Preview of Sense and Sensibility Comic Book


Marvel has put up a small preview of their comic book version of Sense and Sensibility, which will be out in May 2010. We think the larger drawing is the cover, and the smaller images the actual comic. It looks like the same artist, Sonny Liew did both; he also drew the covers of the P&P comic that everyone seemed to like (and not so much the actual book art). It’s a very different style from the first comic. No. 2 will be out in June.

(And what is with the Edward swordfighting with Margaret theme? Emma Thompson really created a monster with that one, didn’t she? Does anyone remember that’s not actually in the book?)

Sense and Sensibility next to get comic-book treatment


Apparently the Pride and Prejudice comic book has been a sufficient success that Marvel is planning to give Sense and Sensibility the same treatment beginning in April 2010. Considering some of the comments about the comic, one hopes they employ a different artist.

Since it’s mentioned in the article, we want to give a little love to Graphic Classics Vol. 14 featuring a graphic-novel treatment of Northanger Abbey. We think many of those disappointed in the artwork of the P&P comic will like it. Catherine is absolutely adorable, just as she ought. (Read Cub Reporter Heather L.’s review.) Also, if you’ve ever wondered just what is behind the black veil (though it’s changed slightly from the original), there is a very nicely distilled adaptation of The Mysteries of Udolpho in the same book.

Tuesday Bookblogging: Because We Didn't Feel Like Doing It On Friday Edition


Welcome to last week’s Friday Bookblogging, which became this week’s Tuesday Bookblogging because the Editrix is very very lazy. 🙂 (Yes, we spent a lot of time this weekend lying about reading Lord Peter Wimsey novels, but we maintain we have been a hard-working Janeite the past couple of weeks and were entitled to a bit of time lying about reading Lord Peter Wimsey novels. As if we ever needed an excuse to lie about reading Lord Peter Wimsey novels.)

The theme this week seems to be crossovers and “mashups” with Jane Austen. First up is an old friend, Harry Potter, apparently inspired by the release of the latest movie (which we have seen and enjoyed…it is really arty, even more so than the one directed by Alfonso Cuarón, but there isn’t much in the way of plot besides adolescent hormones. The kids are SO cute, though). John Granger compares J.K. Rowling’s work to that of several classic authors, including her favorite, Jane Austen.

The obstacles to the successful resolution of the novels’ other themes—love’s defeat of death, freewill choice, and personal transformation or change—are essentially prejudice. You simply cannot be loving, capable of unjaundiced decision-making, or capable of change when bound by personal prejudice and pride. The big twist at which the books aim too turns on the revelation of Harry’s foundational misconception and the change in him if he realizes and transcends this misunderstanding.

Just as the key to Darcy and Elizabeth’s engagement in Pride and Prejudice was Darcy seeing past his pride and Elizabeth overcoming her prejudice, Harry’s victory over Lord Voldemort must come through love and after the revelation of an unexpected back to a revered or reviled front. Harry, like Darcy and Elizabeth, however, had to transcend his pride as a Gryffindor and free himself of his “old prejudice” against Slytherins. He also had to come to terms with the Machiavellian aspect and clay feet of Dumbledore.

It’s good stuff. Check it out.

The first of several upcoming books bringing vampires into the orderly world of Jane Austen’s novels is Mr. Darcy, Vampyre by Amanda Grange. We’ll have lots of fun stuff coming up related to the novel (including a review and giveaway), so stay tuned!

The Guardian has an article about S&S & Sea Monsters (S&S&SM sounds smutty, doesn’t it?) that gives a little excerpt from the book.

As in Austen’s original, Marianne first meets Mr Willoughby when he rescues her, but instead of being saved from bad weather and a sprained ankle, this time it’s from a giant octopus.

“As she lay gasping on the bank, soaked by the fetid water and the foul juices of the monster, spitting small bits of brain and gore from the corners of her mouth, a gentleman clad in a diving costume and helmet, and carrying a harpoon gun, ran to her assistance,” write Austen and her new co-author, Brooklyn writer Ben H Winters. “The gentleman, opening the circular, hinged portcullis on the front of his helmet, offered his services; and perceiving that her modesty declined what her situation rendered necessary, took her up in his arms without further delay and carried her down the hill.”

USAToday has an article that has us saying, “Pantaloons? But pantaloons are men’s trousers…oh, never mind.” It gives a quick overview of some of the upcoming Austen paranormal and monster-mashup titles.

And news came out of the San Diego Comic Con that P&P& Zombies will be a comic book. We think we already mentioned there also will be a deluxe edition of the novel out later this year, with extra illustrations and expanded zombie gore.

Speaking of comic books, the Examiner has a review of the P&P comic.

