Monday, July 18, 2011

Graphic Novel Review: The Last Unicorn


Media Type: Graphic Novel
Title: The Last Unicorn
Author: Peter S. Beagle
Illustrator: Renae De Liz, Ray Dillon
Publisher: IDW
Pages: Hardcover; 152
Release Date: January 25, 2011
Source: Netgalley

Whimsical. Lyrical. Poignant. Adapted for the first time from the acclaimed and beloved novel by Peter S. Beagle, The Last Unicorn is a tale for any age about the wonders of magic, the power of love, and the tragedy of loss. The unicorn, alone in her enchanted wood, discovers that she may be the last of her kind. Reluctant at first, she sets out on a journey to find her fellow unicorns, even if it means facing the terrifying anger of the Red Bull and malignant evil of the king who wields his power.
Adapted by Peter B. Gillis and lushly illustrated by Renae De Liz and Ray Dillon.


My copy of The Last Unicorn was so dog eared and well loved when I was younger that it fell apart a little bit after my twelfth birthday. We won't even go in to how worn out the tape in my VHS was. This story...is beautiful. If you haven't read the original work, it's a masterpiece. A story of bravery, of love lost, of friendship and hardship. This isn't your average fairy tale and I love it so much for that.

Of course when I found out that there was to be a graphic novel I was overjoyed! A little wary as well, since I wasn't sure if the beauty of my favorite story would stay intact. I'm here to say, as a lover of Peter S. Beagle, there isn't a single element missing in this graphic novel. In fact, I daresay it gives it a whole new life. I am so glad that this epic story will be spread to a new group of readers!

The illustrations in this book are utterly, mouth dropping to the floor, gorgeous. They are vivid and fanciful, while still keeping one foot firmly planted in reality (albeit an alternate one). What I loved most was the use of light and dark. When things are going well the illustrations are bright and colorful. As soon as things start to go poorly, the pages become dark and dangerous. In all honesty even if you weren't able to read, the illustrations tell the story all on their own.

However obviously if you are already a lover of The Last Unicorn then you'll want to read the story. The beauty of this graphic novel is that, although the story has been shortened for this purpose, it remains beautifully intact just the same. The words still flow off the page, and mesh into the illustrations. All my favorite parts were still there to make my eyes tear up and take me back. In fact, I think these new illustrations may be my favorite part. It's like a new take on something that is so comfortable, and they did it right.

I'm rambling now I know. Suffice it to say that this graphic novel is fantastic. If you are a long time fan of this story, you'll fall in love all over again. If this is the first time you're coming in, I promise you'll be enamored. Hopefully you'll join the ranks of fangirls and fanboys who are utterly enthralled by this story. I know this just further reminded me why I fell in love in the first place.




FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.

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