I don't know why it took me so long to check out the graphic novel version of Laurell Hamilton's Anita Blake series. Sometimes, I guess, I have such strong images of the characters in my mind that it is invariably disappointing when a book is transformed into a film or, in this case, a comic book. And true, the characters in the Marvel version were nothing like the ones in my imagination, but that didn't deter my enjoyment of it one bit.
I loved the artwork. Even though when I read the novels I had completely different images in my mind, it was easy to put them aside and enjoy Brett Booth's interpretations. I loved the lush colors and dark feeling of these illustrations. The books are narrated in the first person, by Anita, so she doesn't spend a whole lot of time describing herself, aside from her height and her dark features. In the comic she is curvy, muscular and very sexy. It was fun to see the clothing the characters wear, which is always described in interesting detail in the books. The artist takes the over-the-top exaggeration of comic book worlds and applies them perfectly to Anita Blake's life, and I just loved how the whimsy of Anita's stuffed penguins and penguin t-shirts contrasted with the grotesque aspects of life as an animator and vampire executioner.
I found the adaptation to be very faithful to the book, with the illustrations supplying everything left out by the narration and dialog. This hardbound collection contains the first six comic books, which make up the first half of the first novel of the Anita Blake series, Guilty Pleasures. The second volume, which will conclude the book, is due to be published this coming August. There is another graphic novel out called Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter: The First Death, which is a prequel to the series that, according to Amazon.com, was "written exclusively for comics, and featuring the adventures of a younger Anita Blake as she teams up with popular characters Edward and Jean-Claude for a vampire hunt fans will absolutely love sinking their teeth into." Sounds good to me!
Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter: Guilty Pleasures Vol. 1 by Laurell K. Hamilton, Adapted by Stacie Ritchie and Jess Ruffner-Booth, Artwork by Brett Booth (Marvel, 2007)
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The Dragon's Loss