Jane Austen offered, from chapter to chapter, the personalities of her characters to render a mix toned composition. Marvel’s Pride & Prejudice translates a monotone rendition. The inane nature of Mrs. Bennett becomes tediously typical. Mr. Bennett’s sarcasm loses poignancy and agreeability. Mr. Bingley and Mr. Hurst join all four daughters, excluding Lydia, as connotations of flat, archetypical personas.

A different kind of crossover is MP with the mystery genre; it’s been done before, but, well…

In contrast with the original story, the character Fanny Price is “ambitious, scheming and relentlessly focused”, while Mary Crawford “suffers great indignities from her mean neighbour”.
Shepherd explained: “What intrigues me about Mansfield Park is how unlike Jane Austen it actually is. One of the reasons so many readers are dissatisfied with the novel Austen did write is that they find her heroine at best insipid, and at worst, downright irritating.”

Not that we’ve turned into a big Fanny-Fan all of a sudden, but dude, somebody needs to re-read, because the point, they have missed it, like by several miles.

Not a mashup at all, just a close study of a subject related to Jane Austen, is Jane Austen’s Sewing Box by Jennifer Forest. The book contains needlework and craft projects inspired by Jane Austen’s novels. Right now it’s easiest to get from Amazon UK, but it can be ordered via Amazon US. We hope it gets a release on this side of the pond!

And lastly, several Gentle Readers have sent e-mails letting us know about the latest “crossover” sort of novel, James Fairfax by Adam Campan. We’ll have a review of it this week. We suggest saving any excitement or dudgeon over the novel until then. Just trust us on this one, mmkay?

That’s it for this week’s Bookblogging, so until next time, Gentle Readers, always remember: Books Are Nice!

Comical Jane


There has been a flurry in the past week or so of Jane Austen showing up in illustrations and comics and other comicy-type things.

Alert Janeite Dennard noticed a panel in Maira Kalman’s illustrated blog post in the New York Times, called “May It Please the Court,” that mentioned Jane Austen. Scroll down to the panel about Ruth Bader Ginsburg. (And much as we respect Justice Ginsburg, we would still pick Jane Austen as our imaginary BFF.)

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal gives us The Perfect Man. We would prefer he read the books to us, but we still had a laugh from it. Thanks to new AustenBlog Gentle Reader and Alert Janeite Emily K for the link.

And lastly, Alert Janeite Corinna noticed what might just be the antidote for zombie overload: Pride and Prejudice and Kittens! (That’s been done, actually.)

Tuesday Open Thread: Mr. Darcy Is Consumed With Lust Edition


If that title doesn’t bring the fangirls running from their RSS feeds, then we’ve completely lost our touch. 😉

This week’s open thread is less random than usual, and in fact is reflective of the meta fun we weirdo Internet types have with Jane Austen and her work. We don’t think she would mind much.

Alert Janeite Kirsten sent us a link to the latest Kate Beaton comic. We’re big Beaton fans at AustenBlog World Headquarters, and would love to read her take on a P&P comic–it’s bound to be hilarious.

Alert Janeite Sion sent us a link (and Alert Janeite slw2004 posted in comments) a link to a blog with Uncomfortable Plot Summaries to many books and films, including Pride and Prejudice:

Woman with gold-digging mother nags wealthy man into marriage.

WHAT? Lizzy doesn’t nag. 😉 (But that’s why it’s uncomfortable, we suppose.)

This is an open thread–let us know what’s going on in your patch of Janeiteville.

Interview with author of P&P comic


We heard from Vaneta Rogers of Newsarama, who has interviewed Nancy Butler, the adapter of Pride and Prejudice for the upcoming Marvel comic book. It’s interesting to note how the book is being sold to the comic crowd (we would think it would more or less sell itself, but there you go).

Beyond the attention given to straight adaptations recently – like the Oscar-nominated Keira Knightley movie of 2005 – Pride and Prejudice has also been noticed by the throngs of fans of the Twilight book series.

Nobody noticed it before that, of course.

Bella, the main character in Twilight, is an avid reader of Austen novels, and Twilight’s much-obsessed-over vampire Edward has been frequently compared to Pride and Prejudice’s Darcy.

No, wait: Darcy is Snarky McJerkpants; Edward is Stalky McPerfectpants. Glad we could clear that up! Though it sounds more like Darcy’s Clark McKentpants here:

“One of the reasons the story is so enduring is because Darcy represents a new type of hero,” explained Butler. “He’s this shy, kind of awkward man from nobility. He’s not out slaying dragons. But he’s rescuing Lizzie in other ways, by dealing with Wickham and correcting everything with Bingley. So this isn’t a knight in shining armor, but he is doing these very noble things. And he does it anonymously. He rescues her sister and doesn’t want anyone to know about it. He’s a different kind of hero.”

In fact, the author admitted, his status as an anonymous hero makes him ideal for comic book adaptation, since he came before other chivalrous heroes like Superman and Spider-Man.

He’s fighting for Truth, Justice, and the British Empirical Way!

