One Peace Books is a relatively new publisher dedicated to bringing “contemporary and unseen Japanese literature to the western world.” Their catalog is still rather modest, and it features titles from a variety of genres as well as manga. Among these is a series called the Manga Classic Readers. They are classic novels, so far from the western tradition, that have been adapted to the manga format.
There are four titles currently available, Don Quixote, Ulysses, Moby-Dick, and The War of the Worlds. The selections cover a wide variety of literature, from classic, modern, American and science fiction. The adaptations are fairly faithful to the original works and are rendered in a simple art style that doesn’t detract from the story. Previews of all four titles are available on the One Peace Books website. The books are available in print from both Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
I know some educators object to using graphic adaptation over the original novel, but I believe there is a lot of worth in the graphic editions. For people and students who are less inclined or have difficulty with a lot of text, a graphic novel can expose them to some great literature that they might not have read otherwise. Variety Art Works, the Japanese publisher that created these titles has an extensive library of both western and eastern classics. I hope these sell well for One Peace Books, because I would like to see more come out. Jmanga, the digital, online only publisher made some of these available and I read Journey to the West, an eastern classic that has been referenced in several manga over the years. I had enjoyed it very much and wished I could have bought a copy to keep. Maybe One Peace Books can make that wish come true.