Award-winning cartoonist Hope Larson worked on her latest graphic novel for a long time. In taking on the enviable challenge of adapting Madeleine L’Engle’s classic children’s novel “A Wrinkle In Time” for Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Released last week as part of the 50th Anniversary celebration for that beloved text, Larson’s take on heroine Meg Murry’s journey through a world of science fiction, fantasy and family is an intensely faithful adaptation, and as such, it took many years and nearly 400 pages to put the whole story together.
Larson has been working on the book so long, in fact, that CBR spoke with her about its progress at the 2011 (yes, that’s right) WonderCon in San Francisco. Below, she explains what the process of bringing a classic to comics as well as her incoming magical girl graphic novel “Whois AC?” with art from Tintin Pantoja set for release this April.
On knowing who your audience is: If you think too hard about how many people are seeing the book and what they’re background is – if they know comics or if they don’t know comics -Â it just kind of cripples you. So I’ve tried to approach it as much like one of my own books as possible.
On turning the novel’s heady ideas into visuals: Most of the ideas are in the dialogue, and most of the dialogue is in the comic. There were a few things that ended up being represented visually. Like, the thing with the ants? The wrinkle in time? Everybody remembers the little illustration [of that] from the actual novel, so I have a little bit of fun with that. And the math is in there, but she explains it in very visual terms. It’s like things getting cubed…and you can draw that as a cube. [Laughs] So it works out very well.
On the influences of “Whois AC?”: The problem is that I started referring to the book in public as “the magical girl book” and now I feel like if I use the title, people won’t know what I’m talking about. So the title is “Whois AC?” And “Whois” is one word like internet slang. So that’s what it’s called, and it’s kind of like “Sailor Moon.” And I could actually not get into [the “Sailor Moon”] manga. I’ve watched the show, and I’m working through Season 2 of “Sailor Moon” right now, but the manga is kind of insane. Her cartooning is really messed up, and it’s kind of hard to follow. It’s really confusing and not very intuitive. And I read a lot of manga, so it’s not just a manga issue. I feel like it’s her specifically, though her art is gorgeous.
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