Reimagining Classic Books as Comics

Category: Reading

The best adaptations are the ones that bring something new to the table without taking anything away from the original – and we reckon the following writers and artists manage that task brilliantly.

Reimagining works of literature that have become part of our collective consciousness; these are the graphic novel adaptations no booklover should miss.  


Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury adapted by Tim Hamilton

Bradbury’s tale of a dystopian, book-burning future is one that glories the role of art and culture in society – what better subject for adaptation into another literary form? And this authorised adaptation is a fine one. Hamilton limited his colour choices to create a classic comic feel and when the fire scenes comes along, the fierceness of the flames is only brighter and starker in comparison.

Fahrenheit 451

City of Glass, Paul Auster adapted by Paul Karasik and David Mazzucchelli

The first book in Auster’s New York Trilogy has been transformed into a complex, compact and utterly readable comic by Paul Karasik and David Mazzucchelli. Working collaboratively, the artists passed drafts back and forth between them to create a comic that does much more than merely translate Auster’s work to a new medium – it’s a thought provoking work of art in its own right and a worthy addition to the canon. 

City of Glass

Peter Pan, J.M. Barrie adapted by Stref and Fin Cramb

This classic tale has been retold in many ways over the years, from the stage to book to film and back again, and the eponymous Peter has morphed and changed along the way (not looking at you in particular here, Disney). In this beautifully realised graphic novel, the artists are faithful to Barrie’s original concept, revealing Peter in all of his tricksy and (and sometimes uncomfortable) glory. 

Peter Pan

A Wrinkle in Time, Madeleine L'Engle adapted by Hope Larson

Sticking faithfully to the original book, this graphic novel is a gorgeous retelling of the Newbery Award-winning classic. The muted palette and eye-catching illustrations offer a whole new way to look at L’Engle’s world, but the author’s voice is never comprised, meaning all of the excitement and vivacity of the story is writ large across the adaptation. 

A Wrinkle in Time

Kidnapped, Robert Louis Stevenson adapted by Alan Grant and Cam Kennedy

Follow the trials, tribulations and adventures of young David Balfour as his world turns upside down in this thrilling adaptation. Beautifully drawn and coloured, the tale lends itself well to the graphic form and is as thrilling for readers familiar with the text as it is for those coming to Stevenson for the first time. It’s also available translated and dialogued in Lowland Scots as Kidnappit by Matthew Fitt and James Robertson or in Gaelic as Fo Bhruid by Iain MacDhòmhnaill.


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