Reading the Graphic Novel
The Graphic Novel (Or trade paperback) version of Neverwhere is the collected edition of DC/Vertigo’s comic series of the book by Mike Carey and Glenn Fabry. You can find it on Amazon HERE.
It’s a strange thing to see a completely new visual take on something that was very much established by the TV series but, fortuntely, Fabry seems to manage to keep his tendency to make everyone over muscled somewhat in check. The overall vision is much more out-and-out fantastical than the TV series – unlimited by the BBC budget obviously – but it loses a little something in that I think, there’s less of a feeling of weirdness at the edges, which is important to Neverwhere in my opinion, and it plunges more directly into a complete, Alice in Wonderland, otherspace.
Particularly jarring, though I don’t know why, is the depiction of Croup and Vandemar who were so very well played in the TV series that it’s hard to see them any other way, though the idea of a Dickensian Fagin and a giant Teddy Boy are great they just don’t quite gel with C&V as written, for me.
This is all good stuff to see as this time around I’ve gone more with the idea of a reinterpretation, especially art-wise, so the approach in the Graphic Novel is a good, cautionary tale to see what’s right and what’s wrong.
All the characters, save those from London Above are much more exaggerated. Door looks like a goth-punk princess rather than a homeless girl and The Marquis is a (literally) black skinned dandy in 18th century finery.
There’s some new bit characters, like Don, sniffing after Jessica, that could be incorporated in and some new ideas like Old Bailey claiming to have been trained by Egon Ronay (to stew Rook? I think not…). Islington is a proper, winged angel and very androgynous, which works well as an image and is more in keeping with ideas of angels, though an angel stripped of its wings is also effectual.
There’s a half dozen extra hints, people and background details that can be worked up into something for the game, so re-reading that’s been quite useful. Onto the book next and my DVD copy of the series should arrive in a day or two!