16 January 2009

Review: Artemis Fowl (Graphic) by Eoin Colfer and Giovanni Rigano

Artemis Fowl: The Graphic Novel was adapted from the first entry in the Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer and Andre Donkin with art by Giovanni Rigano and color by Paolo Lamanna.

My Summary: Artemis Fowl is a twelve-year-old genius whose family life is falling apart. His father, a kind of Irish mobster, has been kidnapped; his mother has gone into a psychological decline from the strain; and the family fortune is rapidly dwindling. The boy is left in the care of Butler, his body guard, guardian, and friend.

Artemis must find a way to replenish his funds so he has the resources to track down and free his father. His plan involves tricking the fairy world into surrendering one ton of their gold. The only problem is that Artemis must first learn all about fairies and then try to find one! Captain Holly Short, the only female elite police officer, is the lucky fairy to be entrapped in Fowl Manor.

As the fairy police arrive--bringing a centaur, a troll, a dwarf, and special weapons--Artemis must hope that he has made no mistakes.

My Thoughts: The graphic version of this novel works beautifully, and the drawings are absolutely amazing. While it is true that my images of the characters didn't match those of the artist, I quickly adjusted. I loved how the background information was presented on separate pages, one of which appeared before each chapter. Those pages were set up as if they were file folders, complete with sticky notes, photos, business cards, and scraps of paper. It was easy to tell the difference between spoken words and a character's thoughts, and some of the balloons were color coded to help differentiate characters' dialogue.

I'm not sure how this book would work for someone who hadn't read the print novel, but I enjoyed it. The second in the series will be out as a graphic novel in August, and I'll be looking for it.

I read this book as a part of several challenges (listed below). To learn more about them and to see what other participants are reading, click on the name above the progress bar in the left column.

Published by Miramax Books, 2007
ISBN-13: 9780786848829
Challenges: A-Z Title, Graphic Novels, 999, 100+, Buy One
YTD: 5
Rating: A


Alea 1/16/09, 9:19 AM  

I think this could be an instance where the story could be interesting but I'm not really fond of the illustration style. I think I'm going to have that same problem with Watchmen. I really need to get over that! Ahh!

Beth F 1/16/09, 9:32 AM  

Alea: Each of us reacts differently to art. I thought this worked really well with the story.

But I agree with you about illustration style in general. I put down several books in the bookstore because I knew I wouldn't want a whole book (no matter how short) of that particular artist or style.

Alea 1/16/09, 9:38 AM  

Exactly! Or the reason I'll buy a graphic novel barely knowing what it's about, I could look at the illustrations all day!

Anonymous,  1/16/09, 10:19 AM  

I've only read one graphic novel and while I enjoyed it, I thought it was rather pricey. I guess I should see if the library has any.

Unknown 1/16/09, 11:47 AM  

I've never read a graphic novel, or Artemis Fowl, although I have been tempted by both. I'll have a quick look at the graphic novel challenge to see if I can find a good one to start with.

Unknown 1/16/09, 12:07 PM  

I was glad to read your review. I passed up getting this book from b&n annual clearance sale, but now I wish I had! I'll just have to keep my eyes open for another discounted copy I suppose.

Lissa 1/16/09, 12:46 PM  

Thanks for the review. I have also read both the novel and the GN, so I was interested in your point of view. My nephew felt the same as you did, that the characters weren't at all how he pictured. I thought it was bang on to what was in my mind. It's interesting to me to hear how different people see it. =D

Anonymous,  1/16/09, 2:18 PM  

I haven't read *Artemis Fowl*, but my son (a few weeks shy of 11 now) has. I think he'd love this book, and I like the way each chapter is introduced (with the file folders, post-its, etc.).

If he reads it, I'll let you know how it stacks up against the pictures in his head.

Beth F 1/16/09, 3:08 PM  

Kris: sorry you missed this one on sale. I'm passing mine along to my nephews, or I'd send it to you.

Lissa: My mental picture of the characters was definitely different than the artist's but the artist's renditions were so good, that I had no trouble adjusting.

Dawn: please do let me know if your son reads the GN and what he thinks of the drawings.

Anonymous,  1/16/09, 4:54 PM  

I read this without having read the novel, and although I enjoyed it, I felt like I was missing a lot. I'm planning to read the novel sometime this year.

Beth F 1/16/09, 5:08 PM  

Carrie: Thanks for commenting. I suspected that the GN might not stand very well on its own. I'm glad to know that my suspicions were right.

But it was a great read if you were familiar with the story.

Anonymous,  1/16/09, 9:47 PM  

I can't seem to stop by here without adding yet another book to my list, Beth. I've read Artemis Fowl and enjoyed it a lot (although it's funny, I've only read up to book 3) - this looks like it will be a fun read as a graphic novel.

Ladytink_534 1/17/09, 8:38 AM  

I've only read the first Artemis Fowl book a couple of years ago but it wasn't half bad. Somehow I think I would enjoy the graphic novel!

Anonymous,  1/20/09, 5:36 PM  

Hmmmm...did you review another Artemis Fowl graphic novel? I could have sworn I have already commented on one, but I didn't see my comment post. If not, I am so losing it!

Beth F 1/20/09, 5:43 PM  

J. Kaye! LOL! You asked me about the GN in a Tweet, but you haven't commented yet!

Anonymous,  1/20/09, 5:46 PM  

That's right! I came here and read it, then posted about it on Twitter. Oh thank GOD! I really thought my mind was going...thank goodness!

Anonymous,  2/24/09, 6:49 PM  

The GN was all right, but I found the fact several of the character designs directly contradicted the descriptions in the original too distracting. Especially Holly's complexion, said to be nut brown, or coffee-coloured, in the prose version, but paler than my cracker arse in the comic.

Unknown 10/16/09, 6:53 AM  

Read the Book then the Graphic Novel. The Graphic Novel is missing one important detail the result of the confrontation between 2 characters. Root and Cudgeon, the result of which is a turning point in the book.

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