Twilight Graphic Novel Review

By | Saturday, April 03, 2010 1 comment
I'd like to think that you all know me as someone who's not going to go around haterating on something or someone for no reason. So, for as much vitriol has been thrown at Twilight from comic book fans, I thought I'd try to read the graphic novel with as unbiased a view as possible. What are the actual merits of Twilight: The Graphic Novel as a piece of sequential art? I haven't read the books or seen the movie, and going into this, the entirety of my knowledge about the Twilight saga is that it's some kind of love story with sparkling vampires. So, is the comic version of this story any good?

I actually found it strangely interesting how many parallels it had compared to a 1940's comic story I just happened to read earlier in the week. The superhero story about The Whizzer from All Winners Comics #2, to be precise...

Please take a moment to read through that Whizzer story above. It is, I think, pretty critical to understanding what I think about Twilight: The Graphic Novel.

Done? Good. Now, did you notice in that Whizzer story how it didn't make a lick of sense? Characters are doing and saying things almost randomly, scenes change abruptly and for no reason... Hell, even the porthole window changes from round in one panel to square in the next! There's kind of a vague sense of story progression, but it kind of feels like somebody tore out every other page.

That's what reading Twilight: The Graphic Novel was like. Even setting aside the already-much-maligned-elsewhere piss-poor lettering, the actual comic just comes across as a bunch of random scenes that seem like they ought to be connected somehow but really aren't. Characters say things that seem like they ought to relate back to something else, but you're not sure what. There are sudden, disconnected scene changes throughout the book. The more action-oriented scenes are completely incomprehensible, and the reader can only infer what happened by reading the dialogue several pages later. Not to mention some bizarre leaps of in-story logic that make 1940s comics look completely sensible by comparison.

To complicate matters, the text suggests the vampires look different than other folks. But the art really makes everyone look pretty much the same. Oh, individual characters are identifiable enough and it's not as if you can't tell one character from another, but they all have that same sparkling beauty that's allegedly reserved for these vampires.

Further complicating matters, there is not one border gutter in the whole book. Panels are divided by a simple black line, slightly heavier than what's used within the panels. Individual panels are cropped strangely, not infrequently cutting off people's heads and projecting the reader's attention in precisely the wrong places. Most of the individual pages are a mess from a layout perspective, and it really isn't then surprising that the lettering had to be placed over character's faces.

I'm not about to say that the whole Twilight saga is crap; I've read one person's adaptation of part of the overall story. I have to assume, in fact, that Stephanie Meyer's original novel was much more cohesive, because I can't imagine any editor approving it otherwise. The general story idea isn't my cup of tea, but a lot of people get something out of it so I'm not about to judge. But Twilight: The Graphic Novel ranks as one of the worst pieces of printed comic literature I've read in a long time. I really do think some of these poorly-drawn, slap-dashed 1940s reprints I've been reading lately are of much higher quality than this.
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Anonymous said... frakking rock.