The Discworld Graphic Novels: The Colour of Magic and The Light Fantastic
Writer: Terry Pratchett, adapted by Scott Rockwell; Art: Steven Ross, Mira Fairchild; Lettering: Vickie Williams;
As a longtime fan of Terry Pratchett’s work, I was compelled to pick up the hardcover reprint of the Discworld comics The Colour of Magic and The Light Fantastic. I read both novels many years ago, and was interested to see how a Pratchett novel could be adapted to a comic format. The answer: not very well, but also, not extremely poorly.
Both novels’ basic plots are well done, and the Discworld absurdity shines throughout the stories. Rincewind the wizard’s incompetence and well-reasoned cowardice are also portrayed well. The other major and minor characters are sufficiently depicted as they appeared in the novel. The rest of the story makes as much sense as possible for a flat world riding on the backs of four elephants which are standing on the back of a giant turtle.
Unfortunately, the comics do not have the same beauty of language which make the Discworld novels a pleasure to read. The charm of the original series is largely due to how Pratchett created vibrant settings and believable characters through narration. While a comic can have narration, very much of it makes the art unnecessary. After all, why have the pictures when the words are already explaining everything? Once large sections of the text are missing, the comic is clearly a lesser creation than the original novel.
The The Colour of Magic and The Light Fantastic comics fall under the same category as the Discworld maps and music CD. They are not terrible and are worth checking out for any serious collector who must have it all, but everyone else should probably skip it.
Browse in side hardcover collection at Harper-Collins: The Discworld Graphic Novels: The Colour of Magic and The Light Fantastic