Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Graphic Novels a First Try...

Avalon High: Coronation Volume I: The Merlin Prophecy
Created and Written by Meg Cabot, Illustrated by Jinky Coronado

“Being a new student at Avalon High has been exciting for Ellie, to say the least--she's an honor student, a star on the track team, and, oh yeah, dating the super-hot class president, Will. Who also happens to be the alleged reincarnation of King Arthur.
 Ellie couldn't be happier to have Will in her life, but she's also worried that his estrangement from his parents is tearing him apart. To make matters worse, Will's doubt that he really is King Arthur could prevent the Merlin Prophecy--an age of enlightenment--from occurring.
Can Ellie convince Will to believe in something that even she isn't sure about? And more importantly, can she get him to give his parents another chance?
With all the mythology and mysticism of avalon high, Meg Cabot's very first manga is indeed a tale for the ages.”
I grew up reading comics. I read them as a child and I collected them as an adult. I currently own 2 huge storage boxes filled with classics such as Ghost Rider, The Incredible Hulk, She Hulk, Wolverine, Sandman, Watchmen and more. For an MLS class, I needed to read two graphic novels. I thought to myself, ok, I can do this! I love comics, I love novels, what’s better than the two of those combined?

This graphic novel was based upon Meg Cabot’s book Avalon High. Avalon High is a retelling/update of the Arthurian legend. This graphic novel, the first in a series of three, starts with a recap of Avalon High and then continues with Elaine being nominated for homecoming queen and trying to get Will (her boyfriend and the next Arthur) to believe that he is the reincarnated king and to reunite with his parents.

Ok, I am a huge Meg Cabot fan. I am not ashamed to admit that I have read all the Princess Diaries books, all the Mediator books, all of everything she has written actually. I was not a huge fan of Avalon High but since I am treading on new ground with graphic novels, I thought I would pick one where I was at least a little familiar with the characters. Wow, I really hate this medium.

First thing I hated: The “book” is about 109 pages long. If the words were strung together on pages instead of snipped together with graphics, I would be shocked if they filled 20 pages.

Second thing I hated: The text and illustrations were choppy. I had a hard time finding the words on the page, the graphics overwhelmed the words at times and I found the whole reading process extremely unsatisfying.

Third thing I hated: The story just ended... in the middle of a plot point. If I wanted a cliff hanger, I would watch television! I expect books with a sequel to have an ending which leaves me wanting more. I do not expect them to stop in the middle of a scene.

It turns out I am not the ideal audience for this medium. I would recommend this to a reluctant reader or to a comic book reader looking for just a little more. I would warn them that it ends too quickly and suggest that they check out more than the first one if they think they might like it, that way they could keep going and not break stride.

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