I'm an big Austen fan and so I ordered this graphic novel version of Pride and Prejudice just to see what they'd done with the story. I was pleasantly surprised with the quality of the result. The author did a good job of abridging the story down enough that it would fit the format of a graphic novel but not so much that the essence of the story was in any way changed. I noticed that most of the dialogue was directly from the original text, although some was created here and there to move the story forward.
The illustrations of the characters and the locations seem like original interpretations to me -- in other words, they're not just illustrations of the various actors and actresses who've appeared in the two recent movie versions of the story. They look like 19th century people for the most part although it's definitely drawn in the rather dramatic style of most graphic novels I've seen. In some cases, the women especially looked a little older and a little harder than I thought they should.
Some people might be appalled to think that literary classics like Pride and Prejudice have been made into graphic novels, but I would disagree. Although Butler's retelling in no way replaces the original, I do think it adds an interesting interpretation. After all, screen writers have created several adaptations of the novel, and this one actually stays closer to the original than the screenplay for the 2005 movie (starring Kiera Knightly). My hope would be that someone who might not otherwise read the original might be inspired to do so after enjoying this version.
on October 16, 2013
I was excited to try this out and really liked the representation of Elizabeth on the cover. The art inside though is nothing like this. All five girls look overly sexualized with huge pouty lips. Worse - they are nearly indistinguishable from each other apart from hair color/style. This is including Mary Bennet...which....seems like a pretty big oversight given her plain appearance is a major part of her character. I know the story line in and out, so I was really hoping to enjoy the artistry here and was disappointed.
When a much-loved novel such as "Pride and Prejudice" is translated into another, more visual medium, the devoted Jane Austen fan cannot help but be nervous at the potential for mixed results. The storyline, with its superb dialogue, is apt to be pruned and compressed, while readers may be reluctant to accept another's visualization of their favorite characters.
This reviewer thinks Marvel Comic's adaption of "P&P" can fairly be called a success. Writer Nancy Butler and artist Hugo Petrus capture the essentials of Miss Jane Austen's classic romance in graphic novel format. Inevitably, the storyline has been compressed, and the dialogue was been slightly modernized, but fans should have no problem recognizing the story of the Bennets, the Bingleys, and Mr. Darcy. The best of the dialogue has been preserved while those readers familar with the 1995 BBC TV presentation or the 2005 movie version will recognize a somewhat similar visual presentation.
"Pride & Prejudice" the graphic novel is very highly recommended to those Jane Austen fans looking for a way to introduce their digital-age children or grandchildren to a classic romance novel in a form that is apt to hold their attention, and perhaps motivate them to read the original.
it is a fact universally acknowledged that a novel of great popularity must be in want of a comic book adaptation.
So it is with Marvel's "Pride and Prejudice," a loving but deeply flawed comic-book adaptation of Jane Austen's classic. It's obvious that adaptor Nancy Butler really adores the original novel, but the strangely generic character designs and the rushed pace are pretty distracting. Seriously, why has everyone got Botox and blindingly white teeth?
The Bennett family is in an uproar when wealthy Mr. Bingley moves into the neighborhood, and Mrs. Bennett is especially happy when he takes a liking to the eldest Bennett daughter Jane -- since their estate is entailed and there is no Mr. Bennett Jr., a good marriage is considered essential for at least one of the girls. But her forthright, independent sister Lizzie immediately butts heads with wealthy, aloof Mr. Darcy, who scorns the rural village and seems haughty about everything.
A flurry of proposals, road trips and friendships happen over the course of the following months, with Lizzie fending off her slimy cousin Mr. Collins, and befriending the flirty, hunky Wickham, who claims to have been wronged by Darcy. Lizzie believes Wickham's account -- and she's in for a shock when Darcy unexpectedly proposes, and reveals what Wickham won't tell her about both of their past lives, and what Wickham did to offend Darcy.
And finally things take a scandalous turn when Lizzie's idiotic younger sister Lydia elopes with Wickham, while staying with a friend in Brighton. The family is plunged into disgrace, which also wrecks any chances of a halfway decent marriage for the other daughters. The only one who can set things right is Darcy, who will do whatever he must to make amends to Lizzie -- and unwittingly establish himself as the man she loves as well...
First, the positive: some of the art is lovely, and each issue is graced with clever little "magazine" covers with headlines like "Spring's Randiest Ribbons." Nancy Butler has to cut a great deal of the novel out, but for the most part she keeps in the important bits, including the witty banter between Lizzie and Darcy.
Unfortunately, the artwork is... deeply flawed. Most of the woman look exactly alike; the only way you can tell Jane, Lizzie, Lydia and Kitty apart is by their hairstyles. And everyone in Regency England seems to have gotten Botox -- nobody really shows any expressions except blindingly white smiles. Lizzie Bennett should not be reminding me of Kristen Stewart!
Also, this comic book series could have used another five issues. Everything feels incredibly rushed -- we barely even see Lydia before she elopes. Important scenes are simply smushed together with no transitions. This is especially bad in the final issue, where we careen straight from Jane's engagement to Lady Catherine's verbal abuse to Darcy's proposal in just a few pages.
And at times, Butler is too literal in her storytelling. Several times we're shown Lizzy sitting there reading a letter, rather than seeing an ILLUSTRATED FLASHBACK to what the letter-writer is talking about.
