adapted by Tim Mucci; layouts by Ben Caldwell, Rick Lacy; color by Emanuel Tenderini.
Adaptations of classics are rarely high quality. Often they read as vanity projects for the artist, showcasing vivid rendering skills and painterly sensibilities but lacking narrative drive. They rarely take advantage of the kinetic momentum possible in panel-to-panel art. The story takes a back seat to the static prettiness of the art itself.
Elsewhere they may read as overly earnest if dumbed down distillations of a larger more complex or nuanced work. Here they tend to lack depth, like set dressing for a puppet show. They read clearly as though some publisher, distraught that kids aren’t really reading nowadays, thought it a good idea that we publish a book with more pictures and the like. You know: kids have no real attention span for anything else. ‘We’ve got to get into this comics deal. Kids are actually reading those. Get me an artist who can do comic books’.
Adaptations that work are generally books with a plot that translates well to the medium. Sequential art works great with action sequences, driving plot, witty dialogue, fantastic terrain and settings. Like any other good comic. ‘Who gives a rip if this is is a hoary old classic, the point is it’s a cracking good story! I want to draw that! ‘
This attitude animates comic veterans Tim Mucci and Ben Caldwell’s excellent adaptation of the Greek classic Odyssey.