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Ray Bradbury Graphic Novels

Ray Bradbury's the Martian Chronicles: The Authorized Adaptation

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Rendered in gorgeous, full-color art by Dennis Calero, Ray Bradbury's The Martian Chronicles: The Authorized Adaptation graphically translates fourteen of Bradbury's famous interconnected science-fiction stories, turning an unforgettable vision of man and Mars into an unforgettable work of art.

The Earthmen came by the handful, then the hundreds, then the millions. They swept aside the majestic, dying Martian civilization to build their homes, shopping malls, and cities. Mars began as a place of boundless hopes and dreams, a planet to replace an Earth sinking into waste and war. It became a canvas for mankind's follies and darkest desires. Ultimately, the Earthmen who came to conquer the red-gold planet awoke to discover themselves conquered by Mars. Lulled by its ancient enchantments, the Earthmen learned, at terrible cost, to overcome their own humanity.

151 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 2011

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Dennis Calero

217 books8 followers

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5 stars
225 (29%)
4 stars
260 (33%)
3 stars
201 (26%)
2 stars
60 (7%)
1 star
23 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 102 reviews
Profile Image for Debbie Zapata.
1,731 reviews26 followers
November 20, 2019
I'm not really sure why, but I have never read Bradbury's The Martian Chronicles, so when I had the chance to order this graphic adaptation of the book I took it. And of course, now I want to read the original version!

In the introduction to this 2011 edition, Bradbury explains his lifelong fascination for Mars and how he came to write the stories that eventually were collected as The Martian Chronicles.

I was so impressed with this book! There is a lot to think about here, and the topics are as timely in our day as when the stories began appearing in 1946. Maybe even more so.

I do read some graphic novels, yet I'm no expert in the field. I felt the artwork here matched the feeling of the stories, but I did get confused sometimes with the dialogue bubbles. Every so often I read them out of order simply because I wasn't sure which was supposed to be first.

But that was a tiny blip on the radar screen, the rest of the experience was amazing. I've been through it twice already, and I can't help but wonder if any of Bradbury's visions of Mars may someday become reality.

I do know that whether or not Man ever manages to colonize other worlds, if we do not change our basic approach to life before we go, we will destroy every planet the way we are destroying Earth now.

Profile Image for Kevin.
463 reviews68 followers
December 23, 2022
Graphic adaptations of novels can, when done right, introduce time-tested classics to a whole new audience. Dennis Calero's rendering of The Martian Chronicles is impressive, but it lacks the nuance and heft of Bradbury's book. 3.5 stars for nice artwork and for inspiring me to revisit the original.
Profile Image for Diane.
1,079 reviews2,606 followers
June 14, 2018
What a fantastic adaptation this is! The Martian Chronicles is one of my favorite sci-fi books, and when I saw this graphic novel version on the shelf at my library, I grabbed it and couldn't wait to read it.

The text is from Bradbury's famous stories, and the accompanying drawings are striking. I've read the original novel several times, and reading it with such powerful visuals made it even more thought-provoking and compelling.

I would highly recommend this adaptation to science-fiction fans.

Favorite Quotes
"We earth men have a talent for ruining big, beautiful things."

"If you can't have the reality, a dream is just as good."
Profile Image for Katie.
340 reviews5 followers
June 4, 2017
What a weird, mostly repetitive, dark, not very fun time.
Profile Image for Lauren .
1,679 reviews2,290 followers
July 29, 2021
• RAY BRADBURY'S THE MARTIAN CHRONICLES: The Authorized Adaptation by Dennis Calero, 2011

A selection of Bradbury's classic Martian short stories from the 1950s, told in graphic panel form. First read The Martian Chronicles in 2017 and it quickly catapaulted by one of the favorite scifis ever. I just loved the way he played with memory, nostalgia, horror, and a very specific state of "red" scare - both red Mars, and a red Soviet sense. Brilliance.

Probably best enjoyed by readers familiar with the original source material, but a great way to reimagine the stories.
Profile Image for Andrew.
2,113 reviews
April 11, 2022
This is another (I believe there are in fact 3) authorised graphic novels based on the works of Ray Bradbury - there is an introduction written by him at the start of each book.

As the title suggests it is a collection of stories which form a larger narrative. As a result of you have a mixture of short self contained stories as well as the over arching story (I know this is one of those books that I am sure everyone knows what happens but still I will resist the urge to let spoilers slip).

