Rockwell, Scott

AVERAGE REVIEW SCORE:

3 out of 5

(2 books)

The Colour Of Magic

(Art by Steven Ross)

A graphic novel adaption of Terry Pratchett's first Discworld novel.  The Discworld's first ever tourist arrives in the city of Ankh-Morpork and the cowardly wizard Rincewind is coerced into acting as guide to the newcomer, Twoflower.  They then embark on a journey which sees them at odds with criminals, dragons, gods and Death himself.

As chance would have it, I actually found and read a copy of this book's sequel, 'The Light Fantastic' first and I would have to say that, largely, everything I said in my review of that book holds true here too.  The major difference is in the nature of Pratchett's core stories between the two books.  'The Light Fantastic' has more of a standard narrative, with the threat of the red star uniting all the adventures within it, but I always found that, for all I enjoyed it, 'The Colour of Magic' didn't really have anything resembling an actual plot.  Instead it is just a series of random comic fantasy occurrences with little or no connective tissue.  The medium of sequential art (comic books, to you and me) actually really complements this oddball collection of events and it makes the story feel more cohesive than it ever did when I read the original novel.

There is a huge and fairly literal cliffhanger ending to this book, so people who like their stories tied up neatly in one volume will be disappointed, but to be fair those people should probably be avoiding comics anyway.  Whilst I'll always recommend Pratchett's original version to be your starting point, it has to be said that this is a far more accessible introduction to the Discworld and its 'rules'.

3 out of 5

 

The Light Fantastic

(Art by Steven Ross & Joe Bennet)

The graphic novel adaption of Terry Pratchett's second Discworld novel, in which Rincewind has to reunite the powerful spell hidden in his mind with its seven fellows before the Disc plunges into a rapidly-approaching red star.

I was in two minds about this book; firstly believing that some stories just aren't suited to being adapted out of their original medium but then secondly finding that this pared-down version actually makes Pratchett's story far more accessible.  The problem with Pratchett's early work was that his brilliant comic ideas often outstripped his ability to cohesively explain them or, for that matter, weave them convincingly into the narrative.  Here, the visual medium of the graphic novel actually makes it much easier to grasp some of the scenes and concepts that, in the novel, were a bit confusing.

I would suggest that reading the original novel is your best bet, but if you're just looking for a lighter and more straightforward comic fantasy story, then perhaps this could be more up your street.  If nothing else, it contains some brilliant illustrations of the characters and places from the novel; with my personal favourite being the troll Old Grandad.

3 out of 5

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