Holy Austen, Batman! ~ Marvel Comic’s ‘Emma’

The first issue of Marvel Comic’s rendition of Austen’s Emma is on the stands at your local comic book shop! 

As in the previous Marvel editions, Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility,  Nancy Butler writes the text, but there are newcomers to the artwork:  Janet K. Lee illustrates, and Nate Piekos pens the script. 

My only complaint is it seems to lack depth – it is perhaps  a little “too light bright and sparkling” – Emma and Harriet look too much alike to differentiate without reading the dialogue, and everyone but Knightley is blond or white-haired, and Emma seems to scowl in sort of a snobbish condescending way, though many would agree that is the way she should look!  [and I do love Emma’s scarlet pelisse!] But Ms. Butler does gets the dialogue just right. 

[Emma] You have forgotten one matter of joy to me – that I made the match myself.  And I accomplished it when everyone said Mr. Weston would never marry again.  But I determined that he should four years ago when we met him in the rain and Miss Taylor borrowed his umbrella. — When such success has blessed me, I cannot think I will leave off match-making.

Success? [says Mr. Knightley] – A straightforward man like Mr. Weston and a rational woman like Miss Taylor can  surely be left to manage their own concerns.  Where is your merit in this, Emma?

Will see if this series grows on me as the others have done  …   Issue 2 will be released April 6, 2011.  All five issues and the hardcover:  certainly another edition of Emma  you must add to your Austen Library!

[Images from Marvel Comics, Jane Austen’s Emma, No. 1]

update:  here is a review at Comic Book Resources

Copyright @2011, by Deb Barnum at Jane Austen in Vermont.

‘Sense & Sensibility’ Marvel edition ~ An Interview with Nancy Butler

This is today on the B&N Romance Blog  ~ Marisa O’Neill posts her interview with the Marvel Comics / Jane Austen adaptations writer Nancy Butler:

Marisa O’Neill: What gave you the idea to create graphic books from the Jane Austen classics?

Nancy Butler: I’ve been friends with Marvel senior editor Ralph Macchio for many years. Since we first met, I’ve been nagging him to create comics that would bring in more female readers. Whenever he described the Marvel Illustrated line, he kept bringing up “boy” books . . . Treasure Island, Moby-Dick, Three Musketeers, etc. I finally asked him why they didn’t do something that would appeal to female readers. “Like what?” he asked. Pride and Prejudice immediately popped into my head. He was a bit skeptical, but when he pitched it to marketing, they bit. And then they asked him if he knew someone who could write the adaptation. Ralph knew my background writing Regency romances, knew I had a fan following and contacts in the Austen world, so he suggested me.

MO: Why Pride and Prejudice?

NB:  I pointed out to Ralph that between the enduring BBC series with Colin Firth, the Bridget Jones movies, and the Kiera Knightly movie, P&P was hot, hot, hot. He thought I was exaggerating, but before the hardcover compilation was even available for sale, the Jane Austen Society had ordered enough copies to put the project in the black. The sales manager also reported that they were getting more emails about that comic than almost any other title on their list. Ultimately, P&P was reviewed in Entertainment Weekly, spent 13 weeks on the NY Times Graphic Novel bestseller list, and was the featured photo in an article on graphic adaptations in Publisher’s Weekly. I was also interviewed by Vanetta Rogers of Newsarama and by Bill Radford, the comics guru at the Colorado Springs Gazette. (Bill told me his column on P&P was among the most shared for 2009.) Naturally, after all this attention, Marvel was eager to do another Austen title and they chose Sense and Sensiblilty.

MO: How do you go about condensing each book to fit into the installments?

NB: This is the tricky part. First of all, I had never done an adaptation before. And I had to learn the Marvel style—which involves creating a detailed plot and then writing a script after the art is done. I knew I couldn’t condense every part of these complex novels into five 22-page comics. So I focused on the parts I knew people expected to see . . . all the favorite “beats”—the clever exchanges, the arguments, the catty comments, the heartfelt revelations. Once I built that basic framework of “must have” scenes, I filled in directly from Austen to flesh out the stories. Whenever possible, I use Austen’s dialogue and observations. I’m always amazed—after each issue is completed—by how much I was actually able to fit in there! My great hope is that readers don’t find the comics either crowded or choppy.