Now I have had a strange fascination with this book - probably dating back to the early 80s when I got to see (and deeply disturbed by) the TV mini-series based on the book. Form there over the years I have tried to read the stories with varying degrees of success. Now I get to see the book laid out in graphic novel format and I have to say that I start to see the subtle twists and turns of the stories - maybe I am older and more patient I am not sure but I feel like I have been able to finally penetrate the chronicles.
Profile Image for zxvasdf.
537 reviews39 followers
January 3, 2012
I love The Martian Chronicles. I remember it being the first sf novel I read that wasn't from the children's corner. Rocket Summer won me over. The novel enthralled me with its lyrical quality, dreamlike sequences of madness, subterfuge, hypocrisy, then finally, a redemption of sorts.

So... no offense to the artist, but this graphic novel doesn't live up to the grandeur of the novel. It's just a matter of taste, and it's not mine. I pictured vibrant colors, bold and fluid lines, and perhaps a collaboration of different artists for each chapter. But it was obviously a labor of love and I can respect that. I thought the last chapter was well done.
Profile Image for Emily Bourque.
553 reviews96 followers
April 19, 2022
Rating: 3.5 Stars

Ok The Martian Chronicles was our book club pick for the month, but with my attention span being at basically zero, I opted to go with this graphic novel version. Cheating? Maybe. We will find out tomorrow if I can adequately participate in the conversation or not.

I blew through this book in a way that you're probably not supposed to blow through Bradbury novels. It was surprising at times, and definitely weird, and made me think... all good things. There's something unique about reading a book that was written in 1950 that takes place in... present day? But it was futuristic for when the book was written. The only other book I've read that is set on Mars was The Martian, and this definitely had a different idea of what Mars would be.

All in all, didn't hate it. Will probably forget the whole thing in a few weeks, but glad I did the graphic on this one.

Who Should Read It: Anyone looking for classic novels reimagined.
Profile Image for Gina.
445 reviews15 followers
July 20, 2011
A couple of qualifiers:

1) I almost never read graphic novels and when I do, I mostly wish I was just reading a novel. I liked the Fahrenheit 451 adaptation well enough, but didn't think it really held a candle to the book. Also, I don't care for the style of artwork you often find in graphic novels and I hate reading anything written in all caps. So I'm not coming at this book as an appreciator of the medium.

2) The Martian Chronicles is my favorite book of all time. I know much of it practically by heart and like to pick up one of my 15 copies every now and then to read a story here and there in between full readings. So I'm not some sort of objective reviewer. I don't really like to have things I love tinkered with.

With that said, I liked it okay. It's not the worst adaptation I've found (that title is reserved for the mini-series with Rock Hudson, which was basically a crime against humanity). But you absolutely cannot read this book and say that you have read The Martian Chronicles. It's heavily abridged, for one thing, which actually gives it more of a cohesive, chronological feel, but leaves out some of the best stories. No "Way Up in the Middle of the Air", "Usher II", "The Silent Towns", "The Long Years", or "There Will Come Soft Rains". Bradbury himself eliminated some of these stories from certain editions of the novel while adding others, so this is not unprecedented, but I missed them.

Also, because I know the stories so well I'm not sure how much a new reader would get out of them in this format. Since the words are probably 85%-ish dialogue, you miss a good chunk of the beautiful writing in the novel and the stories feel a bit shallow, although they are very faithful to the book.

So overall, unless you are a Bradbury fanatic like me and feel compelled to acquire every new release, or you really love graphic novels, I would probably give this a pass.
Profile Image for Kerry.
1,493 reviews84 followers
July 4, 2016
Dave got this one from the library and, since it was sitting there, I thought I'd give it a read. I remember my father reading this one and him watching the 1979 miniseries. I must have come in at the end, as the only part I remembered was the very end with the father saying "here are the Martians." Those memories were enough for me to decide to give the graphic novel a try.

I'm not that good with graphic novels (I miss a lot as I'm a written word person rather than a visual person) and considering it was also condensed, I'm sure I missed some stuff, but I was left feeling I'd picked up the essential story with just a few points unclear.

I know I should really have gone to the source, but I know full well I'm not going to be reading any classic SF any time soon (although I am kind of interested), so I have to admit I cheated. I went to Wikipedia to help me clarify the few points and now I'm feeling quite satisfied by the story.

