IDW Publishing 2015
Adaptation by Ted Adams
Illustrated & Designed by Mark Torres
Coloured by Tomi Varga
I wasn’t sure what this was going to be about but when I read it I realized I had recently seen the movie as part of Svengoolie’s Saturday night movies. This is a fantastic adaptation so far and the first does exactly what it should do and that’s capture the reader’s attention, imagination and brings an excitement to it.
The biggest question is how do you adapt something this well known keeping it as close to the original as possible but also making it relevant today? Well I can safely say that Ted found a way that’s for sure the way he’s gone back and forth between his current predicament and how it all started and began is well done here. With the catalyst appearing on the first page happening through unknown origins in 1956 the technology and science available at the time well it’s more limited than we think about making what he goes through even more thrilling.
I love the interior artwork by Mark and Tomi too. The emotion that comes off Scott’s face throughout this whole thing, and that of his wife’s as well, is fantastic as you see the worry, fear and even resignation and a sense of weariness come off him it’s really good. Also throughout his shrinking we see how the perspective changes and that’s really well done through the artwork too. That the perspective is done so well makes the story so much believable for me.
Poor Scott the emotion, i’ll use that word a lot because it’s essential to the main character here, we see from the writing and artwork taking it’s toll on him with his unique condition and toll it takes on his sanity shines through nicely here as well. I mean who wants to be poked and prodded by doctors all the time as a scientific curiosity? Aside from the real question as to how the heck this could have happened the real interesting stuff is the human drama between husband and wife and then the human will to survive against impossible odds. Both of which are being handled in such great ways.
This is a prime example of how to take what we now call classic literature and make it more accessible to a new audience who probably wouldn’t have been exposed to it otherwise. Heck even myself it makes me want to go out and see if Half Price Books has a copy to reread it and discover it all over again. It’s important to remember where a lot of stories come from and i’m sure books like the Shrinking Man had some sort of influence on characters like the Atom or vice versa and that literature over the ages has shaped comics creators in so many ways. This retelling of such an interesting here and now in this medium just goes to show how powerful an impact comics can have.
Classics Illustrated may be a thing of the past but thankfully the influence of books and bringing them to us this way has evolved into series like this one.