Thursday, December 11, 2008

Holiday Gift Guide: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button: A Graphic Novel

Just in time for the holidays, a sort of weird movie tie-in that stands entirely on its own merits, the graphic novel of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (Quirk Books) is only slightly short of wonderful, and only then so because I don’t like to rave.

The original story was, of course, by F. Scott Fitzgerald. In a delicious afterword to the graphic novel, Fitzgerald himself explains his muse in this instance:
This story was inspired by a remark of Mark Twain’s to the effect that it was a pity that the best part of life came at the beginning and the worst part at the end. By trying the experiment upon only one man in a perfectly normal world I have scarcely given his idea a fair trial.
Even so, 86 years after the fact, a feature film starring Cate Blanchette and Brad Pitt is doing well at the box office.

In my opinion, the graphic novel adapted by Nunzio DeFilippis and Christina Weir and illustrated by Kevin Cornell deserves to do even better. This is a complete package: Cornell’s illos are nothing short of stunning and -- clearly -- his work deserves an even wider following. The story has been skillfully adapted by DeFilippis and Weir. One just can’t imagine a better job. If you liked the movie, you’ll love the graphic novel; it’s nothing short of brilliant.

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