There comes a point when you’ve read everything that you can get your hands on that Jane Austen herself has written. As we all know, there’s still much more material to read to connect with your favorite author. But what many people do not know is one of those mediums being comic books. Surprising, ha?
There is no doubt that the last few decades have been the golden age of comics. Let’s face it, we live in an age that is culturally dominated by companies like Marvel and DC. In many ways, comics greatly shape our current pop culture and how media is produced and released to the public for consumption. But with their new popularity, that means there’s more room for different types of comic books to be developed. And thankfully, there’s more out there in the world of comic books besides superheroes and magical creatures. And this is where Jane Austen joined the party as people have started the practice of turning her amazing storytelling ability into dynamic pictures that bring so many classic stories to life.
Comic books are a brilliant way to transform words and create images that add to the story. They can often heighten the drama and provide a completely different spin on a classic story, just like in the movies. Of Course not every adaptation can match up to the original, but there are many beautiful, striking comic book adaptations, specifically of Jane Austen novels.
Our first example is the Pride and Prejudice comic series by Laurence Sach and Rajesh Nagulakonda which was published by the Indian publisher Campfire Comics. They have a great reputation for retelling classic stories, and so, not surprisingly, It has been beloved by fans. Their comics sell worldwide and this is a good place to start if you want to dive into a Pride and Prejudice comic. Today you can get the hard copy of it on eBay, but most convenient, you can even find it on Kindle.
Marvel Comics has also released their own version created by Nancy Butler and Hugo Petrus that are super creative and design each issue like a magazine. The graphics in this one are certainly vibrant and the cover art mimics that of a ladies’ magazine. As most things go with Marvel, you may want to get your hands on a hard copy because one day this could surely be a collectible. But if not, you can also get it on Kindle or with their Barnes & Noble competitors – NOOK.
If you’re looking for comics that touch on other stories besides the most popular and famous one, there’s also the series, Northanger Abbey by Nancy Butler, Janet Lee & Nick Filardi, that have illustrations and cover art saturated with color and emotion. Each issue is another level into Jane Austen’s world. Northanger Abbey has decent reviews and other than Kindel can also be found used on eBay
Checking out one of these comics is a great way to sink your teeth in even deeper and continue on with your love for the world that Jane Austen has created. You may just find a new appreciation for the story and the cherished characters. Or, for a new medium. But more than that, it can expose the Austen to a new audience in an accessible way. Who knows, maybe thanks to the comic book versions young boys will also choose to refer to Lizzie Bennett as the superhero we all know she is. 🙂