in the works to be adapted into graphic novels.
Darren Shan’s Cirque Du Freak series, which the movie The Vampire’s Assistant was based on, has made a similar transition. This series is officially in Manga format, a Japanese style of graphic novel. These adaptations are extremely faithful to the original novels. While the art in the first few books is adequate but not stellar, the art of Takahiro Arai does improve as the series continues.
The trend is not limited to just current novels, there is one group out there transforming classic novels into graphic novels. Graphic Classics has adapted works from classic authors including H.G Wells, Edgar Allen Poe, H.P. Lovecraft, Arthur Cannon Doyle, Louisa May Alcott and O. Henry. Other publishers are doing similar things and if you look most of the classics are available in graphic novel formats.
I am not sure how I feel about this trend. As far as I am concerned, reading is reading and if it takes a graphic novel to encourage, teens to read then this trend might just encourage a new group of readers. Teenage boys are traditionally the hardest group to keep reading voluntarily. The growing selection of graphic novels might just do the trick to revive their interest. If they discover that, they enjoy a story they might be encouraged to look at the original book. On the other hand, publishers might just be handing them another reason not to stretch their minds any further. I have great respect for quality graphic novels, but wonder just where this current trend will take us.