The late Kurt Vonnegut is one of the greatest American authors of all time, as evidenced by his masterpiece novel, Slaughterhouse-Five. The book, first published in 1969, follows protagonist Billy Pilgrim—a stand-in for Vonnegut himself—as he deals with the horrors of WWII and continuously becomes “unstuck in time.” Now, over half-a-century later, the classic story is being reimagined as a graphic novel, and its recently released teaser images point to a read where everything is beautiful and nothing hurts (our ability to enjoy Vonnegut’s work in a new medium).
The graphic novel version of Slaughterhouse-Five, which comes via GeekTyrant, is being produced by BOOM! Studios. BOOM! is an American publisher responsible for a plethora of original graphic novels, as well as those adapted from television series, video games, and films. But even though BOOM! has published graphic novel adaptations of everything from Adventure Time to Bill & Ted to Power Rangers, Slaughterhouse-Five doubtlessly presents a next-level charge considering how cherished it is by book lovers and the literary community alike.
In a press release put out by BOOM!, the graphic novel’s author, Ryan North, and its illustrator, Albert Monteys, talked about how they managed to create a graphic novel version of Vonnegut’s seemingly unadaptable sardonic sci-fi story.
“Like most people, Kurt Vonnegut has been one of my favourite writers since I first read his books decades ago, and it’s been such an honour… to adapt his most famous work for a new medium,” Ryan said in the press release. He added that “Slaughterhouse-Five is a deeply funny and deeply moving book, and [his] goal with this project was to keep all of that, while still making something that feels at home in this medium.”
Monteys called the process of adapting the novel both a “challenge” and “opportunity,” and said that he originally thought that it couldn’t be done. “[M]y first reaction was ‘this is one of my favorite books and it can’t be adapted,'” Monteys said in the press release. But once he read North’s script, he found himself “nodding enthusiastically at every great idea, every moving moment, every scene that made [him] want to grab [his] pencil right away.”
And while it’s obviously unclear at this point what’s been included and what’s been dropped for BOOM!’s Slaughterhouse-Five graphic novel adaptation, it seems like the story is in good hands; the teaser images—available in full in the image gallery below—appear to showcase a world painted with appropriately muted colors, and populated by some of the most iconic moments from the novel. The graphic novel’s interpretation of Billy Pilgrim will possibly ignite some disagreement amongst readers, however, as his face can be juxtaposed with Vonnegut’s. But faces are always subjective anyway. (And so it nose….)
When the Slaughterhouse-Five graphic novel is released in September, it will be available for purchase at local comic book shops, bookstores, or the BOOM! Studios webstore. BOOM! says that digital copies will also be available for purchase via comiXology, iBooks, Google Play, and Madefire. There doesn’t seem to be any pricing information available at this time, but BOOM! says it will be announcing more of the project’s details this year via its Twitter account.
What do you think about this Slaughterhouse-Five graphic novel adaptation? Are you going to grab yourself some reimagined Vonnegut loveliness as soon as it’s available, or will you stick to bringing the author’s story to life using only your imagination? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!
Header Image: BOOM! Studios