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Review: Twilight: The Graphic Novel V. 1

Twilight – the story of 17-year-old Bella Swan who falls in love with a vampire-  has taken the country by storm. Love it or hate it, the books and movie have captured the hearts and minds of women of all ages. Now… it’s a comic.

Twilight: The Graphic Novel V. 1
By Stephenie Meyer adapted by Young Kim
Age Recommendation: 13+
Yen Press, March 2010, 978-0-7595-2943-4
224 pp, $19.99 (HC)

It’s hard not to compare this adaptation to the original book.  Though it’s been a while since I read the original story – and the minutiae may have escaped me – I felt Young Kim did a masterful job in adapting the story for this new medium while keeping to the heart of the books.

I was glad that Kim chose to create her own renderings of the characters – using her own vision of the story– rather than trying to redraw the actors from the movie.  It made me think a lot about whether or not I had visualized the characters in the same way. (Which was an ongoing conversation between my colleague and me as we watched the movie together with 200 7th graders.) For the most part, I’m pleased – but neither the movie nor comic have capture Charlie for me.  I guess he lives in my mind alone. (Oh right! And that of the rest of the world.)

One small detail did bug me.  Meyer constantly depicted Bella’ s computer as something from the Jurassic era, yet the comic shows a flat screen monitor that looks quite new and up to date.  As a whole, that’s my only complaint.

The artwork is an interesting hybrid of digitized photos and original artwork. Color is used both sparing and deliberate, to accent tension-filled moments. Like when Bella has nightmares as she slowly comes to a realization that Edward is a vampire or when Edward shows Bella how sunlight affects him.

What’s left to say?  Volume 1 is primarily a set-up to the rest of the story.  It barely gets into the action-filled portion of the story.  It will definitely leave fans wanting more.  When is volume 2 due to come out?

As a side note: My students weren’t waiting on shpilkes for the comic. Most didn’t realize it was coming out. Even the die-hard fans.  So far, 1 7th grader was very excited to read the book.  Another chose to read it, though she never read the original volume and a 3rd loved it.

Esther Keller About Esther Keller

Esther Keller is the librarian at JHS 278, Marine Park in Brooklyn, NY. There she started the library's first graphic novel collection and strongly advocated for using comics in the classroom. Her collection is also the model for all middle school libraries in NYC. She started her career at the Brooklyn Public Library, and later jumped ship to the school system so she could have summer vacation and a job that would align with a growing family's schedule. On the side, she is a mother of 3 and regularly reviews for SLJ, LMC. In her past life, she served on the Great Graphic Novels for Teens Committee where she solidified her love and dedication to comics.


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