It's all a bit depressing really, but it's a very interesting kind of depressing, so that must be worth something.
Profile Image for Michael.
533 reviews117 followers
May 31, 2012
This is an OK adaptation of The Martian Chronicles, but the strength of the original stories is in Bradbury's language, so once you've stripped the majority of that away what you're left with is much diminished.

The artwork is fine and would work OK with something more plot-driven, but it failed to convey to me the pain, grief, loss and nostalgic yearning of the original. It would have taken something special and amazing to convey that artistically, and Calero just didn't do it.

If you haven't read the book this is based on, and if you like this graphic novel at all, then do yourself a favour and read the original: one of the best story collections, regardless of genre, ever written.
Profile Image for Donna.
25 reviews
July 2, 2013
I read this book years ago and I can still remember the visions and the words. Rock Hudson looking into the pool of water and declaring who the Martians were. Loved it!
Profile Image for ashes ➷.
808 reviews77 followers
September 14, 2018

This... was embarrassing. So embarrassing I had to add an image. I literally could not rate this book two stars because it weighed on my soul. This was depressing to get through.

So, first off, I'm a die-hard fan of Bradbury, and I've read The Martian Chronicles probably twice, not necessarily chronologically each time, but all the same, I'm familiar. I knew the plots of most of the stories... and I still got confused, because the speech bubbles make no sense.

Look at that. That is sad. That is unreadable. That is... something that should never have gotten past an editor. My God. It got worse, but I can't find images, so just trust me when I say every other page looked like this: uninspired imagery with blocks of text laid on top, generally haphazardly. I was at a loss. I don't know how I finished the book.

I want to add a star for the art, but it was... what it was. It changed so often I actually thought at some point multiple artists were doing it-- all with the same general bland comic-book style, but still, multiple artists, because sometimes the art was honestly just a set of silhouettes. Nope. And I can't get a photo of this, but on the last page, there's a reflection that's drawn... not backwards, but somehow worse. A man is holding a child on his right shoulder, and the child appears on the right shoulder in the reflection. Yes Really I Can't Make This Up All Of This Got Through Editing Somehow.

Hence my reaction image. I still cannot believe this was authorized. Who let this happen. Why. What on Earth possessed them. Please just read the regular book and leave this one alone.
Profile Image for Emily.
991 reviews38 followers
September 30, 2011
At $30, I am not quite sure who this book is for. Libraries with declining and sometimes empty book budgets don't need to spend that much money on a graphic adaptation of The Martian Chronicles, especially one with poor graphics. I love The Martian Chronicles and I love Ray Bradbury even more. It has been quite a while since I read the classic collections of tales set in an alien world with human themes. I was swept up again into the world of Bradbury's masterful creation. However, young children will not "get" the stories and older readers will not be happy with the mediocre art. Settle for the book itself. Spend $30 on something else.
1 review1 follower
May 5, 2011
Bradbury was my first "favorite writer" back in the 60s. He is a man out of time - an anachrnoism. The night (change) surrounds him, but he crys out against it - - and that makes for some of the finest sf ever written. This series of short stories is a reexamination of our conquest of America. How we drove out the real owners and "took over" and brought everything we were running away from in Europe, with us - only more so. An author well worth the reading, short story collections, such as this, and novels. Do it!
Profile Image for Philip Burt.
76 reviews
September 8, 2011
The simple, vivid writing stays true to Bradbury's collection of stories in novel form, and the sense of eeriness one might draw from the original work is reflected well in the lively, detailed illustrations, as is the action. Though the characters follow their dreams of making a fresh start, both Bradbury's original work and the graphic novel portray that humans still have their flaws, even on Mars. I found Bradbury's take of what life is / would possibly be like on Mars to be very stimulating, and it shined through in this adaptation.
Profile Image for Caleb Davis.
1 review
December 13, 2021
I had a blast reading this adaptation. Granted, it's not the original, but this was a wonderful accompaniment.
Profile Image for Damon.
50 reviews5 followers
August 24, 2017
I have never understood the appeal of comic books (or "graphic novels", hoity toity!) While stylish, I find their layouts to be unwieldy and incredibly difficult to follow. Do I scan left to right, up or down? Both? Neither? There is no universal standard. I am at the mercy of the artist and however many cups of coffee he had that day. On the topic of art: static images in service of a narrative just doesn't mesh for me. When I read a novel, I get to draw on my imagination to conjure scenery in my mind's eye based on the cue the author provides. When I read a comic novel, I am robbed of that freedom; the images are laid out in front of me, a certain way and that way only, there is no room for creativity, personal interpretation, mental projection of any kind. "Here," the artist says, "Why don't you take a break from all that boring dialogue and swoon at my fancy illustrations? Aren't I just MARVELOUS?"

