Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Two New Graphic Adaptations for Students

Book publishers Hill & Wang have two graphic novels coming out this summer that should be of interest to many teachers. I was sent fourteen page previews of both, and I'll give you my thoughts.

Che: A Graphic Biography is the latest work by two veterans of the comics industry who brought us the excellent comics adaptation of the 9-11 Commission Report. In that graphic adaptation they took something that was completely not understandable to most people and made the facts clear. They have a commitment to stick to the facts and present information objectively without personal agendas. This book presents the facts of the life of the Argentine Marxist revolutionary and guerilla leader. The artwork presents the facts of his early life interestingly, but at times a little stiff. It would make an excellent resource for students doing research on his life, especially for reluctant or struggling reaers. I'm not a big fan of computerized lettering. I'd rather see hand drawn lettering any day. However, for a straightforward, almost encyclopedia style account, it seems to work.

The second work, Fahrenheit 451: The Authorized Adaptation is also well. done. The artwork is excellent, and drew me in immediately. I was sorry I couldn't keep reading. However, the computerized word balloons and letters are a disappointment. The work would have been much better with a hand drawn font. I won't say that it ruins the work, but it is a distraction.

From what I've read, both books would be probably best suited for junior or senior high school age students. As an educator, I am excited to see the collection of works I can recommend to teachers continue to grow.


Ben Villarreal said...

Once again, sir, you are faster blogger than I.

I agree, both upcoming books look very interesting. For my money, though, Fahrenheit 451 looks a better. I mean that literally; the art is right up my alley (reminds me of Tim Sale). I'm anticipating that one but debating whether or not to read the novel first.

Paul Bozzo said...

Fahrenheit 451 is an all-time favorite of mine. (Good old Ray Bradbury!) The comic form looks extremely interesting - thanks for showing this.