Tuesday, March 7, 2017

A Quickie: Initial Thoughts on a Graphic Novel (Animorphs)

Original Tweet found HERE
First I want to thank Hirac Delest for posting this image. Before I saw them post this tweet one of the Animorphs groups I'm in mentioned the news. I didn't want to hope another adaptation was underway. If I hoped there was an adaptation and none came into being I would be more than disappointed.

But since Applegate's twitter confirmed a graphic novel, I felt the need to get my initial thoughts out.

Just a warning that I didn't do research into this and these are merely my initial reactions. If more information comes out I might post about it. If I don't do so on my blog I might do so on my Twitter and/or Facebook.
Why I Love Animorphs

Anyone who has spent any amount of time on this blog will know I adore Animorphs. I have multiple podcasts on the series, random vlogs, random posts, and fanfictions about it. Fanfictions are on hold until the massive Rin Duology fic is finally finished.

Point is that I adore this series and it's very easy to see why.

While most Young Adult (YA) series have a glorified version of war, Animorphs is very realistic in its depiction of war. While people might praise the survivors as heroes, they don't consider themselves as such. Too many lines have been crossed for them to think of themselves like before they started fighting.

The Hork-Bajir have a dark history as they aren't the smartest species in the galaxy and were forced into a war they couldn't begin to understand.
Animorphs does away with good versus evil. Yes, there are bad guys and you follow along with the heroes. However, things are very complicated. In the beginning Yeerks seem like pure evil while the Andalites seem like beacons of hope.

By the end Andalites and Yeerks are extremely complicated. There are some heroic Yeerks like Aftran and some horrible Andalites such as...well take your pick. It takes less time to name the good Andalites.

Even the titular Animorphs have their issues. Cassie ends up giving David a fate worse than death because she doesn't want to kill. Tobias allows an entire species to die because that's the way things were supposed to be.

Sometimes there are no easy answers and Animorphs revels in this fact at times.
As a teenager it felt more than welcome for authors to treat me like an adult. Too many YA series treat teenagers as children as if they can't handle something dark.

So a series like Animorphs that dealt with the topics of genocide, biological warfare, and matricide among others was a breath of fresh air. I appreciate the risks it took more as an adult as Animorphs was the first series of books I read. I didn't understand back then how truly special it was.
How a Graphic Novel Could Work

A graphic novel adaptation of Animorphs could help add to the vast mythos of the series in a few key ways.

The first is to show memorable scenes from the series. Now we won't need to rely on our imaginations but can see what was going on. Events such as meeting Elfangor, the ants scene, the first kiss between Cassie and Jake, and many more.
It would be amusing to see Ax's infamous cinnamon bun eating scene at the beginning of #18. It would be interesting to see how Cassie and Aftran first met in #19.
This would also be a good time for plot holes to be fixed.

Some of the plot holes are: the way thought-speak worked in #1 was much different than how it worked after the first book. Tobias got a vast array of information in the first book yet that's not really brought up in later books. There's also a lovely sub-plot about Yeerks invading the Andalite homeworld that was dropped.

If there is going to be an adaptation they could satiate long time fans by filling those plot holes.
Morphing in the books is a horrific process. It is not pretty at all and extremely random. Among the Animorphs, only Cassie can make morphing look good. And, even then, there are some morphs she can't make look pretty.

The covers, for the most part, never truly showed the horrors of morphing. The transformation, no matter how odd, made sense.

In a graphic novel they can show the true horrors of morphing.
Original Tweet found HERE
Why I'm Not Excited About This Graphic Novel Adaptation

I always like to have skepticism about things I hear about. Especially if it seems to be good news. Sometimes that is much harder to do than other times.

Right now it isn't certain if K.A.Applegate and Michael Grant, the creators of Animorphs, will be involved with the graphic novel adaptation. There is the question of how much say they will have. It might turn out that they'll have a lot of say in the graphic novel but they could also be left at the wayside.
The main reason I can't get excited if they're not really involved is...well...that the people doing the graphic novel won't get the series. They won't understand why fans have stuck with it for so long. They might try to make the dark themes a little lighter so the kids won't get scared.

As an adult re-reading the series, I don't know how I survived but I did. Kids today aren't weaker than I was and can handle the same amount of pain.

If Applegate and Grant aren't involved the people working on the graphic novel could change character relationships. Maybe they would try and make Rachel and Tobias' romance not so tragic. Maybe they would try to get Marco and Ax significant others just to have a romance.

Heck, they might try and make Animorphs like a show on the CW. I adore Supernatural, until the recent season but that's another rant for another day, but that's not how Animorphs is.
If Applegate and Grant have significant input into the graphic novel adaptation, I'll sleep better. I think that it's best to turn to the creators when making an adaptation.

It wouldn't feel like Animorphs if the creators weren't involved.

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