The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle illustrated by Renae De Liz and Ray Dillon is a beautiful rendered adaptation of the original fantasy classic. This graphic novel uses Beagle’s words, however, in an abridged format, so the original text isn’t presented in entirety, but if it was then I guess this would be the illustrated edition and not graphic novel which is a whole new awesome medium for the story. Yet the original meaning of The Last Unicorn is retained.
So the plot in a nutshell because I’ve already reviewed the original work: The Last Unicorn alive finds out that she is the last one and so goes on a journey to find out what happened to the other unicorns. Along the way she makes new friends, discovers different things about human nature, and learns the true fate of the unicorns. You can find a more detailed explanation in my review of The Last Unicorn.
The art in the graphic novel of The Last Unicorn is gorgeous. I felt the illustrators had an excellent use of colors. For instance the pictures just pop right off the page because the illustrations are bright. Yet when bad things happen, the pictures go dark. The characters aren’t all pointy and angular, but nicely rounded. There aren’t any abstract pictures, yet the drawings retain a fanciful quality. I thought the art really breathed a new life into this fabulous classic.
There is also BONUS CONTENT which includes an interview with Peter S. Beagle in the back. I honestly found this interview to be fascinating. I won’t go into strict details, but my favorite part was this story Beagle told about going to a convention. He figures no one will know who he is at the convention. Anyways these two gang banger Latino guys comes up to his table and asks if he is the guy who wrote The Last Unicorn. Beagle says yes. And they proceed to tell him this story about how The Last Unicorn saved them, which was incredibly touching and unexpected and worth reading the interview for.
I think The Last Unicorn graphic novel would be an appropriate read for the fantasy-inclined younger reader. The only scary parts were when the Red Bull would show up, and I don’t believe that’s enough to traumatize someone. Also, there are no swears at all. I do think this could be a gateway graphic novel and may convince the reader to try the original source, as this does justice to the original.
Disclosure: Received for review via Netgalley.