Thursday, July 1, 2010

The Stand Volume 1: Captain Trips - Stephen King


How do I love the Bumbles? Let me count the ways. Well, I'd like to, but there isn't enough time in the day. But one of the many cool things about Molly and Andy is that they are out there, always with an eye open for interesting "stuff"...articles, products, books. Occasionally, they find "stuff" that they think I will like, and they shoot me an e-mail. It has run the gamut...jokes, Christmas ornaments, websites...you name it. But imagine my eyes popping out of my skull when they sent me the link to Amazon, featuring The Stand in graphic novel form! Published by Marvel, the vision is ultimately six hardback volumes, one for each of the stages of this apocalyptic story. The Bumbles know how much I love The Stand. I believe it to be King's finest work - a classic. I flipped out. I HAD to have it. But Molly beat me to the punch - she sent me volume 1 for my birthday!

Based on the information I could dig up, Stephen King himself approached Marvel and asked them if they would be interested in the project (yeah right, like they wouldn't be interested). From that point, the creative team was chosen. All members of the team allowed themselves to be inspired by the original story and the descriptions of each of the characters, and seem to have effectively blocked out any influence by the casting in the movie. This book and its images stand (ha) on their own.

At the end of Volume 1, we are privy to the sketchbook, including character studies with commentary on "birthing" Randall Flagg, Frannie, Larry Underwood, Nick Andros, Trashcan Man and Stu Redman. You can tell that the artists "get" King. The characters jump off the page, grab you and force to look. Visual candy is what this is.


As you can see from the pictures, this graphic novel is in every way graphic. The illustrations are dark and almost feral in nature. They are twisted and insane, and I love it! I love insane. If you scare easily, you might end up seeing some of these visuals in your nightmares. (Bear in mind that this first installment is about the spread of the flu-like virus that kills 98% of humanity in a sea of phlegm and mucus. I won't show those pictures here.)






















The novel is very true to the original story. Obviously there had to be some serious editing, but the meat is all there. The introduction of the core players and their individual circumstances, the spread of the virus, the mountains of bodies, the dreams of a cornfield, the attempt at government control, the CDC. And the Walking Dude. The Walking Dude is SO menacing, he makes your skin crawl.





















Just this year, I've come to appreciate the beauty and genius of the graphic novel. So I'm probably not qualified to say this. But this is what GRAPHIC is all about, baby.

Volume 1 (Captain Trips) and Volume 2 (American Nightmares) are both currently available. The third volume (Soul Survivors) should be out sometime this month. I shall be back with more, friends.

5 out of 5 stars



























19 comments:

Nymeth said...

Should I just cheat and read this instead, then? ;)

Kidding! I do plan on reading The Stand. And then after that the adaptation :P

Susan said...

Wow, Sandy! Those graphics DO jump right off the page! And that's hard to do on a computer screen, unless it's 3-D, of course. :) My son Josh would have loved this. He was very much into graphic novels and even wrote a couple of them himself. He was a very talented artist.

I think I commented in your Sunday Salon that this is my favorite King book and also IMO, his finest work. I remember reading it when it first came out and could NOT put it down. It blew me away.

I'll have to read these...it's been so long since I read the novel that it will be like reading it for the first time.

JoAnn said...

The graphics may be too much for me, but I'm glad you loved it!

C.B. James said...

Oh, my, are you going to have fun. I bought each edition of The Green Mile as they came out in serial form. It was fun waiting for each new edition to arrive on the shelf so I could find out what happened next.

This is actually a pretty good idea as far as the future of book publishing goes. He really is giving readers a reason to spend money on an actual book instead of a kindle or audio book.

Tyrie said...

I saw this on another book blog and was immediately enthralled. It will be mine ... oh yes, it will be.

I was worried that the artists would be too influenced by the look of the characters as presented in the movie (which I also love), but based on the images you've shown here, looks as though they avoided that trap. I mean, I love Gary Sinese, but I also like to see how someone else envisions Stew Redman.

rhapsodyinbooks said...

I just finished The Stand, so this sounds like it would be a perfect companion piece!

Zibilee said...

I haven't read The Stand, but for some reason, I want to read the graphic novel right now!! The illustrations you shared are excellent and very dark, and I think the book looks fascinating. I am going to be checking back to see what you think of the other installments as well. Great review, Sandy!!

The Bumbles said...

I'm so glad you enjoyed the book. I don't even remember where the heck I was when I stumbled across it online - but when I did your little avatar photo just popped up in my mind ;0)

However, I am now afraid that I have created a monster - devoting time and money into this collection. My apologies to your family.

Gavin said...

Whoa! I had now idea this was coming out! I loved The Stand when I first read it years ago and will have to get my hands on this series. I am so glad you are enjoying "graphics"!

Nicole (Linus's Blanket) said...

I have got to get my hands on this.

Michele at Reader's Respite said...

So I'm about 2/3 through my very first reading of The Stand....and now I'm wondering if I wouldn't like the graphic version better (it would certainly go by faster, LOL).

Kathleen said...

I love The Stand and have been wanting to reread it. This graphic novelization of it looks and sounds INCREDIBLE!!

Iliana said...

I love Nymeth's comment! I tried to read The Stand years ago and was a bit grossed out and just though it was too long so I didn't even get close to finishing it. Now, I find it sort of daunting so maybe I should check out the graphic novel!

Thanks for the great review Sandy. When I go to the bookstore this weekend I'll have to remember to take a peek!

Trisha said...

This looks fantastic. I read The Stand when I was freshman in high school, and I must admit I have almost no memory of it. But I'm not re-reading it; I'm just not. I will however hop on the graphic novel bandwagon. :)

caite said...

I admit that I don't read King...or graphic novels but I must say, 'dark and almost feral'...'twisted and insane'..almost has convinced me.

Jenners said...

What a cool gift!!

And it looks really freaky and scary ... just like the book!

Serena said...

I must be living in a cave...ok, I really don't read a lot of graphic novels or comics...so I guess that explains Why I feel in the dark about this one. Gorgeous...hmmm, perhaps not the right word. Very detailed...love the imagery and what a great project to "convince" Marvel they needed to do it. :)

Beth F said...

I don't think King is for me in any form....

Julie P. said...

I love your enthusiasm but I'm not sure this one is for me!