Sunday, 1 January 2012

The Great Gatsby: A Graphic Adaptation by Nicki Greenberg

Adapted by Nicki Greenberg from the novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald

When I was younger, The Great Gatsby was my favourite book. I kept it by my bedside and read it over and over again. I also loved the movie with Robert Redford. Several years ago, I was excited to find this graphic novel adaptation. I love graphic novels, and I am always interested to see how stories translate into different media: Novel, graphic novel, film. This book did not disappoint. I still love the original, of course, but I find myself able to love different media of the same story, as long as I do not try to compare them.

The characters are strange and surreal looking, and somehow their sad dignity despite their curious appearance strongly evokes the mood of melancholy of the book, and the cage of society in which they operate. When I read the part where Daisy says she hopes her little girl grows up stupid, I felt her pain at the cruel turns life had played on her, and her desire for her child to never experience this.

The strange creatures who the characters have become evoke their personalities. Silly and sad Daisy has a head that looks like a dandelion, brutish Tom is a large hairy shirtless creature, and his ill-fated mistress a grotesquely pitiable creature with one eye and many nipples. Emotionally cold Jordan is a pouty looking squid.

The layout of the pages is also lovely, it looks like old photographs with crimped edges in a photo album.

I can't help but wish that the new Great Gatsby movie was based on this graphic adaptation, as it is so sadly beautiful!

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