Hope Larson kicked ass in her comics adaptation of Madeline L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time. I reviewed the book last year, so I won’t dwell on the story because Larson doesn’t deviate too much from it.
She drew it in a timeless kind of style, with rotary phones, but not expressly a period piece, which I think worked well. It is an old-fashioned sort of story. I appreciated how subtle the evilness of the evil in the story was drawn. And by that I mean that Charles gets spirally eyes and sharper expressions when he falls under IT’s sway, but he doesn’t become monstrous looking. Even the darkness and the red-eyed man were pretty subdued (unlike in Faith Erin Hicks’ excellent review of A Wrinkle in Time). The only thing that got the full-on icky feeling was IT, which is suitably jiggly and veiny and gross. I also loved the multiple speech bubbles from Aunt Beast, and Mrs Whatsit and Mrs Who were both suitably jolly in human form, and Mrs Whatsit in her angelic form looked so completely different the question of what to call her made perfect sense.
I was kind of sad there was no Punch of Love!! in the book but otherwise it was great. I’m looking forward to our library getting it so I can put it in people’s hands. I think it’ll be a good gateway comic.
One of the things about books you remember reading as a kid is that a lot of them are super short now. I remember Madeline L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time being a huge epic story, but rereading it for my SF class I learned how short and straight-forward a story it is, even if the entire first third wastes a lot of time introducing characters.
Meg is awkward and has a 4 year old brother who acts like no four year old. Their father is off somewhere and the family gets a lot of flak about it. Then these three witches kidnap her, her brother and a random vaguely nerdy boy from their school and they go off gallivanting around planets to learn the importance of being an individual and how efficiency can be terrible.
One of the things I’m finding a lot in these books is how un-nuanced a fashion evil can be portrayed in. They can see the evil cloud of darkness that’s so evil and so shadowy. What it did really well (apart from popularize the idea of a tesseract and its explanation) is really show how finding an adult to solve all your problems doesn’t really work. You can’t devolve responsibility for your life to some authority, and how that’s actually a kind of terrifying idea.
I liked it, but was kind of disappointed at how simplistic the whole thing was. There are some attitudes that’d seem really weird to modern kids I think, though I don’t remember noticing them when I was reading this as a kid (not in the 1960s). There are some very old-style gender roles but Meg’s mom is a scientist, which is cool. And Meg’s a sciencey heroine, which is good.