Book Review–A Wrinkle in Time – The Graphic Novel

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Posted by Danielle | Posted in book reviews, First Second, graphic novel | Posted on 09-12-2012

A Wrinkle in Time – The Graphic Novel
Adaptation by Hope Larson
Original by Madeleine L’Engle
Farrar Straus Giroux

“A Wrinkle in Time.”  A book that has been around for almost 50 years now and still has a powerful following.  When you talk to folks that have read the book their eyes and faces light up with joy, as they recall the powerful story and characters of Meg, Charles, Calvin, Aunt Beast, the Red Eye Man…and the rest of the beloved characters.  You can almost see the characters come to life as people talk about the story and share their favorite parts of it.  And as part of the celebration of its 50th anniversary Hope Larson brings her considerable talents to bring the characters to life in a graphic novel adaptation of this timeless story.

Hope Larson is one of my favorite artists/authors out there and she’s the perfect choice for creating this adaptation of “A Wrinkle in Time.”  In her first book, “Salamander Dreams,” she tells us a rather short story of growing up and finding where home is, but she layers deeper meaning within the well chosen words that will leave you pondering the story long after you’ve put it down.  Her simplistic illustrations conveyed depth and life to the characters she created.  Since I first read that book, I’ve eagerly read each new story that she’s put out.  She brings the same passion and depth that she’s created in her own stories, to this adaptation of “A Wrinkle in Time.”

Since most folks that read this adaptation are going to be familiar with the original story (and because I can’t hope to even begin to describe the story well to do it justice) I’m instead going to focus on the adaptation of the book.  One of the great things, and most difficult things, about adaptations is you get to see a story from a different perspective as the author (or someone) choses which parts of the story to carry over into the new work.  It isn’t an easy task as not everything can be included and you’re bound to leave off a bit of the story that was someone’s favorite or you try to capture everything and it just becomes a weird mashup that doesn’t work.  But Hope has done an excellent job of capturing a lot of the depth of the novel and it’s characters in this 400 page adaptation.  While there are things that are left out, Hope captures the essence of the characters and what makes them tick while they undertake this arduous journey to save not only Meg’s father, but themselves as well. Fans of the original story will delight in seeing their favorite scenes brought to life,while newcomers to the story will see the journey into worlds unknown.  And everyone will want to pick up the original story to relive Madelieine L’Engle’s original stories.

Hope’s artwork is fantastic.  It captures the essence of characters well, especially with Meg.  We see her fear, her hopes, and her dreams brought to life on the page.  We get a true sense of her humanity within the depictions.  Her brother Charles is also well captured, with big eyes, depicting his almost other worldly nature.  It is a bit off putting in some places because you realize he isn’t quite human…something more or something that wasn’t designed quite right.  The other characters and depictions are well done as well, such as seeing mathematical equations depicted.  Hope uses a two color toned system with a pale blue and black.  while at first it might seem that it would hinder the story being told, I found that it actually enhanced it and created something greater.  It helped create the sense of otherworldliness and the characters journey along their path.  It really feels like we’ve left our world and gone somewhere else.

In short, this a powerful adaptation and fans of the original story and newcomers will all find something to enjoy.  Because it is an adaptation I do recommend that folks read or reread the original at some point, to be able to create their own imagery of the story.  But Hope’s adaptation definitely deserves a place on your bookshelf.

ARC provided by Gina at FirstSecond