Book to Graphic Novel Adaptations

Comics for Newbies: Book to Graphic Novel Adaptations

If you weren’t aware, Panels puts out a yearly comics reading challenge with prompts that help you read more diversely. This year I’m participating in a modified version where I combined prompts from the Panels and Book Riot Read Harder challenges and one of the prompts that I picked out from the Panels list was “Read a comic based on a book and the book it’s based on.”

That got my thinking – there are SO many great graphic novel adaptations of books and classic literature out there, and for book lovers what better way to test the waters of graphic novels and comics then by reading an adaptation of one of your favourite books? Check out these great book to graphic novel adaptations:

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

A Wrinkle in Time

Book to Graphic Novel Adaptations
image source: MacMillan Publishing

Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time is a true childhood classic.  I remember reading the novel in my Children’s Lit class in university and one of the topics that came up repeatedly in discussion was how perfect L’Engle’s imagery would be for a illustrated book. This graphic novel came out a year later, to nothing but praise and I can understand why.

If you’re a fan of the book, the graphic novel adaptation by Hope Larson will not disappoint. It’s a pretty accurate adaption with very simple, but stunning blue and black illustrations. While there are concepts in L’Engle’s book that most will agree, sort of defy illustration – Larson has done a fantastic job of adapting such a beloved childhood book into a new medium.

This is definitely the book and graphic novel that I’ll be reading to satisfy that prompt for my Read Harder challenge.

Ender’s Game

Book to Graphic Novel Adaptations
image source: io9

Ender’s Game is one of those books that most of us were forced to read in school. Now, I’m one of those people that as much as I appreciate the book looking back – if you’re going to force me to read something I’m more than likely going to hate it (mainly out of spite). This is one of the reasons I think adapting a book like Ender’s Game into a graphic novel is such a good idea.  A new medium will not only appeal to new readers, but could perhaps convince old readers like me to give the book a second chance.

With that being said, Christopher Yost has done a fantastic job at remaining true to the novel – it helps that the novel’s writer, Orson Scott Card oversees the issues, so if you’re a fan of the novel you will not be disappointed.

Fahrenheit 451: The Authorized Adaptation

Book to Graphic Novel Adaptations
image source: Amazon

Tim Hamilton’s adaptation of the popular 1950s novel on censorship and conformity remains very faithful to the novel by Ray Bradbury (who writes the introduction). Hamilton’s illustrations do a great job of getting across the dark, and often desperate tones of the original novel, though if you don’t appreciate the novel this adaptation may not be for you.

Dracula

Book to Graphic Novel Adaptations
image source: Forbidden Planet

Bram Stoker’s Dracula is one of my favourite classic novels, but I definitely believe it was meant to be experienced with visuals – be it as a play, or now a graphic novel. Jason Cobley has adapted the iconic novel very faithfully by using the original text (there’s also a ‘modern English’ version available), and the illustrations are in a style that lends itself to the novel, rather than being a modernization. As something that’s become so ingrained in pop culture, Dracula is a must read for everyone and this graphic novel makes it much more accessible to new readers (so you have no excuse!).


There are so many great book to graphic novel adaptations out there, these are just a few of the popular titles available as a graphic novel. If you have a favourite literary adaptation let me know in the comments.

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25 thoughts on “Comics for Newbies: Book to Graphic Novel Adaptations

  1. This is fantastic! I’ve yet to break into the world of comics and graphic novels. I’ll have to give one of these a try 🙂

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  2. I sometimes have a hard time finishing classics that I “should” read… Graphic novels might be a good way for me to finally read them. Thanks for the list!

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    • Glad you liked it. I think Graphic Novels, while some are COMPLETELY true to the books would still be a great way of reading classic literature. Especially some of the classics that are harder to get through.

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  3. If you’re looking for something newer, read Gail Carriger’s Parasol Protectorate (and even her Finishing school) series. Then, read the Soulless Manga series… where you get to know her characters even better

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  4. Confession time: I have never read A Wrinkle In Time. I know. However, I really like Hope Larson’s work, so I think I’ll have to find her adaptation. I’m also really enjoying the Skottie Young versions of the Oz books that Marvel put out a while ago.

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    • The Oz books are one of those things that I’ve always MEANT to read but never got around to. I’ll have to see if my library has them now.

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  5. This is such a great post! I had no idea there was an Ender’s Game graphic novel! I definitely want to check that out. I’ve read the book and loved it (we didn’t have to read that one in school, so I got pick up at my leisure as an adult) but I’d love to see the story play out with visuals!

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    • If you do read them, I’d love to know what you think! I haven’t read many book to graphic novel adaptations and I’m always interested in how people receive them because it seems like EVERY adaptation is very much 50/50 whether people like it or people hate it because it’s not the original.

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  6. Ooo… Fahrenheit 451 and Ender’s Game look amazing. I used to be big into graphic novels. I started collecting the Anita Blake series – but stopped for some reason. Totally need to check these out. Thanks.

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  7. Okay, like Erin, I had no idea that graphic novels based on books existed!! These all look incredible! Especially the Ender’s Game one, I’m such a big fan of that series<3

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    • I couldn’t stand Ender’s game in school…like I said, mainly because I was forced to read it but the graphic novel actually interests me and I’d definitely consider giving it a second try in GN format.

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    • I think a lot of people don’t realize it’s a thing, but there’s a ton of adaptations out there for everything from Shakespeare to Pride and Prejudice.

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    • I love Dracula, I haven’t read this version but I picked up another one from the library a few years back that was pretty good. This uses the real text from the book though, so it’s likely much better than the one I read.

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