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Preview of Twilight Manga Spurs Pre-Order Rush on Amazon

By January 23, 2010

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Twilight the Graphic Novel Vol. 1Since announcing their plans to publish the graphic novel adaptation of Stephenie Meyers' Twilight novels last summer, Yen Press has been mum about the release date... until now.

The January 29, 2010 issue of Entertainment Weekly hit the newsstands this week with a 10-page preview of some key scenes from this first volume by Young Kim. The March 16, 2010 release date was also announced, along with a 350,000 initial print-run for this $19.99 hardcover(!) book. There's also an interview with Meyer as she explains her thoughts on this latest adaptation of her popular supernatural romance series. A shot of the never-before-seen cover art was also posted on EW.com, and a mini-media frenzy was unleashed.

Early in the day when the announcement first hit the Web, Twilight the Graphic Novel was at #230 on Amazon.com's sales chart. By the end of the day, it cracked the top 10 bestseller list of all books sold on Amazon.com -- not just manga, not just graphic novels -- but ALL books, period. Even given that Amazon is offering this book at half-off the cover price during pre-sale, the demand for this book two months before it hits the stores is a phenomenal feat by any measure.

Oddly enough, Twilight the Graphic Novel doesn't show up on either on Amazon's Top 100 bestselling Comics & Graphic Novels list, nor its Top 100 Manga list.

TwilightAs is true with anything related to Twilight, there have been a fair amount of squeals of delight and mumblings of discontent. Some fans (Meyer included) love the artwork and how it seems to be more tied to the novels than the movie adaptations. Meanwhile other fans of the films have expressed dismay that Kim's versions of Edward and Jacob don't resemble actors Robert Pattinson or Taylor Lautner. Meyer responded to this critique of the Twilight graphic novel in her Entertainment Weekly interview:

"This was something that I discussed with Yen Press long before we brought in an artist. It was important to us both that this novel be an interpretation of the novel, rather than a cartoon version of the movie. Young took her inspiration directly from the descriptions in the novel, and as a result, the images are much closer to the characters I see in my head than any actual human being could be."

Other complaints revolved around the lettering used in the graphic novel adaptation. Rather than the usual hand-written style of comics lettering, the Twilight graphic novel uses a mix of script and Times Roman-style text. Comics professional John Barber had this to say via Twitter:

"The lettering in the Twilight comic is the worst lettering I've ever seen in a professional comic. The balloons are giant awkward shapes that seem to emulate the awkwardness of translated manga, but not the actual style. The text is in, I think, Times New Roman--bad enough -- but most of the balloons are semi-transparent and the text is given a white stroke. Other times the balloons are opaque white. This is done based on where the balloons are placed, not based on any aural context. And the placement is terrible--they're awkwardly over the figures, overlapping panels randomly."

"I could go on, there's more, but the reason this bothers me is a LOT of people will be buying Twilight as their first comic-- a lot of them are going to come away thinking they don't have the facility to read comics because they found this one difficult to parse. They won't know it's Twilight being poorly lettered that was interfering with their ability to read words and images together."

So what do you think? Are these critiques spot on, or misguided? Or do you have other thoughts on the upcoming arrival of the graphic novel version of Twilight? Add your thoughts below!

Image credit: Text © 2005 Stephenie Meyer, Illustrations © Hachette Book Group


January 24, 2010 at 10:21 pm
(1) Jess says:

I agree 100%. The lettering is atrocious.

January 25, 2010 at 2:03 pm
(2) Apple says:

As horrible as the lettering is, I don’t think that people new to comics are even going to notice. If the reader doesn’t have a frame of reference, how are they going to know how bad it is?

January 25, 2010 at 4:41 pm
(3) Joe says:

Yes, they won’t have a frame of reference, so they won’t know how particularly bad this is.

But that’s the problem John Barber is pointing out. With the bad lettering, those inexperienced with comics could just assume that all comics are this difficult to read. That’s bad if you want to introduce comics to a whole new audience .

January 27, 2010 at 2:28 pm
(4) laurie says:

I just wished the comic was put in yen+ because it give the other comics a wider audience and Im guessing a more compatible audience then Gossip Girl.

If it was a perfect world, both would be in there and up the circualation. Hopefully attracting more varied advertisers to put more money in Yen and have more series to run.

January 27, 2010 at 5:54 pm
(5) bahamut says:

I agree, the text and overall layout are pretty bad. BUT, I love that it’s doing so well with preorder, not because I’m a Twilight fan (I’m not), but because I’m a Yen Press fan. A hugely successful series means more money for Yen Press to take chances on things like Yotsuba.

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