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Wuthering Heights. The Graphic NovelIn the last years on BrontëBlog we have reviewed many Wuthering Heights adaptations, revisitations, remakes, prequels or sequels. And some children adaptations with or without illustrations too. But when we address the Classical Comics' adaptation we feel as if we were travelling in quite a different country. Not because we have here a new, challenging, exciting new approach to Emily Brontë's territory full of unexplored ideas or controversial ones. No, this is not the equivalent of the Andrea Arnold's treatment of the story of Heathcliff and Catherine(1) but a very canonical, very faithful but, nonetheless, very interesting adaptation.
Script Adaptation: Seán M. Wilson
Artwork: John M. Burns
Lettering: Jim Campbell
Format: 160 pages full colour, sewn paperback
Original Text Version
Quick Text Version
What Classical Comics is trying to do is not only entice young readers to read, giving them a glimpse of the classics, but trying to do all that with quality and high standards in the art department as well as in the scripts. All their releases appear at least in two versions: Original Text, where the original novel or play is abridged but most of the times quoted almost verbatim and a Quick Text version which might be more controversial in its editorial decisionsThese high standards are maintained in this edition and Wuthering Heights. The Graphic Novel is by far the more ambitious comic approach to the novel and arguably the most engaging in the last few years. Not because of its classical (no pun intended) approach but because it's a consistent, occasionally impersonal but mostly successful proposal.
His artwork is beautiful, clear and always illustrative. His choice of colours and general style evoke even a period-look not at all unrelated to the traditional kind of drawing and colouring used by Mr Burns as opposed to other more modern techniquesMany of the adjectives can be used again. John M. Burns's vivid, highly-detailed illustrations (illustrate is a verb that doesn't make justice to his work, he doesn't illustrate, he recreates) helped by the concise, true-to-the-novel adaptation by Seán M. Wilson, make the story leap from the page. His works excels in many points but his vision of the death of Linton with an almost cinematographical dolly-up shot towards Edgar, ending in a extreme close up of his eyes is at the same time terrifying, moving and disturbing. The meticulous choosing of the palette of colours, the careful creation of the psychological profiles of characters (Catherine vs Cathy are a perfect example) shows the impressive work of John M. Burns(3).