Thursday, October 6, 2016

Snow White: A Graphic Novel
Snow White: A Graphic Novel, Matt Phelan
This flat image fails to represent how nice this book is to hold.  The hardback released this September has a lovely heft to it.

As for the innards...
  • I was surprised by the softness to Phelan's illustration style in this work.  It wasn't what I was expecting.  It grew on me as the story reached its more tender points.  
  • I forgave the tropes, but boy were they...tropesey. 
  • I dug the setting era, noir style and retelling choices very much.  I think the plot points all translated well.  "The Seven" were my favourite adaptation.
  • For having such dark turns in the tale, I appreciated how tastefully done this was.  Although dark and grown-up-seeming in style, there is nothing inappropriate for a middle-grade reader in here.  I think the darkness might be too much for some younger readers.
  • The unfortunate significant negative to me: that true depth wasn't achieved through the synthesis of these illustrations and the accompanying text.  Because the images are sparse and the text is very brief, the entire book takes a very short time to read.  I whipped through it.  I went back over it slowly again, but found nothing demanded I give it this attention, I was consciously doing it out of duty.  As a result, I don't care about the characters the way I should.  I can think of only one moment given me to incite initial growth of liking Snow White, and it's simply not enough.  Peter Collington managed to make me love a woman without words -- solely through his illustrations in A Small Miracle.  I didn't care much for Hopcross Jilly, but I knew so much about the villain from the text Patricia Briggs had chosen (I pitied and feared her).  In both of these graphic stories I connected more with the characters.  So it isn't that I can't connect with this medium, it's that neither the illustrations nor text succeeded in creating emotional character resonance with me, which is a shame.
Review copy received from Walker.

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