Book a Day: Anne of Green Gables, a Graphic Novel

ANNE OF GREEN GABLES GRAPHIC NOVELAnother day, another book. Graphic novels take a remarkably short time to devour, which is why I don’t return to them very often. The pacing is not what I prefer. However, I do enjoy the occasional graphic novel, if only for reveling in its artistic expression.

I have read Anne of Green Gables (L. M. Montgomery) and the rest of the Anne series more times than I can say. In fact, I have read them more than any other books, hands down. I went grudgingly to the movies and the TV series, so what could I possibly gain from reading an Anne graphic novel? I didn’t know, when I started. But now I do.

This Mariah Marsden and Brenna Thummler graphic novel is a great contribution to the Anne world. It doesn’t do anything super-new with Anne or the story–thank goodness!–but the illustrations are lovely. They complement the story without destroying it. There were occasions when I thought, “The writer didn’t quite get that right,” but overall, I was more impressed with the authenticity than I thought I would be.

I actually got lumps in my throat and misty eyes, which is saying a lot when you’ve read a book as many times as I have.

ANNE OF GREEN GABLES GRAPHIC NOVEL ILLUSTRATION

My one complaint? Anne’s nose and the characters’ eyes. Particularly since Anne very specifically is supposed to have a handsome nose, I don’t know why the main character has such a squashed, pink nose. It’s distracting. And all of their eyes are just vacant circles. It is the artist’s style, yes, but it doesn’t seem to match the fanciful and luxurious, flowing feel of the rest of the illustrations. For such a soulful book, why neglect the windows to the soul? So much could have been expressed here, graphically speaking.

Otherwise, beautifully and carefully rendered. Loved the style and loved the scenery and outfits, especially. Although Anne doesn’t get quite enough time (because of the limitations of the medium) to expand as a completely contoured character, I thought Matthew and Marilla were near-perfect. A great companion for an Anne fan, and a great starter for the middle grades.

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