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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    ‘Twilight: The Graphic Novel’ promising

    To realize you are so deeply in love with someone is one of the most exhilarating — and frightening — feelings in the world. You begin to record every detail of your love: the gentle lilt in her voice as she speaks, the fragrance that lingers after she leaves, the exact hue and tone of her cheeks whenever she blushes. And if you are Edward Cullen, you also know that such feelings tempt you to completely devour her within a heartbeat.

    If you’ve read the novel or seen the movie, then you already know the story of “”Twilight: The Graphic Novel.”” In this first volume we are introduced to Bella Swan and Edward Cullen in the overcast town of Forks, Wa., as they reluctantly reach the conclusion that they are in love with each other. Of course, a few facts stand in the way of their love: He’s a vampire, albeit an atypical one who feeds on bears and doesn’t burn when exposed to sunlight; she’s a human being who feels socially awkward, despite the numerous friends she gains once she arrives at Forks.

    Korean artist Young Kim breathes life anew to Stephenie Meyer’s “”Twilight”” with her comic book adaptation. Instead of having to slog through clunky prose or stiff acting, Kim treats us to a subtler vision of the budding relationship between Bella and Edward. After admitting to being a vampire, Edward asks Bella, “”What’s your favorite gemstone?””

    “”Topaz.””

    “”Why?””

    “”…””

    Bella exhales a small balloon of breath. Short pen strokes drawn across her cheek reveal her to be blushing. “”It’s the color of your eyes today.””

    The color of the blood red topaz from a previous panel spills and fades into Edward’s hair and collar.

    “”I suppose if you ask me in two weeks I’d say onyx,”” Bella says. Next to this dialogue balloon, Kim zooms in on Edward’s face to reveal his yellow eyes as he looks directly at us.

    This scene also shows Kim’s wise use of color for emotional effect. Most of the story is rendered in black and white, which can be a turnoff initially, but our patience is rewarded, especially when Bella sees Edward in full sunlight.

    However, not everything translates well into the comic book form. Many of the conversations remain intact from the novel, for better or worse, and it can be difficult to know who is saying what since the dialogue balloons are sometimes placed awkwardly.

    Kim can also pack too much detail into a panel or a page. Some backgrounds are little more than a photograph placed through a Photoshop filter, which can be distracting. It’s difficult to tell if these shortcomings are due to Meyer’s close supervision or to Kim’s attempt to render the world of “”Twilight”” as realistically as possible. They may also be due to her inexperience. While she has a painting degree and has worked in animation and illustration, “”Twilight”” is Kim’s first comic book project.

    Like the initial rush and subsequent relief you feel once you admit you’re in love, the first volume of “”Twilight: The Graphic Novel”” shows a promising start to Meyer’s juggernaut of a franchise. As with any relationship, however, long-term success will depend on the next step.

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