Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Stand Volume 2: American Nightmares


Here is the hard, cold truth...once you start this series, you won't be able to stop. The concept of Stephen King's The Stand is compelling enough - a super flu wipes out 99% of the earth's population, leaving only the good and the evil to fight it out to determine who will rule the world. The words themselves are graphic and frightening, but seeing the reality of it spring to life in graphic novel form is a whole different animal.

It started with Volume 1: Captain Trips, which was a birthday prezzie from The Bumbles. I promptly ordered the next two volumes, which are the only ones available at this point.

Pretty much the entire population has died of the flu at this point. The wagons begin circling, and the line between the good and evil has been clearly drawn. Everyone begins to have dreams of The Walking Dude (the devil or a high level minion) and of a little old black woman living in the cornfields of Nebraska named Mother Abigail. Stu escapes from the CDC in Vermont, and meets up with Glen Bateman, his dog Kojak, Fran and Harold (and oh I wish I could find a picture of Harold...he is just repulsive), Nick leaves his post as the jailer of Shoyo, Arkansas and heads for Mother Abigail. We meet the Trashcan Man (no doubt who's side HE will be on):





















And also catch up with Lloyd Henreid, the miscreant trapped in an Arizona prison, starving and going a little insane:





















Probably one of the most vivid scenes in this volume is also one of the most vivid in the printed book, and that is Larry Underwood's trek through the Lincoln Tunnel. You know, the long, dark tunnel full of dead people?






















Like Volume 1, the plot in Volume 2 is very true to the original story, as far as I can remember. As with the book, once the virus has done its horrific damage, the pace starts to slow a little, and our characters begin to trudge down the road of no return. The scenes are no less shocking, however, and the artists are clearly enjoying themselves.

It appears that the artists have decided to give us little bonuses with each volume. In this one, in addition to offering different cover variants, they explain how inking and shading is used to create mood and texture. They also stress the importance of making particular scenes (New York for example) authentic. It is almost more awesomeness than one fangirl of Stephen Kind can handle. Stay tuned next week for Volume 3...

5 out of 5 stars


11 comments:

farmlanebooks said...

I still haven't read any Stephen King, but The Stand really appeals to me. I think I might read it later in the year and then perhaps move onto these graphic novels at a later date. It is always good when you enjoy books this much!

Julie P. said...

We read THE STAND for my book club a few years back. I was surprised by how relevant the book still is. The graphic novels look amazing!

bermudaonion said...

I'm just not sure this is for me, but I bet Vance would love it!!

Zibilee said...

You know, I have never read The Stand, but I am thinking that these graphic novels are the way to go. Would it be too crazy to put everything in one volume? If that ever happens, I will be the first to buy a copy. I also think that the artwork is gorgeous! I am glad you are enjoying these so much. I know this is a favorite book for you!

rhapsodyinbooks said...

The pictures you include look like perfect illustrations for Part II of The Stand. ..although personally, I would prefer to forget the rat scene! :--)

The Bumbles said...

I love these illustrations - the colors and striking characters. They remind me of the movie Sin City - which I loved.

I'm so glad you are enjoying your trip down memory lane with this tale!

Iliana said...

I just had a conversation about The Stand with a friend. Well, one-sided as I haven't read it :)

Now, this graphic novel, how many volumes are there? I would like to eventually read the book but I'm kind of intrigued by the graphic one first.

Nymeth said...

Wow... the art is certainly impressive. As I think I told you when you reviewed volume I, I want to read the original novel first, but I'll keep this in mind for afterwards.

Kathleen said...

The art in this novel looks incredible and I already know I love the story having read the novel. This is hard to resist!

Michele at Reader's Respite said...

I'm guessing these books are much better than the made-for-tv miniseries? LOL...I just finished watching that and the movie was horrid.

Jenners said...

Having just read Michael Chabon's "The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay" (which is all about the "comic book" art form, I would probably appreciate these books and the artists comments more. I remember the tunnel scene vividly ... and hearing you recount the story is bringing it all back to me.