3.15.2012

Book Review: "The Last Unicorn" Graphic Novel

It would be inaccurate to say that after reading The Last Unicorn in graphic novel format I fell in love with the story all over again, because one never does fall out of love with The Last Unicorn. I guess I could say that this stunning collaboration by Peter himself, Peter B. GillisRenae de Liz, and many others re-awakened a deep fondness for the scenes and settings, characters and emotions in this masterful story.

I stumbled across this recent graphic novel while on my Nook, and I could not be more pleased with my purchase. There are two reasons. First, the artwork is breathtaking. Some of the frames literally appear to glow, while others seem to burn, and still others seem to convey a genuine mist and dampness. The drawings by Renae de Liz (the mind behind Womanthology), are everything a Last Unicorn fan could hope for in terms of a treatment of their beloved characters. Everything is there - Amalthea's beauty and confusion, Haggard's greed, Lir's innocence, and the years' toll on Molly. If I were the artist I fantasize about being, I like to think my work would look like Renae's. :)


The second reason I was so glad to acquire The Last Unicorn graphic novel is for the interviews at the back, which include a lengthy conversation with Peter S. Beagle regarding his early life, his writing, and his reactions to the acclaim and impact his classic novel have effected. I wasn't expecting to shed tears while discovering this graphic novel, but it was unavoidable when I read Peter's story about being approached at a convention by two huge, tattooed brothers. Muscular and intimidating, they picked up "The Last Unicorn" and asked Peter, "Is this your movie?" When he answered yes, they shared how when they were little, their parents would have bloody, violent fights which resulted in the police being called, and he and his brother would quickly stick a VHS of "The Last Unicorn" in the VCR and watch until the situations blew over. One of the brothers told Peter: "We are sane, functioning human beings today, with families of our own, because we had your world to hide out in. Thank you." I can't relate to a childhood filled with such stressful and painful incidents, but I can certainly relate to the comfort and wonder Peter S. Beagle's story provides for anyone who has loved it or the resulting animated movie for so long.

The rest of Peter's interview with Connor Cochran is well worth reading, too. Pick up a copy of The Last Unicorn graphic novel - you won't be sorry.

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