Ea Solinas's Reviews > Twilight: The Graphic Novel, Vol. 1

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
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Apr 30, 2011

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bookshelves: graphic-novels

For the record: I don't like "Twilight." At all. But I decided to give "Twilight: The Graphic Novel, Volume 1" a fair shot at impressing me, especially since it's rendered into manhwa/manga-style artwork and a pared-down narrative. The artwork is sumptuous, elegant and all-around lovely, but the story is dragged down by the rather stuffy internal monologue.

Everybody knows the drill -- a girl from Phoenix named Bella Swan "exiles" herself to the rainy overcast town of Forks, so she can live with her dad. When she isn't moping, she attends the local school and is struck by the beautiful, aloof Cullen family (and particularly with the standoffish Edward, who seems to be bipolar). He also has superhuman speed and strength, as Bella discovers when he saves her from a runaway van.

In case anybody needs to be told, Eddiekins is a vampire, albeit one who doesn't adhere to any of the traditional vampirey rules... except sucking blood. And despite the danger to her person, Bella develops a Phoenix-sized crush on him despite him constantly insisting that he's ohsoverydangerous.

It's a given that any rabid fans of "Twilight" will gobble down the graphic novel adaptation of the first book's first half. As for everyone else? Well, there are still spurts of rather pompous, un-teen-girlish narrative ("I was unconditionally and irrevocably in love with him") and Bella still whines way too much about mundane stuff ("You could have saved yourself all this regret for not just letting that stupid van squish me!").

Fortunately, Young Kim did a pretty decent job translating the novel into comic book form, and I ended up enjoying her streamlined, sped-up version of the story. It's heavy on atmosphere and light on fluff (such as "Bella being randomly clumsy" or "Bella being chased by every boy in school"), with especial emphasis on the dreamlike landscapes, Indian legends and secretive conversations.

And Kim's artwork is simply gorgeous. Her style is a semi-realistic manga/manhwa style, full of delicate strokes, light shadows and smooth lines. Lots of flowing hair, vivid eyes and even some lightly colored scenes when the story demands it (such as when Bella faints at the smell of blood). Additionally, she does succeed in making the Cullens look very lovely and ethereal, yet also very sinister.

There are, however, some scenes that just don't work. The infamous "sparkling in the sun" scene ends up looking ridiculous -- Edward looks like he's covered in fish scales, not diamond sparkleskin.

"Twilight: The Graphic Novel Volume 1" is a decent graphic novel in its own right, and Young Kim's elegant artwork distracts from some of the story's flaws. Worth reading if you're enamored with the book, or really like beautifully-drawn manhwa/manga.

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