Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Reader's Diary #1117- George R. R. Martin, Daniel Abraham, Tommy Patterson: Game of Thrones Vol. 1

While I am sure that there are those authors who lack confidence or who are perfectionists and never fully satisfied by their own published works, I assume that most writers are proud of what they've accomplished. If they are not cocky and conceited about it, I certainly don't begrudge their pride. I have also, however, not really weighed their opinions into consideration when I've written a negative piece about their books.

At the end of Game of Thrones (the graphic novel), Volume One however, there are short commentaries from the editor and a couple of the creators, that are making me somewhat reluctant to say how I truly feel about this book. They come across as lovely people, not arrogant in the least, but talking about all of their hard work and difficult decisions and the final payoff, like they may have just created the next Watchmen or Akira. I feel almost guilty about saying that I didn't wind up appreciating their efforts. Like at all.

Perhaps had I read Martin's originals or watched the HBO series, I'd have had enough sense of the story and characters to fill in the blanks and clear up my confusion. However, I found it all very flat. There were so many characters and none were particularly interesting or presented with enough psychological depth to be believable. There was a lot of conflict and angst but it just came across as a tangled mess, leaving me completely uninspired to untangle it. The art felt generic, the characters suffered from open-mouth syndrome, the angles were mostly just straight ahead affairs, and the panel layouts were consistently boring throughout. From all of the near fanatical praise I've heard of the other incarnations of this series, I can't help but feel this adaptation completely missed the mark, at least as a standalone work.

Still, I am happy I suppose that at least those who worked on it enjoyed the end product. I clearly did not but mine is just one opinion. I hope there are no hard feelings.


Barbara Bruederlin said...

I have not read the novel nor watched the series either, so I think I had best avoid this.

John Mutford said...

Barbara: I have read some good reviews of the graphic novel, but every one of them were by fans of the show and/or original books.

Kate said...

I read the first Game of Thrones books, but haven't seen the TV show. I found the book OK, but I wasn't invested enough in the characters to want to devote the time and energy to reading the rest of the series. I found that there were too many 1-dimensional and unlikeable characters in the book (there were only 2 characters out of a cast of hundreds that I actually cared about what would happen to them); so I suspect that the graphic novel may be an accurate representation of the original book! I will be staying away from it.

Buried In Print said...

I can see where the graphic novels would appeal primarily to those already committed to the series. I liked them well enough, but the main point of interest I found was in the differences between the adaptations (some of the decisions discussed in those later pages you mentioned) and how people chose to portray characters on-the-screen and in-the-comic and the ways in which certain plot points were presented with relative short-hand (compared to the novels' wordcounts). I'm in the middle on Martin's books; I find them entertaining but prefer someone like Guy Gavriel Kay for worldbuilding and complex storytelling.