Today, my first graphic novel is released. If you follow comics, you might have received a sample at Free Comic Book Day this weekend, but if not, take a look at All You Need is KILL!
This book is based on the original Japanese novel by Hiroshi Sakurazaka, which in turn forms the basis for the forthcoming film Edge of Tomorrow with Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt. There is also, being published serially online, a Japanese manga version of AYNIK, which is being translated as it runs and is available via Shonen Jump.
Like Full Metal Jacket, All You Need is Kill the graphic novel tackles the absurdity of the war machine – from training soldiers and equipping them to sending them into battle. At the same time, writer Nick Mamatas finds space in cutting the original text to present Keiji’s training method for survival as something that is plausible. Basically Mamatas has adapted the novel into a graphic novel that does not seem like a collection of plot points and a narrative stream of the original novel’s best action scenes. It is a complete comic book story with a good plot and well-developed characters and settings.
If you have any interest at all in comics, film, science fiction, or the ins and outs of publishing or adaptations, I recommend buying the novel (now an inexpensive mass market paperback called Edge of Tomorrow) and this graphic novel before the residency, as the experience of bringing a novel to the screen and the comic book page in two different national idioms, is going to be the theme of my afternoon talk on August 4th. It’s by no means mandatory, of course, but it will be helpful.
Thanks, and see you all in the funny pages, and in August!