By: George R.R. Martin (story), Daniel Abraham (comic script adaptation), Tommy Patterson (art), Marshall Dillon (letters) and Ivan Nunes (colors)
The Story: Dynamite is kinda big on their licensed properties, so it’s not surprising to see a comic adaptation of A Game of Thrones in the wake of the successful HBO series.
Review: A couple of caveats that I should toss out first. One, I’m not usually a big fan of comics based on licensed materials whether they are new material (like Star Wars) or adaptations of existing media properties (like The Stand). They just tend to not be my thing, but I wanted to pick this up to see Tommy Patterson’s art because Tommy is a twitter buddy of mine (and a wonderfully funny dude). So, that’s caveat #2– I have a bias toward one of the creators.
It makes me happy to say that I think Patterson’s art is the best thing in this issue. He accomplishes “basic task #1,” which is to make most of the characters look distinctive. That’s no small task when you can’t put a character in Iron Man armor or have one be Hulk-shaped and you have to get all of your character designs approved by George R.R. Martin (as I’m pretty sure Patterson did). Let’s just say that drawing a story like Game of Thrones is challenging for an artist. He also gets an appropriate amount of storytelling and action into the panels.
I’ve heard a couple of complaints from the blogosphere and podcast universe about how the characters don’t look the same as the HBO series. I actually think that’s a good thing because I can’t see any point in doing an adaptation of the novel that looks the same as TV series. If you were going to do that, you might as well just do a fumetti story. So, this was different, and it did a few clever things with some characters that the HBO series couldn’t do due to budget constraints. And, there’s also the fact that HBO is only in ~9MM households, so despite the creative class thinking that everyone watches HBO, a lot more people have read the novels than seen the series.
I will say that I don’t think the coloring is doing this issue any favors. Frankly, I’d have preferred to just see Patterson’s inks in the first portion of the issue that takes place in Winterfell. The colors just make those scenes a little too bright and shiny and aren’t appropriate.
As for the story, I’ve enjoyed the novels and the HBO series, so I kinda know what will come next. It wasn’t the smoothest flowing narrative, but adapting a novel to comic form isn’t easy.
Conclusion: If you’re a fan of the novel, this will be a fun graphic adaptation with nice linework. It isn’t going to set the world on fire, but you could find much worse things to read.
Follow Dean on Twitter.