“He’s an anonymous hero. That’s a great tie-in right there to comic books already. But you know, that’s a problem in the Jane Austen world. A lot of these Austen blogs – and there are a lot of them – they’re all like, ‘oh, what is this comic going to be? Darcy in a cape and tights? Or Darcy with huge muscles?'” Butler laughed. “And I’ve gone on there in a couple cases and said, no, it’s a very respectful story. No one flies or repels bullets.”

Psst. That was a joke. Humor? Jane Austen? Funny?

The Editrix whips off her spectacles and shakes out her hair, ripping off the drab muslin gown that hides her superhero outfit. She flies off into the night on her special superhero curricle (purchased used for a very good price from Henry Tilney, whose superhero alter ego is, of course, Da Man) and wields her Cluebat in the pursuit of Justice for Jane Austen. The camera tilts as she encounters a lineup of villains: authors of bad paraliterature and “fixers” of film adaptations. “Justice for Jane!” she cries, wading into the villainous horde, the Cluebat of Janeite Righteousness gleaming in the moonlight as it cuts a swath through the ignorance and mendacity of the Enemies of Jane. “Jane! Austen! Is! Funny!” cried Cluebat Girl, punctuating each word with another deadly stroke . . .

. . . Hey, that was fun. But Cluebat Girl needs sharks with some frickin’ laser beams in their heads.

“But I think I’ve captured the essence of the novel while still making it accessible. I write in a style where I start out with kind of an old-sounding vernacular. And I ease into a more modern tone,” she said. “I sent the first issue… and Ralph passed it around and got a lot of people saying how surprised they were that I could shorten these conversations and really get the essence of them and the flavor of Austen without it having to be a hundred pages long. So I was very glad to hear that. That’s what I was trying to do – capture the flavor of Austen.”

We look forward to reading it! And we’ll probably continue with the whole “humor” theme as well. Just a fair warning.

Friday Bookblogging: Braaaaiiiiinnnnnns Edition


Welcome to Friday Bookblogging, Gentle Readers! We have several pieces of Jane Austen book news to cover this week, mainly because the Editrix has been feeling extremely lazy all week and saying, “Ah, save it for Friday Bookblogging.” Now enjoy the fruit of her sloth.

Laurel Ann reports at Jane Austen Today that Pride and Prejudice and Zombies has been spotted for sale at some Borders stores (and Alert Janeite Sophie tells us that she has actually purchased a copy, and is quite enjoying it). Laurel Ann received her advance copy; none yet here at AustenBlog World Headquarters, though.

Speaking of monster mashups, John Kessel’s novelette, “Pride and Prometheus,” has been nominated for a Nebula Award from the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. The story mixes up Jane Austen and Frankenstein; we’re not sure how, as we haven’t read it, but John has kindly put a PDF of the story on his website, and also provided a two-part podcast in which he reads it. We’ll be checking it out this weekend.

The Baja Janeite let us know that she found a bargain on two of Jane Austen’s novels.

Just picked up a copy of Orgullo y Prejuico (P&P) and Sentido y Sensibilidad (S&S) at the Mega Comercial (Mexican chain store comparable to Super Walmart) here in Los Cabos.

These two hardback books plus several other well known titles are advertised as “the best romantic novels of all time” and only cost $49 pesos (about $3.50 US)! They have very pretty pastel covers including an 1800’s illustration and bit of gold scrollwork and dainty flowers. These books were actually printed in Uruquay in 2007, but they are distributed by Santillana Ediciones in Mexico City. A great bargain even with the financial crisis here!

She was even persuaded to send us photos of the books, and they are quite beautiful! Click on the thumbnails for larger versions.

JA in Spanish 3 JA in Spanish 2 JA in Spanish

Illustrator Ben Templesmith has drawn a cover for Emma for a friend, using the draw-your-own-cover Penguin edition of the novel. We think it must be the scene in which Emma spends a night wondering if it’s too late for her and Mr. Knightley.

A preview of this week’s Times Literary Supplement drops a rather tantalizing hint: the soon-to-be-published letters of Samuel Beckett indicate, among other things, that he was influenced by Jane Austen. Well, we’ve been Waiting for Tilney for an awful long time now, so okay. 😉

An article in Time discusses posthumous publications of an author’s work. Jane Austen is mentioned in passing. We figure Jane probably discussed at least the publication of Northanger Abbey and Persuasion with Cassandra and possibly even Henry before she died, and if not, that she would never have begrudged them the bit of money they made on the publication. Jane’s other unpublished manuscripts were given out by Cassandra as remembrances, as were the letters she did not burn. We think that doesn’t mean we, as Jane’s fans, don’t have the right to read them; but we think it’s also important to understand they were only meant as remembrances, and not take them too seriously. Just enjoy them.

That wraps up another week’s Friday Bookblogging, so until next time, Gentle Readers, always remember: Books Are Nice!