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Familiar Diversions

I'm a librarian who loves anime, manga, and reading a wide variety of genres.

Currently reading

No Longer Human, Volume 2
Osamu Dazai, Usamaru Furuya
Progress: 100/194 pages
The Dinosaur Lords: A Novel
Victor Milán
Progress: 168/574 pages
The No Asshole Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn't
Robert I. Sutton
Progress: 6/210 pages
The Listerdale Mystery and Eleven Other Stories
Agatha Christie, Hugh Fraser
Progress: 3/6 minutes
The Invisible Orientation: An Introduction to Asexuality
Julie Sondra Decker
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl: Squirrel Meets World
Shannon Hale, Dean Hale, Abigail Revasch, Tara Sands
Progress: 190/473 minutes
The Mystic Marriage
Heather Rose Jones
Progress: 302/426 pages
Ichi-F: A Worker's Graphic Memoir of the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant
Kazuto Tatsuta
Progress: 448/553 pages
The Naked Sun
Isaac Asimov
Progress: 20/187 pages
Fluency
Jennifer Foehner Wells
Progress: 58/367 pages

Twilight: The Graphic Novel, Volume 1

Twilight: The Graphic Novel, Vol. 1 - Young Kim, Stephenie Meyer My initial reaction to this volume, when I flipped through it, was "ooh, pretty artwork." That's one thing this adaptation has over, say, the movie - the Cullens don't look like pale plastic Barbie people, they look like the inhumanly gorgeous creatures they're supposed to be. Unfortunately, the super-gorgeous character designs include Bella, who, rather than looking like an ordinary girl, has a tendency to look like a manga (or is manhwa the better word to use here?) princess - what's going to happen when the story gets to the point where Bella gets turned into a vampire and she's supposed to become inhumanly beautiful? I'm not sure it's possible to draw her more beautiful than this.Had I been a newcomer to this series, I don't know that I would have liked this adaptation all that much. While Bella's narration can get a bit...trying...in the original novel, this graphic novel condensed things almost a little too much. The worst part is, the annoying aspects of Bella's narration are still there, so it's not like that particular weakness is overcome (it's still incredibly dramatic in an unintentionally amusing way, and Bella still doesn't "sound" like a teenage girl to me). Anyway, it's probably a good thing that I didn't read this for the story. I already knew the story, what I wanted was to see the artwork and take a look at the visuals for any scenes I remembered enjoying in either the novel or the movie.While I, for the most part, enjoyed the artwork, with its gorgeous character designs (although I thought Jasper actually looked better than Edward), dreamy shading, and clever use of color (only a few pages in this volume have any color), there are still things about the look of this volume that I hated. For now, this is only a minor weakness, although it'll become a greater weakness if this graphic novel series ever makes it to the more Jacob-heavy parts of the series: while the first wolf depicted in this volume looked really good, the second one looked off and bothered me. A more generalized problem I had with the artwork involved characters' facial expressions. While some subtle facial expressions were well-done, other times (quite a few times actually) characters' facial expressions were so subtle that they seemed to be non-existent, at least to me. Also, is it too much to ask that not all facial expressions be subtle? It was rare for characters' facial expressions to be more pronounced or to involve their whole face. Maybe they all got Botox treatments?All those complaints feel kind of nitpicky in comparison with my hatred of the conversation bubbles, lettering, and "trembling" lines used, although at least the "sweat drops" weren't overdone (unlike in [b:In Odd We Trust|2029932|In Odd We Trust (Odd Thomas)|Dean Koontz|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1320530630s/2029932.jpg|2034575]). The conversation bubbles tended to be large, perfect, translucent things, with a scraggly little line pointing in the direction of whoever was saying the text. The lettering used throughout the entire volume was perfect, the kind of thing you'd see in a Word document. The overall effect, combined with the inhumanly lovely characters and smooth shading, was one of lots and lots of perfection. A little hand-lettering, or at least a font that would give the illusion of hand-lettering, might have broken up that perfection somewhat. The translucent conversation bubbles just annoyed me - they screamed "lookit what we can do with the computer!" more than anything else to me.The "trembling" lines (such as when Edward is shaking from the effort of being around Bella at the beginning of the volume) had a look that was similar to the weird scraggly lines coming out of the conversation bubbles. The lines were too strong (especially when outlined in white while on a dark background), making them stand out way too much, I hated that the look screamed "we did this on the computer, after everything else had already been drawn" (making the trembling less a part of the artwork and more something like a sound effect), and there was something about them that didn't seem quite right to me. When I first saw the "trembling" lines, I had a second where I couldn't figure out what they were. That shouldn't happen. Things like these lines need to perfectly follow conventions, which will allow them to be interpreted by readers as being certain emotional cues, all without the reader ever necessarily being aware of what's going on. If you're actually seeing the lines, the way I did, and not feeling them as emotional cues, then something's not right.I already wrote a lot about the original novel in a separate post, so I don't think I need to say too much about what I thought about the story. I still think Bella's a bit too masochistic. I think this adaptation proves that there is no way to do Meyer's "sparkling vampire" look without it seeming stupid - it was stupid in the movie, and, although it's marginally better in this graphic novel (the bit where Edward walks out into the sunlight is absolutely gorgeous and one of several instances of the book's really effective use of limited color), it's still pretty lame. In addition, because of Young Kim's style, I couldn't help but think "shojo sparklies!" when I saw the sparkles shining in Edward's hair.If I had bought this instead of getting it via ILL, I would probably consider this a keeper for the artwork alone - despite various shortcomings, the artwork is still lovely. As far as its story goes, though, it's pretty meh. If you want the story, I'd recommend the book or even the movie over this graphic novel any day.(Original review, with read-alikes, posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)