Now that I've alienated half the planet: The Martian Chronicles is probably my favorite Bradbury book, and one of my favorite books in general. It's a collection of short stories set in a future where men from Earth have begun the process of colonizing Mars, completely ignorant of its pre-existing civilization and culture, a clear allusion to American Manifest Destiny, and like the post-colonial expansion westward, mankind's first encounter with the Martians is one of culture shock, murder through miscommunication and, ultimately, genocide by micro-organism.

While set in the early 21st century, the novel was written in the early 1950s, so the setting feels more like a fusion of pulp sci-fi and American Gothic. Pointy rocket ships, phallic ray guns and swashbuckling xenophobic spacemen are contrasted sharply against alien anthropology and mysticism, often with disastrous results. Similarly, all-t00-familiar American prejudices sluice around old science-fiction tropes like a rock in a stream. In one chapter, a group of plainclothes Klansmen are catcalled by a group of black men en route to the next rocket off Earth. In another chapter, a man is traveling home across the Martian plains in an old automobile, and nearly collides head on with a Martian piloting a clockwork spider. Both believe the other is a ghost, or a hallucination, and the outcome of their interaction is both touching and melancholy. This is a surreal, ethereal book, often switching between sappy Victorian romance and brutal macabre horror from one chapter to the next. While a small cast of recurring characters forms a through-line from beginning to end, the journey is sprinkled with self-contained stories with a unique supporting cast that appears once and never again-- some of stories lack characters entirely, and simply describe a scene in great detail. (Another of my favorite books, The Descent by Jeff Long, uses a similar narrative structure, also to great affect.)

I first read the thing in high school (in remedial English, if you can believe it-- now I have a degree in the damn subject) and while subsequent readings have proven underwhelming, perhaps because my perception of the world has "matured" (for better or worse), nothing can ever take the sensation of that initial read-through away from me. It was exactly what I needed at that time in my life. The artwork in this graphic book rendition is fine enough, and my favorite story in the anthology ("The Green Morning") is preserved, but you already know how I feel about this medium, and can therefore surmise how I feel about one of my favorite books projected onto the template of graphic novelization. That said, if it has the potential to expose a new generation of comic book fans to Bradbury's lovely epic, it's worth it, and I can't help but give it a generous two stars.
Profile Image for Chris.
856 reviews20 followers
November 20, 2017
This was quite disappointing. Ray Bradbury is one of my favorite authors and though I have not yet read The Martian Chronicles, I suspect this was a very bad adaptation of it. The writing seemed like a poorly chosen abridgement of what was written originally. It's kind of made up of a collection of short stories and I can tell that at least some of them are pretty good in substance as a whole, they just read really poorly in this format. I do still want to read the novel, but this adaptation can go in the trash for all I'm concerned. +1 star only because of what I suspect underneath this is still a good set of stories.

The art was equally bad. It was all over the place in quality. Some pages looked like it was shat out in 30 seconds and some pages look ok (I wouldn't ever say actually good). There were parts where there are pointless shadows covering faces and other oddities. It's just overall really bad. This whole book seemed like it was produced in an afternoon. Junk
Profile Image for Massanutten Regional Library.
2,882 reviews54 followers
July 31, 2017
Kelly, Central patron, July 2017, 2 stars:

The Martian Chronicles was one of my favorite books in high school, so when I found a graphic novel version in my local library, I was excited to revisit the story in a different format. I was disappointed. Big chunks of the story were cut out so that when the climax arrived, it felt premature and unearned. Also, the artwork and dialogue bubbles were poorly done. Some chapters were painted so darkly that I couldn't make out what was going on, and the bubbles were placed so haphazardly that I couldn't tell who was saying what half the time. Thankfully, the story wasn't completely gutted, and the themes of colonization, isolation, and hubris were still present. But next time, I'll read the novel as Bradbury wrote it.
Profile Image for Sharon.
798 reviews64 followers
September 7, 2020
Bradbury's writing, as always, is beyond excellent. Half sci-fi, half ghost stories, The Martian Chronicles tells the story of humans colonizing Mars in the early 2000s.