MO: Did you work closely with the graphic artist?

NB: Yes, it’s critical to have good communication with the artists, especially since they weren’t as familiar with the Regency era as I was. I worked with Hugo Petrus of Barcelona on P&P. Hugo has a very traditional comic style that some felt was wrong for Austen. But I liked his attention to detail. Sonny Liew of Singapore did three of the P&P covers . . . and based on favorable reader response, Marvel decided to have him do the interiors of S&S. His style is more lyrical and idiosyncratic, and I think it fits Austen very well.

[see the full text at the BN Romance Blog]

Note that Issue # 4 [cover above] was released on August 25, 2010; Issue #5 will be released on September 22; and the hardcover edition on November 10th.  At $3.99 / comic and $19.99 for the hardcover, this might be the least expensive [and most fun!] addition to your Austen collection! so call your local comic book store today!  [in Burlington, this is Earth Prime Comics on Church Street].

[Posted by Deb]

Marvel-Mania yet again! ~ the ‘Pride & Prejudice’ Comic Book

I have posted in the past on the Marvel Comics five issue series of Pride & Prejudice [you can see these posts here: issues one, two, three, four, and five] ~ but now the hardcover issue is available for purchase at your local comic book store.  It is a lovely book, with a dust jacket [picturing the cover of the first issue] and including a title page [of Elizabeth sitting on a stone wall reading Mr. Darcy’s letter], an introduction by the adapter Nancy Butler, and illustrations of all five covers appended at the end.  A must-have addition to your Austen collection… or a special gift for your Austen-fanatic friends…


See Marvel Comics for more information.

[Posted by Deb]

Holy Austen, Batman! Pride & Prejudice #5

Get thee hence to your local comic book store tomorrow [August 12, 2009], as the fifth and final issue of the Marvel Comics Pride & Prejudice is released:

marvel P&P 5

COVER BY: Sonny Liew
WRITER: Nancy Butler
PENCILS: Hugo Petrus
INKS: Hugo Petrus
COLORED BY: Aubrey Sitterson
LETTERED BY: Dave Sharpe 

THE STORY:  All good things come to an end. Join us for our final issue, as we find who weds whom, who is left alone, and if Mrs. Bennet can manage to stop screaming for more than three minutes… Rated T …$3.99

IN STORES: August 12, 2009


Also note that there will be a hardcover edition containing all five issues – to be published in October and available now for pre-order.  You can view information at the Marvel Comics website, but check your local comic book store for ordering details. [I have to add here that my local comic book store, Earth Prime Comics, has been the most helpful and accommodating retail store of any I have patronized in a long time! – I might even return to my early years as an avid Superman / Batman comics reader just to continue to visit them – or maybe even find a graphic novel or two!]

[Posted by Deb]

Holy Austen, Batman! ~ Pride & Prejudice # 4

News Alert!  Issue 4 to be released today July 8, 2009!

marvel P&P 4 large

  • COVER BY: Sonny Liew
  • WRITER: Nancy Butler
  • PENCILS: Hugo Petrus
  • INKS: Hugo Petrus
  • COLORED BY: Aubrey Sitterson|Aubrey Sitterson
  • LETTERED BY: Dave Sharpe


NOTE:  a hardcover edition of the 5 issues will be released later this year on November 11, 2009!!

marvel P&P hardcover

And here is a sneak preview of the cover for Issue # 5, to be released in August:

marvel P&P 5

Posted by Deb

Pride & Prejudice ~ the Comic Book


Late to the table, but here is a reminder about the first issue of the Marvel Comic’s Pride & Prejudice  due out April 1st.  See the story and images from the first issue at Marvel.com :

Two-time Rita Award-Winner Nancy Butler and acclaimed artist Hugo Petrus bring PRIDE & PREJUDICE #1 to life—and we’ve got an exclusive preview for you! Follow the gripping story of Lizzy Bennet and her loveable, yet eccentric, family as they navigate the treacherous waters of British high society, in this faithful adaptation of the seminal Jane Austen novel.

Further reading: