Books: Graphic Novel | Fantasy

Stardust (1997)

Stardust (1997) Neil Gaiman & Charles Vess

I've been a fan of Stardust for years. In fact it is the first comic I ever bought, although I called it a book, because it had, you know, lots of words and stuff. And didn't really look like a comic.

I eventually got over that, and it was with Neil Gaiman's Sandman series.

I'd wanted to reread Stardust last year, when it was time for the Stardust movie to come out. But I knew that if I did that, then I would compare the book and the movie, and that rarely works out well for me. And then after the movie came out, and I love it, I decided again to wait to reread it, so I'd keep the comic and the movie separate.

What's amusing is that there were things I thought the movie added that were in the book, they were just different. I also discovered that there were parts of the movie I actually liked better than the written counterpart. (Like Septimus. I loved Septimus in the movie. But he's a non-entity in the comic.) But I did prefer the last interaction with the witch in the comic more than the movie. It felt more real in the comic, whereas it was a Hollywood ending in the movie. (But at least it was a well done Hollywood ending.)

So, why should you read the comic if you've seen the movie? Because the comic is different in many places from the movie. In some places it's better, in other places I liked the movie better, but it is a different medium, and the story is told in a much different manner.

Plus, there's boinking in the comic.

Victoria isn't quite the goody-goody in the book she is in the movie. I particularly like the scene where Victoria is apologizing to Tristram after he returns. You can see that she's had a hard time since the town discovered she drove Tristram off, but she is willing to do the right thing. It's a nice touch.

I also liked that Tristram had a family in the book–that Dunstan had married, and Tristram had a sister. He truly left something behind in the book, where there isn't that sense of loss in the movie. You also see a changed relationship with his mother, though you see it more in the artwork than in the writing.

But of course the main thing is that it is Neil Gaiman's writing, and why would you miss any chance to read his writing?

If you've seen and enjoyed Stardust, then you should check out the comic. If you're a Neil Gaiman fan, then you read Stardust a long time ago, so why are you reading this review?

Published by Vertigo

March 2008 | Rating: 8/10