Wednesday, March 12, 2014
Review: A GAME OF THRONES: The Graphic Novel, Volume 3
BANTAM BOOKS/RANDOM HOUSE – @randomhouse
DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT – @dynamitecomics
WRITER: George R.R. Martin
ADAPTATION: Daniel Abraham
ART: Tommy Patterson
COLORS: Ivan Nunes
LETTERS: Marshall Dillon
ORIGINAL SERIES COVERS: Mike S. Miller, Michael Komark
COVER: Tommy Patterson with design by Charles Brock, Faceout Studio
ISBN: 978-0-440-42323-2; hardcover (March 11, 2014)
226pp, Color, $25.00 U.S., $29.95 CAN
A Game of Thrones is a 1996 novel from science fiction and fantasy author, George R.R. Martin. The novel is the first book in Martin’s best-selling A Song of Ice and Fire series of high fantasy novels. The series is also the basis for the award-winning and popular HBO television series, "Game of Thrones."
Dynamite Entertainment is currently producing a comic book adaptation of A Game of Thrones, the novel. The adaptation will run for 24 issues, at about 29 pages of story per issue. The writer responsible for adapting George R.R. Martin’s prose into comics form is science fiction and fantasy novelist, Daniel Abraham (who sometimes collaborates with Martin on fiction). The artist is Tommy Patterson, who has drawn comic books for Boom! Studios and Zenescope Entertainment. Mike S. Miller is the series’ regular cover artist.
Bantam Books collects Dynamite’s comic book adaptation as A Game of Thrones: The Graphic Novel. A Game of Thrones: The Graphic Novel: Volume 3 collects A Game of Thrones, issues #13 to 18. Vol. 3 includes “The Making of A Game of Thrones: The Graphic Novel: Volume 3” which presents almost 40 character sketches rendered by Tommy Patterson for this series.
A Game of Thrones: The Graphic Novel: Volume 3 opens in the aftermath of the attack on King Robert Baratheon (Lord of the Seven Kingdoms). Now, Lord Eddard Stark of Winterfell, the Hand of King Robert and in charge of protecting the King, finds himself surrounded by enemies in King’s Landing. Eddard’s most miserable source of irritation is the House Lannister, to which Queen Cersei belongs. Many of his other enemies hide behind smiles, pretending to be friends.
Meanwhile, far to the north, Jon Snow, Eddard’s bastard son, is newly sworn to the Night’s Watch, though not in the position he coveted. As he takes the first steps to his destiny, he finds two dead bodies – two strangely dead bodies. Across the Narrow Sea, Daenerys Targaryen must finally deal with her brother, Prince Viserys, the Dragon. Her husband, Khal Drago, Lord of the Dothraki and the father of her unborn child, makes a crucial decision. And a character innocently reveals his tremendous male endowment.
Prior to reading A Game of Thrones: The Graphic Novel: Volume 1, I was not familiar with A Game of Thrones, although I had heard of the television series. I did not even know that the novel was being adapted into comic book form until Random House sent me a review copy of the first graphic novel in early 2012. I did not expect much from that first experience with A Game of Thrones, but I ended up thoroughly enjoying it. Luckily, Random House also sent me A Game of Thrones: The Graphic Novel Volume 2 and recently sent me a copy for review of Vol. 3.
If one considers A Game of Thrones the novel to be a masterpiece, then, it only makes sense that only the best talent should try to adapt the novel into a medium. It is debatable as to whether writer Daniel Abraham and illustrator Tommy Patterson are among the best of their chosen fields – Abraham in science fiction and fantasy fiction and Patterson in comic books. I am not familiar with their work outside of this adaptation of A Game of Thrones (nor have I yet read the original novel).
Judging strictly by their work on A Game of Thrones the comic book, I think writer Daniel Abraham and illustrator Tommy Patterson are just super duper. I start reading this book and I’m reading it as fast as I can, unable to read as fast as my eyes want to scan across the page. I lose track of how fast I’m flipping pages. Before I know it, I have finished one entire chapter/issue, and I am half-way through another.
So you can also make an argument that the best, Daniel Abraham and Tommy Patterson, were indeed chosen to adapt George R. R. Martin’s beloved fantasy classic into a graphic novel. After reading the previous two collected volumes of the comic book, I think this is a stunning fantasy comic book series.
Abraham scripts a sumptuous character drama, in which his storytelling crawls into every character. Patterson’s art in combination with Ivan Nunes’ luxurious colors create the graphical storytelling expression and appearance that is perfect for the kind of detailed, historical fiction and high fantasy story A Game of Thrones is. However, this masterful comic book is more than just good fantasy comics; it’s simply superb comics.
Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux
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