Friday, 26 June 2015
J.M. Barrie's Peter Pan- adapted by Stref with Fin Cramb
Peter Pan is a familiar tale to many who have been enchanted by the adventures of the boy who wouldn't grow up. In this graphic novel Stephen White goes back to the very heart of Barrie's original tale to create a story that is dark, magical, charming and authentic. The complexity of Barrie's original is drawn out in vibrant illustrations and engaging text to create a new vision of the tale for those familiar with it and to enchant a new generation of readers.
The stunning illustrations draw on original, authentic features from the locations that inspired Barrie to write his tale including Moat Brae House in Dumfries and the garden where he played as a boy. In choosing the format of a graphic novel for this retelling, Stephen White has created a new and exciting version of Peter Pan that is like nothing that has been done before.
Before I start this review I feel I need to make something very clear. I don't read a lot of graphic novels. I've never really sought them out, and although I've loved Raymond Briggs' Ethel and Ernest and When The Wind Blows, and revisited one of my childhood favourites Tintin, I've not felt there was much out there in the graphic novel market that would appeal to me.
However, when I heard Birlinn were releasing a new version of Peter Pan in graphic novel format I was excited. So long as it's done well, I love seeing books given a new lease of life and the opportunity to reach a wider audience. And Peter Pan certainly lends itself to a more visual approach to storytelling.
I really enjoyed the hour or so I spent reading this! It felt strange holding such a large book but the A4 size pages allow the beautiful illustrations the space they deserve. Everything from their intricate detail to the vibrant spread of colour- this book is a feast for the eyes to behold. The image of the crocodile waiting open-mouthed for the villainous Hook was my favourite, but the Darling's house is also portrayed exactly as it should be- wonderfully classical yet somehow with an air of eccentricity.
This is a fabulous adaptation, the exquisite artwork only serving to add to Barrie's timeless classic. I sincerely hope it gets the praise and plaudits it deserves.
And who knows, maybe I'll be more likely to consider graphic novels in the future on the back of reading this book.
J.M Barrie's Peter Pan is out now, published by Birlinn.
With thanks to the publisher who provided me with a copy of this book in return for my honest opinion.