Really, we’re off that board in a number of ways.
It’s not like it’s something new for “comic book” writers and illustrators to adapt classic works of fiction and non-fiction into the form of sequential art. DC Comics published a visual history of the The Bible in 1975 by industry legends Sheldon Mayer and Joe Kubert. Robert Crumb adapted The Book of Genesis nearly a decade ago. And, of course, we’ve seen countless visual versions of much-loved novels by industry favourites such as Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle In Time by Hope Larson, Richard Stark’s Parker by Darwyn Cooke, Beowulf by Santiago Garcia and David Rubin, Paul Auster’s City of Glass by Paul Karasik and David Mazzucchelli, and the works of H.P. Lovecraft – by various creators in various publications.
These, of course, are just a few.
The interesting thing is that mainstream publishers of traditional fiction and non-fiction formats have gotten in on the graphic novel game in a big way over the last decade.
And today, big time mainstream publisher Simon & Schuster, known more for those traditional formats of fiction and non-fiction, dip their toes in the warm pool of sequential art with the release of the visual version of Pulitzer Prize winning novel, The Good Earth!
The Good Earth – H/C Graphic Novel
Written By: Pearl S. Buck
Graphic Adaptation By: Nick Bertozzi
Published By: Simon & Schuster
The Good Earth, written by Nobel Prize winner, Pearl S. Buck, is a sweeping story about the rise and fall of Chinese farmers on the cusp of the First World War. It was first published in 1931 and subsequently turned into a film from MGM in the middle part of the twentieth century. The Good Earth depicts a time of immense change in the history of Chinese civilization – a time that saw the reign of last Emperor of China amidst the enormous political upheaval the country was experiencing in the first few decades of the 1900’s. Indeed, it was the end of an era and historic culture for the beginning of a new one.
After publication, The Good Earth promptly won the Pulitzer Prize. And, when it made Oprah’s Book Club selection a number of years ago, the still-relevant novel was introduced to a brand new audience.
With his graphic adaptation, writer and artist Nick Bertozzi hopes to do that again – this time for visual art and comic book and graphic novel lovers.
Bertozzi isn’t new to the visual adaptation genre. He’s previously published graphic novels that were, in essence, adaptations of historic events and adventurous people. These include: Becoming Andy Warhol (with Pierce Hargan in 2016), Shackleton: Antarctic Odyssey (2014), Lewis and Clark (2011), and Houdini: The Handcuff King (with Jason Lutes in 2007).
At 144 pages, The Good Earth is a brilliant hardcover visual representation of a classic and important novel, available today at all finer comic book stores and book stores. You can catch a sneak peek of it right here.
Make the Wednesday Run to your closest shop and pick a piece of artistic history that is just as relevant today in its story as it is in its presentation!