The Marvel Illustrated version of Jane Austen’s Emma collects the five comic book series by Nancy Butler and Janet Lee (illustrator) in a single hardcover volume. The graphic novel retells the classic novel in bright colors, which is what I would expect when depicting the lively Emma Woodhouse, from the start of her matchmaking exploits until the moment when she understands her own heart and realizes she’s made a mess of things.
Butler does a decent job condensing the novel into dialogue. She covers the main plot points, but the depth of the original novel is missing. Of course, that’s to be expected given the graphic novel format. However, I thought it was a unique and enjoyable retelling. I love the humor and the ridiculousness in Emma, so I found Lee’s caricatures amusing and thought the facial expressions were spot on. I especially loved the emotions she showed on Mr. Knightley’s face, the disapproving and the anguished looks, letting readers infer what’s on his mind.
This graphic novel would make a great addition to an Austenesque fan’s collection, especially if they love Emma as much as I do. It was fun to dip into my favorite novel for a couple of hours, giving me just enough of a taste to keep me satisfied until I re-read the original. It would also make a great introduction to the classic novel for younger readers.
Disclosure: Jane Austen’s Emma (Marvel Illustrated) is from my personal library.
© 2013 Anna Horner of Diary of an Eccentric. All Rights Reserved. Please do not reproduce or republish content without permission.