I’M BACK FROM CAMPING!!! I caught a bass and read a bajillion books! No, really, I did.
First, I wanted to share the article I wrote for the Upper Bucks Free Press (the newspaper I write for) for the July issue! The online version was published. To see the online version of the newspaper, click HERE (see page 14).
Read to the bottom to see the winner of the set of Schoolies that I was giving away!
I hope you like the article!
Graphic Novels Bring Classics to Life for Young People
Move over Spiderman, there are new comic book characters in town! Many classic books are being turned into comic books to try to get kids into reading classics. No matter what your opinion is on classics as comics, these books are very popular with kids. One of my favorite series is the Classic Illustrated Series published by Papercutz. Papercutz Marketing Director, Jesse Post, let me ask him some questions about this series.
Erik: People might worry that publishing classic literature as graphic novels will discourage kids from reading the actual book. How does Papercutz see the role of their Classics Illustrated Graphic Novels in helping get kids into classic literature?
Jesse Post: We think it’s actually the opposite! [W]e’ve heard a lot of enthusiastic praise from teachers and librarians about the series, especially our CLASSICS ILLUSTRATED DELUXE books that have more pages and are even closer to the experience of reading the original books. I think a lot of the time, kids might think that these old books are boring or too hard to read, but they don’t realize that there are some wild adventures in the classics! The Three Musketeers has sword-fighting and rescues, Tom Sawyer has a search for buried treasure in a haunted house, Treasure Island has all the suspense and excitement of any modern middle-grade or YA book for boys. It’s easier for kids to get into these stories as comics, and we think that once they realize what they’ve been missing they’ll look for the original books, and maybe even some other classic books that haven’t been turned into comics just yet.
Erik: I agree, classic books have a ton of action! How true to the story is the comic book adaptation of the classic?
Jesse Post: It can vary, but our DELUXE line is very true to the original books, so much so that the comics can sometimes have as many pages as the originals! Our regular CLASSICS ILLUSTRATED line is a bit slimmer (around 56 pages each) so those just aim to cover the main plot points and themes of the originals, with only the most important character developments and twists and turns. I would say any adaptation, whether it’s a comic book, a movie, or a TV show, can’t offer the exact same experience as the original, but the best adaptations are authentic even if they’re a little shorter or less detailed.
Erik: I like how you try to stay close to the original story. I’ve noticed that the illustration style can be pretty different between the books. How do you pick an illustrator or illustration style to fit the classic?
Jesse Post: All of our CLASSICS ILLUSTRATED books are either reprints from an earlier series or translated from books that were originally published in France, so we don’t usually have any input into the story development. We do pick the books we publish very carefully, though, and the main thing we look for in an artists’ style is a certain liveliness to the characters (we want the characters to feel real to readers) and a strong ability to tell a story in pictures. Comics artists have to do a lot more than draw well — they have to use facial expressions, scenery, color, and many other things to convey important parts of the story. When you read comics you “read” the pictures as well as the words, and this is especially important in a classic novel adaptation.
Erik: Comic art is very important to the story! How do you choose which stories to illustrate?
Jesse Post: We look mainly for books that are very popular (like Around the World in 80 Days, A Christmas Carol, and Call of the Wild) and very good (but that’s usually all of them — if they weren’t good they wouldn’t be classics!). Another factor is age-appropriateness. Because we’re a kids’ publisher we want to make sure the subject matter isn’t too advanced or complex. We’ve experimented with some adaptations of more complicated classics for adults like The Jungle and Wuthering Heights, but the straight-ahead children’s classics like Wind In the Willows and Tom Sawyer are much more popular. But most of all we just look for an excellent adaptation, one that’s true to the original with beautiful artwork. If we do that right, our readers will be happy, and that makes us happy!
Erik: To learn more about the Papercutz Classics Illustrated series, visit www.papercutz.com.
For more on books and reading, visit my website http://www.thiskidreviewsbooks.com!
Now to announce the winner of the Schoolies books!
The Winner Is…
Okay, seriously, the winner is…
Miss AMY who thought “collection looks like a lot of fun and covers such an important topic for new students.” I will be emailing you to get your address and the publisher will be sending you your books! WOO!