Comic corner: Previously peculiar ponderings

Cover for 'Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children'
Cover for ‘Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children’

‘Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children: The Graphic Novel’ review

By Brittney MacDonald, Life & Style Editor


With the boom in graphic novel popularity, seeing previously loved books—especially ones within a popular series—trying to make the crossover into this medium is a very common sight. With a movie starring Eva Green on its way to theatres, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is no different. But despite beautiful artwork, this iteration just didn’t live up to the original.

Written by original series author Ransom Riggs, the plot remains very close to the original. Soon after the death of his grandfather, 16-year-old Jacob sets out to see if all his grandfather’s strange stories about remarkably odd children that he met during World War II were real, or just simple fantasy.

Where this novel falters is the transition from text to visual format. Something purely literary is generally more forgiving when it comes to tonality. Attitudes, emotion, and even subtext can be inferred through use of syntax or narrative voice. However, this is not true for graphic novels. Therefore, books that rely heavily on inference must find a way of adapting their narrative to accommodate this deficit. Unfortunately, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children didn’t make the cut, and instead went for a bare bones translation, so all the dark humour and creepy undertones from the original book are lost.

One of the most endearing things about this novel is the artwork. The art done by Cassandra Jean—who is the artist behind the graphic novelization of the Beautiful Creatures series—is smooth, with a heavy manga influence. The pages generally feature a simplistic layout, with minimal panels, and incorporate real photos at times as a means of adding more visual intrigue. On a personal note, I would have preferred to see a little more time spent on the backgrounds and the surrounding space, but it’s possible this was a stylistic choice.

I wouldn’t say this is a novel for everyone, but for people who are familiar with, and fans of, the series, I would definitely advise them to pick it up.