Spanish artist Pablo Auladell battled with demons and angels for some years before he ultimately created a graphic novel based upon the landmark in English lit, John Milton’s “Paradise Lost.” As many a college student will attest, reading this masterpiece can be a bit of slog, but a noble slog. As you immerse yourself in the text, the imagery comes alive. And so this is what happens when a skilled and nimble artist interprets this mighty tome. You get, “Paradise Lost: A Graphic Novel” The new translation by Angela Gurria has just been published by Pegasus Books.
For those familiar as well as new to it, this artful take on Milton’s most famous work is quite satisfying. It’s fascinating to study how Auladell went about interpreting some of the most iconic characters and images of all time. No doubt, it wasn’t easy. As anyone who has ever fancied going about creating their own graphic novel (good luck) and actually followed through, the whole process is quite time-consuming. The level of commitment is very demanding. Auladell is certainly up to the task.
The only expectation for the reader is that here is a compelling reimagining of Milton’s epic poem on humanity’s fall from grace. Here is the monumental clash between God and Satan, good and evil, and life and death. For Auladell, he’s accomplished an ambitious work, put his personal stamp upon one of the greatest work of the ages.
A work at this level is years in the making. Not days or months but years. There are so many people who wish to create their own graphic novel. But are they really prepared to put in the time required to create something worthwhile? Well, perhaps with the right combination of passion and persistence, each hopeful can achieve their particular dream. One key to all this is pacing one’s self. That’s the big secret. You need to pace yourself. Auladell did exactly that. He embarked upon one phase of the book and then another with no guarantee of a final result other than what pure persistence might promise. One creates hooks for one’s self. For example, Auladell chose to place a jaunty hat upon Satan’s head. That’s a hook that helps to inspire him to draw a legion of demons flying up ahead and so on down the line.
So this book is as much as study on the work itself as a study on the progress of creating such a work. As Auladell states in his introduction, he is self-conscious of how the work developed in stages. But to the reader, it will read as a smooth narrative due to an overall consistent quality. In Auladell’s case, he has already set the bar high so we are going from excellent work to even greater work.
“Paradise Lost: A Graphic Novel” is a 320-page hardcover available as of April 4, 2017. For more details, visit Pegasus Books right here.
8 responses to “Review: ‘Paradise Lost: A Graphic Novel’”
There is a recent French comics or more accurately a Lebanese comics translated in French, Ville avoisinant la Terre from Jorj A Mhaya, the best comics I have seen in many years, to my taste indeed : multilayer story, with plenty of freedom for individual interpretation, fantastic drawing, very expressive faces. Many thanks for the blog, Henry.
Jorj A Mhaya is new to me. It is a relatively select group but there are quite a number of amazing cartoonists out there. I like what I see of his work. Gilles, do you have any suggestions beyond Amazon as to where to purchase Jorj’s work in the U.S.? I’ll keep an eye out. I imagine an English translation of one of his books is not too far away.
I’ve been looking for an English translation of Ville Avoisinant le Terre for my friends at work. I could not find any … but this does not mean there is none. Have a great day, Henry.
Thanks! I appreciate the tip. Your observations are always welcome!
Yes! Thanks for your comment, Jay.
Impressive! And amusing. Is that Lucifer in the trilby hat?
Yes, that’s right. A brilliant look for him.