Showing posts with label Stacy King. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Stacy King. Show all posts

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Emma by Po Tse, Cystal S Chan, Stacy King

Rating: WARTY!

With line drawings by by Po Tse (aka Lemon Po), story adapted by Cystal S Chan (aka Crystal Silvermoon), and English script by Stacy King (aka Stacy King), this manga version of Jane Austen's Emma failed to please me. The adaptation wasn't bad, but reading it backwards isn't natural for we Westerners, and though I liked a manga version of Pride and Prejudice, I feel that i, like Po Tse, have to draw a line here!

In some supplementary material at the back (aka front) of the book, Po's art is praised for his "uncanny talent," but to me every drawing looked the same. It was hard to distinguish the characters except by their hairstyle, and I have never been a fan of that pointed nose, pointed chin, ridiculously large-eye mangled - er manga - style. It strikes me as lazy, where every face is merely a clone of every other, and the only actual difference between them is in the eyes and hair. After this experience I think this is the last manga of this nature I will read.

I have a few observations on the story, too. This is one of Austen's later novels. It was not her last, but it has been praised for good plotting, yet no one seems interested in saying a word about how snobbish and elitist it is. Yes, I get that this is how society was back then, and Austen is merely reporting it, but this only serves my point. Where is the daring, the invention, the scandalous skirting of the rules? I use the word 'skirting' advisedly because Austen no doubt wore skirts. Her book really isn't much more than a dear diary, is it though, in the final analysis?

The snobbery, even from the "heroic" Mr Knightley, is shameful, and it makes it only more obnoxious knowing that this was the acceptable norm back then. The talk is endlessly of people above their station, and poor matches. Love has no place in this world whatsoever, so where is the romance? It cannot breathe here, starved of oxygen as it is.

Emma is a frivolous, immature, vindictive, interfering and very stupid woman, and not at all pleasant to read about. She fails to grow and learn, yet ends up with everything despite her foolish meddlesome behavior, yet we're expected to condemn characters like frank Churchill, Philip Elton and August Hawkins, who are in reality just like Emma, if somewhat more exaggerated. While I confess I do like the movie featuring Gwyneth Paltrow, and I like even more the one featuring Alicia Silverstone, I really can't recommend the story of Emma or this graphic novel version of it.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Manga Classics Great Expectations by Charles Dickens, Crystal Chan, Stacy King, Nokman Poon

Rating: WORTHY!

I've never read Great Expectations, and in a way I still haven't, since this is a necessarily expurgated graphic novel version, but I have to admit after reading this, I'm interested in the original - so this one did its job! I'd never been interested before, until this version came along. It was well-written (edited! The original story adaptation was by by Crystal S Chan, the English translation by Stacy King) and nicely drawn. The illustrations by Nokman Poon were black & white line drawings.

One thing I don't get about some manga is the backwards format. Yes, I get it that if we're taking a novel originally written for Japanese audiences, blanking out the speech balloons and so on, and filling then with English text, then it necessarily runs backwards, but when it's created for an English market it makes no sense. In this case this was a translation, but it was still odd, because at the back - where it begins - the header for chapter one appeared on the left, and the text 'following' it appeared on the right - completely contrary to the instructions that had appeared on the pages immediately before! After that, though, it followed the reverse format faithfully.

The story follows Pip, who despite being an apprentice for a blacksmith, has a chance to taste the high life at the manor of Miss Haversham, a twisted woman who wears her wedding dress - every day - so as not to forget how much she hates the man who left her at the altar having taken her money instead of her hand. She's raising her adopted daughter to hate men too - and to take revenge on them for the hurt Miss Haversham has suffered. Estella appears to be learning the lesson well.

Pip become involved with escaped convict Magwitch and helps to smuggle him out of the country. Later, he finds himself the beneficiary of a stipend which pays for him to get a higher education. He becomes friends with a guy he earlier did not hit it off with (so to speak) and learns to be a real gentlemen, but there are undercurrents pulling very which way in Pip's life and he has no handle on them. All is revealed over the course of the story, and he is surprised by how much his life is entwined with the lives of others whom he had no idea he was connected.

I really liked this, and I recommend it for people like me, who had no interest in the original novel, or were maybe nervous about taking it on.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Pride and Prejudice (manga) by Jane Austen

Rating: WORTHY!

Edited by Stacy King
Illustrated by Po Tse

DISCLOSURE: Unlike the majority of reviews in this blog, I've neither bought this book nor borrowed it from the library. This is a "galley" copy ebook, supplied by Net Galley. I'm not receiving (nor will I expect to receive or accept) remuneration for this review.

p232 " what's the different?" should be " what's the difference?"
p369 'devaintArt' should be 'DeviantArt'

Since I adore Pride and Prejudice, this is really just a review of this manga presentation of it, not of the novel itself (which I also reviewed on this blog), and as far as that went, it went very far.

I confess that I was rather surprised that I got this opportunity to review another volume from UDON Entertainment after I didn't like their classic manga Les Misérables earlier this month, but I'm glad they took a chance on me again so I can offer the other side of the coin in this case. Hopefully this will serve as a thank you! And kudos to UDON!

Perhaps this is my shameless bias showing through, but I loved this one from the start (or the end - yes, I still have issues with reading backwards in an English language graphic novel!). The text was very well written, expertly précis'd down from Austen's original, but not losing an iota of meaning or import. Stacy King did a magnificent job with that, and Po Tse was every bit her equal in conveying the images to compliment and augment the text.

The novel had a light, airy feel to it, yet it didn't fail to tell the story with power and gravity (and some laughs). I particularly enjoyed the scene where Elizabeth refuses Darcy's proposal.

Of course, in my terribly biased book, nothing can supersede the performances of Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth in the BBC's 1995 TV series, but this manga I would rank second only to that - it's that good.