Monday, December 17, 2012

Interview with the Vampire: Claudia's Story by Anne Rice & Ashley Witter

Genre: graphic novel
Pages: 256 (hardcover)
Published: November 2012 by Yen Press

Synopsis: A richly-illustrated adaptation of Anne Rice's Interview with the Vampire, told through the eyes of the vampire Claudia, who was just a little girl when she was turned by the vampire Lestat. Though she spends many years of happiness with her two vampire fathers, she gradually grows discontent with their insistence upon treating her like a little girl, even though she has lived as long as any mortal man...and her lust to kill is certainly no less than theirs...

My Take:
I had to have this beautiful graphic novel.  Firstly, because Interview with the Vampire is one of my all-time favorite books and Anne Rice has been one of my favorite authors since I was a pre-teen.  Second, just look at that gorgeous cover!  I had serious cover lust over Claudia's Story, and the pages between the covers are no less beautiful or intriguing.

The art is beyond gorgeous: every illustration is perfectly shaded, with splashes of carefully-placed crimson which perfectly compliment the story's dark feel.  The three main characters-- the doll-like Claudia, sensitive, dark-haired Louis, and of course, the arresting and impulse Lestat-- are portrayed as very similar to their characters in the movie Interview with the Vampire.  Some of the illustrations are gorgeous enough to frame and artist Ashley Marie Witter definitely proves that she's a fantastically-talented artist in this graphic novel, her debut.

Claudia's Story essentially follows the exact same storyline as Interview with the Vampire, examining the conflict and dynamic between Claudia and Louis and Lestat, her two vampiric "fathers", to whom she must cling because she is an eternal little girl and cannot care for herself.  As Claudia, a vampire created as a child, grows mentally and emotionally older, she begins to resent her fellow vampires for creating her, for trapping her inside a child's "doll-like" body forever.  She has no hope of gaining independence, of fulfilling her terrible blood lust on her own, or of becoming the woman she became long ago in her heart and mind. 

Many direct quotes from Interview are used in Claudia's Story, along with some of Claudia's internal monologue, written in the slightly melancholy narrative style typical of Louis's monologue style in Interview.  I don't feel like we readers learn very much about Claudia's character, or a single new thing about the plot, that was not revealed in the original novel.  I didn't really mind, though.  This graphic novel is entertaining and faithful to the original Anne Rice canon.  The art, as I said, is beyond belief.  Anything Ashley Marie Witter illustrates in the future, I will almost certainly be reading.  I really hope this book sells a ton of copies-- at least as many as the Twilight graphic novels have, especially considering that the art of Claudia's Story is about ten times more mature and well-drawn.  And, you know, Claudia and Louis and Lestat do a very minimal amount of sparkling.

Rating:




3 comments:

Anya @ On Starships and Dragonwings said...

Wow, that art does look beautiful if the cover is any indicator! I haven't read the book, but now I'm interested in trying out the comic, do you think it can be read without reading the book?

~Valen~ said...

I've been eyeing this one. I will def give it a try now! I've always been a fan of Rice's darker works.

~V

Kat said...

@Anya-- I think having read Interview would help "enhance" what you get out of the graphic novel, but I think it's designed so that you don't have to have read any other Rice books to read this new one. The art *is* incredibly beautiful, and I also love the cover. :)

@Valen-- Hope you do give this one a try-- I'd been eyeing it, too, and finally decided to just buy it as an end-of-the-semester treat. Glad I did now!

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