Image © George R.R. Martin.
Some may find it odd that I love the original novels in this series, have little interest in watching the TV version, but am enjoying this comics adaptation. I think it’s because the story is full of violence and cruelty which I find easier to digest in these forms, at my own pace, rather than having it thrust at me on a screen. Warm mediums like printed books and comics require a reader’s mental participation, cool ones like movies and TV are self-contained. Or that’s my take on the old Marshall McLuhan theory.
Daniel Abraham is doing a fine job of adapting the story to comics. There is a fair amount of exposition, but I think it’s needed with such a complex story and so many characters. A number of them narrate, with the lettering using different colors in the captions to help indicate which ones. My one problem with the book is that some of those captions are very dark, making the lettering hard to read. My rule of thumb is, when the color in a balloon or caption contains more than a combined 50% of cyan and magenta (blue and red ink), the lettering should be reversed out white for better readability.
This collection of issues 7 to 12 of the comic begins at The Wall, that northern barrier meant to keep out ancient evils of the icy north. Like most things in this world, it’s failing, a theme often repeated. Back in the capital city, a tournament is proposed that thrills young Sansa, daughter of the king’s right-hand man, but lots of threats are brewing below the surface: plots and counterplots, always the way things go in this book. The tournament is a grand affair that turns deadly for one person. Meanwhile, The Hand’s wife Catelyn has captured the dwarf, Tyrion, and fled with him to her sister’s castle high in a tall mountain peak, and across the ocean, Daenerys, the young bride of a fierce warlord, and perhaps the one-day heir to the throne of Westeros, is having more trouble with her own petulant brother than any of her new subjects.
Lots to enjoy here. The art by Tommy Patterson is quite good, though at times his faces seem a bit wooden. Overall he does a nice job, though.