Discworld Graphic Novels

Thirty-six volumes strong, Terry Pratchett?s bestselling Discworld novels of humorous fantasy have, like stealthy fire ants, migrated into every entertainment niche imaginable, from television to stage to radio to video games. Deploying lighthearted prose full of exotic visual bits -- the very setting of the book is a world carried through space atop a 10,000-mile-long turtle supporting four elephants and a platter-like inhabited zone -- they would naturally seem to lend themselves to instantiation as graphic novels. But this evolution was delayed nearly a decade. In 1991, the first book in the series, The Colour of Magic (1983), made the transition, followed the next year by the closely linked sequel, The Light Fantastic (1986). Now, essentially forming one long tale, the two graphic novels come combined in a single volume. Scripter Scott Rockwell sensitively trims the original material a bit but retains the goofy parody, awful puns, slapstick, and clever descriptive phrasing of Pratchett's originals. His knack for staging scenes and allotting panels efficiently keeps the action flowing at a nice clip. Full-page spreads are doled out sparingly but effectively, as when wizardly antihero Rincewind and his compatriots materialize in a cluttered magical shop. Steven Ross's subtle paint work display his fondness for the French genius Moebius. If fans can get past their affection for the Josh Kirby cover art traditionally associated with Pratchett?s novels, they?ll find here an faithful and charming visual translation of these much-loved fantasies.

April 19: "What you see first, after the starting gun's crack, is a column of bobbing runners, thousands of them, surging downhill..."

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