This reworking of a classic text is a bold thing to do and the French comic artist Joann Sfar has succeeded very well. His drawing style is far wilder than the delicate watercolours done by Antoine de Saint-Exupery to go with his own text. In this sense it is quite different, with a bold line and vivid colours; it definitely pushes in a psychedelic direction. Le petit prince himself has huge eyes and looks more alien than the original, who had a Tintin-like air. This one is just as touching, though, if not more so, reminding me of E.T., although the style is also similar to Sfar's own Petit Vampire and probably other creations by him. The story is about the boy of the title who comes from another distant planet, lands on earth as a last stop in a tour of the universe, and happens to fall at the very spot in the Sahara where an aviator has landed, having some problem with his plane. The contact between the two forms the basis of a philosophical enquiry on different aspects of life and what it means. One of the major changes Sfar makes, apart from having far more illustrations as you expect in a full-blown comic, is that the aviator is given a physical representation denied by Saint-Exupery, no doubt because he is based on himself. Sfar's character looks a bit like the original writer, and his presence certainly pays dividends in the final part of the story, which is very emotional as drawn by Sfar - those big eyes welling up as if transforming into desert lakes ... I loved the craziness of Sfar's vision and even though purists will probably prefer the original it is good to have this new version which may get the interest of young comic enthusiasts; it is also a tribute to the original and its lasting appeal.
A title brought to life in the graphic novel format from its original language to the English speaking world. Part existentialist, part philosophical this offering left me confused as to it's purpose. Not that it wasn't an interesting read but I felt that I was missing a greater piece of the puzzle.
Other than this, it was quirky and with illustrations by Joann Sfar that put me in mind of Little Nemo, it was definitely something that will stay with me for some time to come.