Thursday, October 11, 2012

Reader's Diary #878- Eoin Colfer (writer), Eoin Colfer and Andrew Donkin (adapted by), Giovanni Rigano (Art): Artemis Fowl (The Graphic Novel)

I'm not sure when I'll learn my lesson, but I had the same feeling reading the graphic novel version of Eoin Colfer's Artemis Fowl as I did when reading adaptations for Robert Louis Stevenson's Kidnapped and J. R. R. Tolkien's The Hobbit. I'm left more curious about the original (i.e., non-graphic novel) version than I am able to enjoy what I've been given. I didn't feel this way about the graphic novel adaptation of Neil Gaiman's Coraline, so that should say something.

Another problem with this book is that it's the first in a series. Therefore some of the questions I had may have been answered in future books. For instance, I found Artemis for the most part unlikeable. A genius yes, but greedy and condescending. I couldn't help but wonder if he was more endearing in the original book. Towards the end he started to show more of his humanity. Would this have been explored in future books? Is the growth of Artemis Fowl an underlying plot that takes a few books to flesh out? I'm left with a lot of questions.

Despite those, I still enjoyed the story. Artemis, a boy genius, has been left pretty much on his own after his father has disappeared and his mother has gone crazy. His family now is a faithful bodyguard/ servant simply known as Butler and Butler's sister. Artemis has devised a plan to restore his family's fortune by basically exploiting the fairies, a secret race of people, mostly dismissed as myth by the general population. I like the idea of secret worlds within in our own, as I'm sure plenty of others do as well, explaining the popularity of everything from Men in Black to Harry Potter. As is pointed out in Artemis Fowl,  fairies, or some form thereof, are found in folklore the world over. Explaining this as a sort of conspiracy theory is really up my alley. For the longest time I was preoccupied with the idea of dragons with similar theories in mind. Dragons are so prevalent in medieval British tales, so entrenched in ancient Chinese mythology as well, and you can't get much different than these two cultures— is it possible that dragons actually existed at one point? Maybe some freaky dinosaurs that held on long after they were thought to have? Okay, I've outgrown that, but still fun to think about, and I was reminded with all that at the beginning of Artemis Fowl, so I was won over at the start.

I also quite liked the artwork. It's sort of like manga meets steam-punk, which is an interesting blend that works surprisingly well. Plus Paolo Lamanna's uses colour as almost a filter, casting many panels in blueish or brownish tints, depending on and creating the mood.

Despite my lingering questions and despite my enjoyment, I'm still not finding myself in a major rush to read the others in the series. Strange.

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