Sense and Sensibility is not my favorite Austen (that honor goes to Persuasion), but after re-reading it a couple of months ago, I found that I was able to notice some of the nuances of character that I missed when I first read it. I was able to note more of the comic elements and barbed social commentary throughout the novel, and particularly during Lucy’s meetings with Elinor. I gained a new appreciation for Elinor and Marianne.
That said, the holidays seemed like the perfect time to read Marvel Illustrated’s adaptation of Sense & Sensibility by Nancy Butler and illustrated by Sonny Liew. Given that SS is one of Austen’s longest novels, adapting the text into a comic book format, speech bubbles and all, could not have been an easy feat. Butler’s text manages to retain the essence of the original, while Liew’s illustrations help reveal complexities of character and plot that might otherwise be lost in the simplified narrative.
My only complaints are that a few of the characters, especially Colonel Brandon, reminded me a bit too much of the actors in the BBC’s 2008 adaptation, and that Lucy was presented as a much more sympathetic character than she was in the book.
Nevertheless, I like it as a graphic novel and can see this being a great way to engage students in a class on visual-textual literacy.