on 15 October 2007
I'd been a fan of Eoin Colfer's Artemis novels since page one of the first book. I'm also an avid fan of graphic novels. The concept of airing the first "Artemis" novel in graphic form seems like a natural. Yet, the challenge of making this project work must have been daunting.
Credit where credit's due to Colfer for working so diligently with someone who understands the medium. The collaboration of Colfer and comics veteran Andrew Donkin makes this a truly original experience.
Way too many comic adaptations tend to be cut-and-paste cash ins. You only need to give yourself a few pages to see that's not the case here. I'm delighted (and surprised) to say this is a lovingly rendered tome, respectful of the source but inventively opened up by Artist Giovanni Rigano's breathtaking visuals. Rigano makes full use of every expertly conceived panel.
Colfer's imagination, gift for story-telling and humour serve as the foundation for what I truly enjoyed as a motion picture experience bound into this book's 110 pages... and all in glorious technicolor.
The only thing missing was popcorn. Fast-paced and funny, it gives a new take on a story the fans will embrace and tap a new audience for the "Artemis" series. I only hope the whole series gets this treatment.
on 17 October 2007
Inspired by Oein Colfer's highly entertaining talk at Bath Literary Festival, I bought this book for my sons, one severely dyslexic aged 13 and the other a prolific reader aged 10. Result....... punch up over who got to read it first.
I suppose this means it's a hit!
on 1 November 2007
I imagine that there were a few Artemis fans who groaned inwardly at the prospect of a graphic novel adaptation of Eoin Colfer's imaginative, engaging and hugely successful books. No wonder, as in the wrong hands, fondly imagined scenes can be ruined and the whole magic of the original tainted.
Lucky for them then, this is a really superb retelling of the early adventures of boy genius and criminal mastermind Artemis Fowl. Colfer's witty novel has been made flesh by some very tight, smart editing and well-crafted storytelling by Colfer and co-scripter Andrew Donkin. Remarkably, the care and disciplined attention to pace and page layouts compare favourably even with the industry Gold Standard of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' `Watchmen' series, which speaks volumes for the whole team involved.
Of course, if your script is of a high standard, any reasonable art should function pretty well, but the art of Giovanni Rigano is a revelation. I'm unfamiliar with his prior work, but based on this evidence he's a very talented guy and is an inspired choice for this project (and hopefully for future instalments). His very elegant, almost spidery line style makes the Manga-inspired character designs far more textured than the bulk of the work it's derived from. It's a great combination of Asian and European graphic styles and some of the backgrounds are mind-bogglingly detailed.
Icing on this particular cake: the colouring. Paolo Lamanna's sophisticated palette and very careful use of colour effects really enhance the artwork and make the whole piece look like a book that should cost twice as much as it does. Hyperion really have to be congratulated for publishing a book of such high standard rather than going for a cheap knock-it-out cash-in.
In fact, forget the kids (who should be so lucky to get this as a present); if you're an adult, treat yourself to this, read it and leave it lying casually on your coffee table for kids to chance upon; they'll be staggered at your cool.
I was very cynical when I found out that a graphic novel version of the first book was being produced. Too many other authors have been happy to allow their ideas to be exploited in poorly produced spin-off formats produced by publishers who just want to extract more cash from fans.
Artemis fans, this is the real thing. Eoin Colfer has collaborated with Andrew Donkin to produce a gem of a graphic novel. Every page is a work of art. The spirit of the original story is captured, and the graphic format is used to great effect.
Every reader of the novels will have their own mental picture of the characters and some are not as I imagined, but I really enjoyed seeing what they came up with for each.
The only problem is that it looks like it took so much effort, he won't have the time to do the other novels (come on EC - you can do it!).
on 12 November 2007
Having borrowed the first Artemis Fowl novel (from a friend who implored me to read it), I'd never actually owned a copy. It didn't seem right to adore a book so much and not actually own one, so I faithfully visited Amazon.co.uk to set this to rights. When I saw that a graphic novel had been just been released for AF1 there really was no decision to make; it was as good as mine.
And what a terrific job Colfer and Co have made of this electrifying story by putting it into a comic strip format. The original novel was extremely fast paced and had an action film feel to it, yet the graphic novel has taken this premise and run with, very quickly!
The visuals suit the story perfectly; sharp, modern, funky and perceptive. The varying size and the scope of these images really help to capture the drama of the narrative. Especially impressive is the use of light and dark and the way these two polar opposites are paralleled (good vs. evil / surface vs. subterranean).
