Book 393: Sense & Sensibility (Marvel Illustrated) – Nancy Butler and Sonny Liew

Butler, Nancy, Jane Austen and Sony Liew - Sense & SensibilityI have finally made up for lost time. The downside is I’ve read them all now 😦 The upside is that I now want to turn around and re-read them, but I will wait a bit. It’s not like I don’t have a full shelf of Austen fan-fiction waiting on me, or that I still get to read Pride and Prejudice for Jane Austen Book Group this year.

With Marvel Illustrated’s Jane Austen books, this was the third and final illustration style. I’m not sure which is my favorite because they were all unique and each had their own drawbacks, so maybe I don’t need to pick one. I will say Marvel Illustrated and Butler got it right with all of the covers except Northanger Abbey. Which is even stranger because the cover I like the most, #4, from Sense & Sensibility doesn’t look like the illustration style inside!? It probably doesn’t hurt that the illustration cover for #4 makes me think of Wuthering Heights instead, or at least the idea of the Brontë sisters on the moors. The rest of the covers are more representative of Liew’s illustration style.

As I am less familiar with this work than the others, I can’t tell how far off Butler went from the original. To me the main points and idea seemed to be there, including my favorite line about overused common-place phrases like “conquest” or “tipping ones hat!” I’ll be interested to have a conversation with my friend Caitrin after she reads it as this one is by far her favorite.

Butler embraced the sense of Elinor in the style of her clothing and her restrained speech and exaggerated Marianne’s emotions to such an extent it became incredibly humorous. Take for instance the scene where Marianne and Willougby meet for the first time:

2015 10-23 Jane Austen Illustrated Drama

DRAMA! Right? I mean it says “A  Dramatic Encounter.” This one was probably the closest to the manga version of Emma that I read when it came to emotions and drama.

I didn’t get as many feels with this adaptation as I did with the original. This is because there are so many characters in the book and the constraints of the graphic novel format weren’t really conducive to the multiple love stories, numerous characters in and out format. It was still great though!

Overall, I’ve really enjoyed delving into this form of reading. It’s reminded me of those I’ve enjoyed previously and those on my shelf that will make appearances on the blog at some point: Moore’s Watchmen and Bechdel’s Fun Home (both of which I’ve read previously) and Bechdel’s Are You My Mother?

Recommendation: I can’t recommend these enough. I think they are such great resources for younger or reluctant readers, and they are definitely great for those of us that love Austen but have so many books we want to read that they’re a great hold-over/quick fix.

Opening Line: “The Dashwood family had long been settled in Sussex at their residence, Norland Park.”

Closing Line: “Yet between Barton and Delaford there was that constant communication which family affection would naturally dictate.” (Whited out to avoid spoilers, highlight to read.)


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