Gareth Hinds’ Romeo and Juliet, based on the play by William Shakespeare, whisks us off into his version of Shakespeare’s era Verona, in this lively graphic novel adaptation of William Shakespeare’s timeless classic. As someone who has read a Shakespeare play in its entirety, I found the colorful panels, drawn by Gareth Hinds’ himself, a nice reprieve for the eyes as I transitioned from box to box of archaic english text. As someone who has never read Romeo and Juliet I found it relatively easy and entertaining to read this story in its graphic novel form. It was much simpler to read it this way than as a play script. The only “New” aspect that this version provides the reader, since Hinds’ uses the original text, is the artwork. I personally enjoyed the artwork, it was not the greatest that I’ve ever seen in a graphic novel, but it was good.
Hinds’ Closes out his work with an Author’s Note, here he describes how he tackled the challenge of adapting Shakespeare’s work into a Graphic Novel. He, of course, has to take liberties on his detailing of the setting, since there was no visual representation of Verona at the time. It is his other stylistical choices that I find more interesting. For example, he makes the Montagues a Black family, and the Capulets an Indian family, in an effort to show that this is a universal story. He also changes the way that the younger characters dress, in an effort to symbolically show that they are a rebellious generation. He does this so all the themes would make sense to the modern reader. He also took some liberties with the text, opting to use no footnotes, and sometimes replacing older, no longer used words, for modern ones, All for the sake of the flow. In the end, I can see how Hinds had to make some changes, not only because he was transferring the play to a new medium, but because he had to reach a wider, and modern audience.
As a big fan of Sci Fi Fantasy (yes its an actual genre look up this little movie called Star Wars, if you want an example) Marissa Meyer’s “Cinder” caught my attention, Of course i wouldn’t read any science fiction novel, if I lived by that philosophy then I would waste my time reading absolute stinkers. But there is something unique about cinder, it is the classic Cinderella story draped in a cloth of futuristic themes. It is a promising concept, and a very unique one. The question is, is Cinder a good read? Even after burning through it to reach its very unfulfilling conclusion, I still have no idea. It is an entertaining read, It was simple to get into the story of Lihn Cinder, and her life as a cyborg in New Beijing. But thats only the surface of the story, Lihn Cinder lives in a wildly imaginative world, and sadly this is where my biggest gripe with this novel arises. Reading the first few pages I was genuinely excited, after all thats why I picked up the novel in the first place, the first few pages drew me in. All the talk about A cyborg girl, New Beijing, and the Lunar Empire. “This is going to be an amazing Sci Fi fantasy novel” I thought, but it really wasn’t. I still dont know how Cinder could exactly fall in Love with Prince Kai, she is a robot after all, who are the Lunar Empire people, that question remains unanswered. It seems to me that Meyer decided to not delve into the unique characteristics of the world she created, just to keep Cinder’s story moving at a breakneck pace. Sadly she sacrificed substance and meaning, cinder is a superficial book, yes at points it is entertaining, but I was never transported to a another world through this literature, and ultimately I never gained anything from it.