On the negative side, the story does lose some of its depth (unfortunately, this is to be expected). The characters are not so vivid and realised in picturesque format and if I were reading this as a first time Fowl voyeur, I would not have such an appreciation for the amazing inventions of Colfer. Nor would I be as desperate to pursue a sequel.
Yet the differences between the written story and the comic ironically are the reasons why this HAS to be purchased by Fowl fanatics, or simply by anyone who enjoys terrific fast-paced fiction. Seeing Haven City and Holly Short for the first time was first class, and my first look at the Neutrino 2000.... well, it was riddled with jealously - why can't I have one?
on 15 October 2007
Like the His Dark Material trilogy the Artemis Fowl books are a guilty pleasure among adults who enjoy a rollicking good fantasy adventure with young Fowl II and Butler making a cool centre for a fairy heart to dwell. In truth, books like this shouldn't be a guilty pleasure for adults - they're just a darn good read.
Graphic fiction / sequential art / comics are on their way to rehabilitation too though, I must confess, I felt the idea of a graphic version of Artemis's first published adventure to be superfluous: one should just read the book.
I was wrong - this is brilliant.
I know Andrew Donkin's work from his Batman story in Legend's of the Dark Night, a passionate attempt to reconcile Frank Millar's psycho-Bat with the driven loner in DC continuity at the time and he succeeded, with his then writing partner, is creating a story with DKSB atmospherics with a `canon' batman story.
So I gave his take on Artemis Fowl, another driven loner with family issues, trusty sidekick and a liking for wearing black, a go and was rewarded with a spirited adaptation.
I've not familiar with the artist, Giovanni Rigano's, work but his manga-esque art has a filmic quality and captures the high-tec gothic of the Fowl world in ways my imagination didn't. The direction is all from Donkin and Rigano and the view-point and timing of certain scenes (trolls sent flying with comic (in both senses) perfection).
So the graphic novel augments the story for a fan (and a comic lover) and would be an excellent way to introduce the Artemis Fowl books to a new reader.
on 28 September 2010
First off let me say I am no graphic officinado, but for me personally & my three boys, we loved it, it's detailed expressive both in drawing style & colour usage, I mean the colours dictate the mood & action that is happening at the time. I would of like to see the text a little larger that is my only gripe in the explaination boxes, but in the verbal speech balloons the font size is just right.
This version is the imported American edition, the only difference is the front cover, from the Uk version published by Puffin (Penguin books).
This graphic novel tells the tale from the novel in pictorial form that was published in 2001. Artemis Fowl is a 12 year old genius, a mastermind, inventing some of the most devious & advanced technology known to man. Behind some of the most puzzling advanced crimes of the century.
Artemis is after gold, not just any gold, but fairy gold, he is in for a surprise though, these are not just any old fairies.
Artemis plans to hold a fairy to ransom, he wants to restore his family fortune. He gets more than he bargained for, faireis are armed & dangerous, their technology makes his look like simple building blocks. There's a paranoid centaur, trolls, one very kickass Holly with attitude, Artemis has his work cut out for him, if he's going to end up on top.
on 12 April 2012
Just finished this and had to write how much I enjoyed it. I read the original book maybe 15 years ago, and to be honest I remember thinking it was good, but not great. So my expectations weren't high when I picked this up on a whim. How wrong I was. It works PERFECTLY as a graphic novel, or rather, the adaptation and the artwork are so good that they make it work perfectly as a graphic novel. The story zips along and the artwork is amazing, but the characters are also really well developed and make you want to learn more about them (which is why I'm about to buy the second adaptation).
Now I am off to add this GN to the 'pile of things that I will one day blow my kids mind with'...
on 4 October 2008
Superb. The story translates VERY well, and the guile and craft is maintained expertly.
Read it, whether you've read the original book or not.
I read graphic novels and this one stand out as a great one, good story and, for once, fine art, not any sketchy rubbish!
on 26 February 2014
I've started (and failed) to read the actual novel several times but I finished this one in one sitting. A really unusual - and magical - story that was not what I was expecting at all. The pictures really helped to understand the story and although they were not my preferred style of illustration it helped to picture the characters and put faces to names.
It would be an excellent book for encouraging reluctant readers to read and allow them to access quite a complex story in a much easier way. Would highly recommend this.