I enjoyed Calero's art, but at times I found the placement of the speech bubbles confusing. They overlapped frames but weren't always meant to be read in sequence.
The problem with Bradbury's writing is that it's already so evocative, so combining the art with text that isn't too different from the original didn't necessarily add that much to the story. The best adaptation, I thought, was "The Watchers," the second to last story. It always gives me chills.

A very good adaptation that I think would be a great introduction for someone who likes comics and hasn't read much Bradbury yet! For me, though, next time I want to read The Martian Chronicles, I think I'd prefer to read the original prose.
Profile Image for Kelly Clark.
13 reviews
July 30, 2017
"The Martian Chronicles" was one of my favorite books in high school, so when I found a graphic novel version in my local library, I was excited to revisit the story in a different format. I was disappointed. Big chunks of the story were cut out so that when the climax arrived, it felt premature and unearned. Also, the artwork and dialogue bubbles were piss-poor. Some of the chapters were painted so darkly that I couldn't tell what was going on, and the bubbles were placed so haphazardly that I couldn't tell who was saying what half the time. Thankfully, they didn't gut the whole story, and the themes of colonization, isolation, and hubris were still present. But next time, I'll just read the novel as Bradbury wrote it.
Profile Image for Andy Hickman.
4,460 reviews33 followers
September 4, 2020
“Ray Bradbury's The Martian Chronicles: The Authorized Adaptation” (Ray Bradbury Graphic Novels) by Dennis Calero (Illustrator), Ray Bradbury, Howard Zimmerman (Editor)

I have to be honest – I hoped for better. Some of the speech bubbles were awkwardly placed, and most of the portraits were quasi-photograph CGI faces (?, I think, weirded me out).

The versions of “September 2005, The Martian” (p86), and “October 2026, The Million Year Picnic” came through ok, but still a rather thin retelling.

Still, graphic novels are hard to nail and capture the original essence, and I am glad that I read this. ***
Profile Image for Nick Katenkamp.
1,014 reviews
November 7, 2021
Essentially a collection of short stories forming a larger overall narrative, The Martian Chronicles is hit and miss. Some stories are quite interesting others are lackluster. The beginning stories with the first expeditions to Mars are the best the ones that only feature humans are the worst. From an adaptation standpoint, there are some confusing elements in the book as there are a lot of weird things going on, and I felt Calero could have done a better job of explaining what he only tries to visually imply. There are also some stories and details left out of this adaptation so the ending makes less sense than it did in the original (not that the original ending is great).
Profile Image for Madison Davis.
15 reviews
July 7, 2019
Of course, everyone knows Bradbury for Fahrenheit 451. This is the only other novel of his that I have been exposed to. There were some parts where I FLEW through; however, there were others where I seemed to get in a lull and have to push through. The chapter with Spender and the fourth expedition is what really bought me into this book. That is a pivotal chapter and has such an echoing effect on what we are facing in our world right now! I cannot wait to teach this book in my science fiction class!
Profile Image for David Thomas.
Author 1 book6 followers
May 1, 2018
A graphic adaptation of Ray Bradbury's classic. Basically a series of soft scifi stories about humans colonizing mars and displacing the Martians. I've never read the novel, but this didn't really grab me. For stories written in the 40s, they aren't TOO dated. I don't know. I understand that a lot of the draw of the original was the prose, so a lot is probably lost. To me this was just old, boring, generic space scifi.
970 reviews
May 26, 2020
I had been dreading a title set in outer space. I had been trying to look for an audiobook that was not 14 hours long. The librarian helped me find this. I do not like graphic books and outer space is not my deal. I struggled to make it thru this. I had no idea what I read and the pictures of some of the people were nightmare worthy.
Profile Image for Colin.
Author 5 books123 followers
December 1, 2017
An excellent graphic novel adaptation of the classic of science fiction by Ray Bradbury. I picked it up at a Dollar Tree, but it would have been worth paying cover price. Contains a fascinating introduction by Ray Bradbury from 2011, the year before he passed away.
Profile Image for Andrew Kline.
477 reviews1 follower
July 10, 2019
Having never read the book, I felt that the author made this more from a fan's point of view, less than someone trying to adapt it for a wider audience. Very confusing at first. Ended okay, but I would have rather read the book.
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