10 Best Comic Book Adaptations Of Classic Novels – Screen Rant

Graphic novels are an expanding format that is dipping into new genres, including classic works of literature.
The genre of graphic novels is growing quickly as more readers find niches that interest them. Publishers are adapting more stories to get readers' attention. Included in these adaptations are classic books that are known to be cornerstones of literature.
These new versions of these tales show them in a new light, as many never included any artwork beyond their covers. They allow readers who may not enjoy the original format to explore the stories in a new way and find something they genuinely enjoy. While adaptations are becoming more abundant, readers need a place to start when it comes to expanding the classic novel to graphic novel library.
While The Hobbit movie adaptation was nothing like the books, the graphic novel is a direct copy of the original story, just reformatted as a graphic novel. The comic version of the classic novel includes maps, making it easier for readers to follow Bilbo's journey. It also offers visuals of the characters that make the story more engaging.
This comic book version is excellent for people who found the original format hard to follow or have trouble visualizing while reading, as the story relies on readers to see much of the landscapes in their minds to enjoy the work thoroughly.
Even though The Secret Garden is a children's novel, readers of all ages can enjoy the adaptation by Maria Marsden as they explore the lush greenery that has been included in the visuals that the original story didn't have.
The whimsical art style within the graphic novel perfectly matches the story's mood and immerses readers in the garden that the main character explores. While the original captures childhood wonder and curiosity perfectly, the comic breathes new life into the story, allowing even the oldest reader to feel young again.
The Great Gatsby benefits from a graphic novel adaptation as the party scenes are brought to life before readers' eyes, and they can get a better sense of what a Gatsby party looked like in the 1920s.
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Unlike most other classics turned graphic novels, this version of Gatsby includes the original writing by F. Scott Fitzgerald within the panels and original dialogue in speech bubbles. This makes this more accurate to the original format and suitable for those who still want the classic literature feeling but with the addition of pictures. The graphic novel also includes a cast page, so there is no need to guess who is who in the story.
Many know Frankenstein from the iconic portrayal of the classic horror character by Boris Karloff, but those who have studied literature know the monster from Mary Shelley's work. Regardless of where readers know the story from, the graphic novel adaptation is one of the best horror stories ever told, with artwork that perfectly captures gore in the time and from which it was originally written.
This is a good starting point for those just getting into classic horror literature as they can gauge their tolerance level of gore and engage with the story more quickly through the art presented in the panels.
Les Misérables is already an engaging story, but the graphic novel brings life to the tragic tale, allowing readers to see the desperate conditions in which the characters are forced to live. With gripping visuals, readers can better connect with the characters' emotions and feel them for themselves.
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It provides a visual story that doesn't include musical numbers like the stage production and the film version. For those unfamiliar with France's landscape or the French language, the graphic novel provides a more accessible version of the literary classic.
Classic Greek mythology can be intimidating for those who have not studied it all their lives, but the graphic novel adaptation of many stories has made it more accessible. The Odyssey is a long story that many see as too daunting to take on, but the new adaptation takes away some of the bulk of the story as visuals do not need to be described.
With drawings accompanying the story, anyone can understand what the monsters and characters look like, even if they don't know how to pronounce the official names.
While many dystopian films have happy endings, the novel 1984 doesn't have a heartwarming conclusion. The original novel by George Orwell can be hard to read, with many of the characters using doublespeak, which is unique to the world created in the book.
The graphic novel version takes some of the guesswork out of what the characters are talking about as there are visual aids, and it helps readers see the differences between Orwell's version of the future and the world that was present in 1984. The graphic novel also illustrates the devices Big Brother uses to spy on citizens rather than readers having to conjure them in their mind.
War and Peace is one of the most well known pieces of literature in the world, but is not incredibly accessible to those who have not delved into Tolstoy's works before, or know much about Russian literature. The graphic novel removes some of the complexities of the original work but stays close to the main points of the classic that made it so well known.
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As a much shorter version of the classic the tale is not as intimidating and easier to digest for those not well acquainted with Russian translated works. The graphic novel also provides visual depictions of the historical figures who inspired the characters which helps readers who don't know the inspirations by name, but more so by sight.
There are many versions of A Christmas Carol, some more accurate to the book than others, but the graphic novel stays close to the original work. While version of Dickens's classic work is formatted for younger audiences it can be enjoyed by all who love the Christmas tale, or are reading to a younger audience.
The illustrations capture the scary moments including the ghosts but also the Christmas cheer in the heart-warming moments towards the end of the tale. The graphic novel shortens the tale but doesn't skip the most important morals of the story.
Bram's Stoker Dracula is another classic horror novel that has been turned into a graphic novel for those who rather have a visualization presented to them than conjuring one on their own.
The new adaptation of the novel captures all the horror elements of the original but adds a touch of originality from the adapter. In this version the original text is included, so Stoker's vision is not obstructed and still provides readers with the chilling narrative of the vampire that changed the horror genre. With images being included the graphic novel may seem scarier to some but for others it is delightfully horrifying.
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Senior Writer for Screen Rant and On-Field Emcee for MiLB. Cailyn Szelinki graduated from The New School in 2020 and has been writing ever since. Cailyn resides in Pennsylvania with her husband, dog, and two cats. Cailyn started working with Screen Rant in 2022. When she isn’t writing Cailyn is cosplaying, watching RuPaul’s Drag Race, and Marvel movies.


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