Archive | February 21, 2011

Scooby’s Gulch

Anthem: The Graphic Novel

In a local bookstore yesterday I was surprised to see Anthem: The Graphic Novel, as I’d heard nothing about such a project being in the works. Although the original, owing to an oopsie on Peikoff’s part, is in the public domain (in the u.s. at least), this appears to be an estate-authorised version.

I have to say I don’t think much of it. The interior artwork is sketchy and unfinished-looking; worse, it’s in a style reminiscent of Saturday-morning cartoons and Sunday-school Bible comics, and thus radically fails to capture the vision and gravitas of Rand’s text. The artist, Joe Staton, has illustrated comics ranging from Green Lantern to Scooby-Doo; unfortunately, it is the latter approach that dominates here. It’s disconcerting to read, say, the description of the heroine as looking like a blade of iron whose eyes were dark and without kindness, and then see her depicted as a bubbly elf maiden. And while adaptation obviously requires condensation, the original’s memorable opening line is an odd choice to cut out. (Though under the circumstances it’s perhaps understandable, as the line might ring a little too true.)

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