The Marvel "Pride and Prejudice" tries hard, but it's too short, the characters look too samey, and it's much too rushed. I'll have to keep waiting for a decent adaptation.
on January 7, 2010
I absolutely love this book! As a dedicated reader of all things Austen, I purchased this book as part of my collection. Not sure what to expect, I waited...and was thrilled what I saw! This is beautifully illustrated and the writing...ah, I can't say enough. Thank you for the offering, I've even purchased on for a friend that also shares my love for Austen and reading.
on April 30, 2015
i am offended. the artwork on the cover seems perfectly attuned to both austen's time period, the character of lizzy and the style of graphic novel art. imagine my surprise when i open the book and the art is NOTHING like this. they are all dark complexioned, curvy, 1980s styled glamazons. and the drawings of lizzy change on nearly every panel in the book. super distracting. also, the pacing of the story is too fast and doesnt linger on the right parts. i got none of the joy of the various character-building plot twists that make the final ending so rewarding. having also read the author's and Marvel's 'Emma' and 'Sense and Sensibilty' i'd have to say those were WAAAAAAY better. the art was much more fitting (especially sense and sensibility) and the stories were paced much better and gave you all the joy of the plot and cut or quickened perhaps the more dull parts. seek those Marvel adaptations out. this P&P version is not even worth owning, and i own several copies of P&P and am always looking to collect more. im passing on this one.
So this is what happens when you're sick and off work for a week -- you pull out that graphic novel edition of Pride and Prejudice that you've been meaning to read for ages and finally dive in. Pride and Prejudice was the first Austen novel adapted for the Marvel Illustrated line -- comic-book versions of timeless literary classics. As with any adaptation of Austen's work, it is bound to face criticism for plot condension and the losss of pages upon pages of Austen's signature witty, insightful prose. But for a 120-page or so graphic novel, this volume does a creditable job of translating the essence of Lizzy and Darcy's story to the page.
Adapted by author Nancy Butler, the text does a surprisingly decent job of remaining faithful to its 19th-century origins. She keeps the action moving at a brisk pace, and while events are often shortened or tweaked to fit the graphic novel format, all of the plot's most famous scenes get their due. From Darcy's famous put-down at the Meryton assembly to his subsequent first (refused) proposal to Lizzy's first view of Pemberly, all key moments are brought to life with relative faithfulness to the original text.
I have mixed feelings abut illustrator Hugo Petrus's interpretation of Austen's classic tale. There are to be sure some gorgeously-rendered panels within these pages, and he has a nice eye for period detail. But the color palette is a bit darker than I'd prefer for Austen's brand of frothy social commentary. And many of the characters are blessed with such similar looks that it is difficult to tell them apart, particulary the bee-stung lipped younger Bennet sisters. However I enjoyed his realizations of Darcy, Mr. Bennet, Lady Catherine, and Lizzy in particular, though the latter suffers occasionally from some incredibly awkward facial expressions that detract from the emotin of key moments.
A pleasant way in which to while away an afternoon, this edition of Pride and Prejudice mostly hits all the right notes and could serve a a fresh way to introduce Austen to new readers.
on November 12, 2011
This graphic format may encourage young readers to read the original text. There is nothing wrong with a faithful adaptation. In fact, the covers of the five issues are quite original and enticing for female readers because they make each issue look like the front cover of a magazine for girls. The authors cleverly want to place the old classic into a modern context; they want to make a connection between today's youth with the issues faced by young women back then. "How to Cure Boy-Crazy Sisters!" or "17 Secrets About Summer Dresses," and "Army Boys: 34 Reasons We Love Them." You can tell that the editors gave it a lot of thought to these titles. The first one refers to the crazy Bennet sisters, Lydia and Kitty; the second title refers to the importance of choosing a proper dress for a ball; and then third title refers to the fact that Lydia and Kitty went crazy about soldiers, specifically, the "wicked" Wickham.
The weakness of the text lies on the illustrations. Personally, I couldn't tell the difference between the Bennet sisters. Secondly, the illustrations didn't seem strong enough to invite younger readers. The only hit here was Mr. Collins, who resembles the freckled face on the old Mad magazines. Also, the writers and illustrators didn't translate into graphic format Darcy's long letter explaining his behavior to Elizabeth. Readers will just see the image of Elizabeth holding the letter while there is a lot of text placed on each panel. Also, the same front covers that may entice female readers may be harmful because it would suggest that P&P is only for women. Would boys or male adolescents be attracted to this text using these covers?
These are the reasons why I give this text 3 stars.
on March 4, 2015
As a PP fan, I want to read every PP adaptation there is! So when I saw Marvel did one, I had to have it! Despite the mixed reviews, I bought a copy and was excited to read it.
Horrible. I have to agree with many that said the artwork was not really that great. I felt like I was reading a comic about a bunch of statues! No expressions on any of the characters, and a lot of them did a lot of the same!
Trying my hardest to ignore the artwork I tried to enjoy the story that I love so much.
Nope nope nope. They even managed to ruin that for me. The story jumped way too much, and didn't really transition well from chapter to chapter. I agree with other posters here that I felt the entire thing was rushed. Had they given it more time, and adapted it better, it could have been a huge hit! I returned this as quickly as I could.
on December 10, 2014
The narrative followed the book well so I have no complaints with the storyline. I just thought I'd like the artwork better than I did. It wasn't bad or objectionable really, just slightly redundant, with the sisters difficult to tell apart in some frames, with similar expressions, and without the distinctness of character you'd like. Sometimes I relied on dress color to keep them straight. At times the expressions didn't quite register true. The sisters had large, perfect, very white teeth, framed by lipsticked, glossy lips (even at bedtime) - I found them distracting.
All in all, it wasn't bad. But I probably won't buy the other ones by Nancy Butler in this series.