Review – The Exile by Diana Gabaldon

the exileThe Exile is my second graphic novel.  This is a must for fans of Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series and I’m glad I read it.

It is basically the first third or so of the story from Outlander but from Murtagh’s / Jamie’s perspective.  There is an additional storyline of another traveler who is working with Geilie but I almost felt that was an afterthought as it didn’t have a lot of impact.  We get to see Claire coming through the stones, her first meeting with Dougal and Jamie, Black Jack Randall, the wedding (and wedding night) and Claire’s decision to stay with Jamie rather than go back through the stones.

The script was fine but included too many “Jesus H. Roosevelt” from Claire and it did feel overdone in spots.  The drawings were not what I expected.  None of the characters were drawn as I pictured but that’s okay.  What I didn’t anticipate is that some of them seemed Disney-like.  Especially those of Claire during the wedding scene.  Plus, good Lord, they gave her some large ta-tas. What is interesting is that at the back of the book, they’ve included some of the original sketches and these were much more in line with what was in my head.  The sketch of Claire as an army nurse was spot on and captured her well.  I wish all of the artwork would have been more like this.  The story itself is gritty and rough in spots.  The artwork should reflect that.  Instead it softened the story.

3.5/5 stars.  Worth getting for your collection but cannot compare to the big books.

Review – The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger Born

the gunslinger bornThe Gunslinger Born was my first foray into the world of graphic novels.  While I am a huge Dark Tower fan, I’m not sure I fit the target audience of this format.

The story is from Wizard and Glass which is my favorite of the series.  The novel had so much action and the writing never faltered.  But, it was the emotion that it brought out in me as a reader that made it a favorite.  TGB didn’t evoke those same feelings.  I knew the ending and maybe that made this a little less enjoyable.  Would someone who hadn’t read the book enjoy this more?  Maybe.  My guess, though, is that because the story was so condensed for this format I didn’t have a chance to truly connect with the characters.  The surface feelings were all there but there was no depth to the emotion.

I did also feel that the script writer overused the Dark Tower language, especially in the first half.  It was filled with “ka”, “the face of your father”, “if it please ya” and more.

The drawings were excellent, though, and elevated this to a 4-star read.  The details were almost perfect.  While the faces didn’t exactly match those in my head, the eyes captured the emotions.  The color use was also exceptional.  Some of the pencil sketches included at the end were unbelievable.

Overall, this wasn’t bad first graphic novel for me.  I do plan to pick up the second in this series soon.  And, I have the Outlander graphic novel up soon for comparison.

What do you think about graphic novels?  Do you have to get used to the different format?