Adapting a prose novel into graphic novel form is no easy task. When it's one of the most-beloved books of the century, it's even harder. We asked Denise Mina to share the challenges and opportunities of adapting The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo into the upcoming graphic novel edition. For a sneak peek at this hotly-anticipated book, download a free sample here.

 

 

Adaptation is exactly what most writers don’t want to do. It’s comparatively badly paid. It’s low status. Worse, with a book this well known, it invites a forensic examination of your adaptation by people who know what they’re talking about. 

 

Basically, it’s like volunteering for a difficult exam you don’t need to do.

 

Still, I couldn’t resist. I love these books but that isn’t enough to make me want to adapt it.

 

No, the reason is this: Larson was a political radical. He was a feminist, anti-fascist, suspicious of corporate culture. He was a social critic and that’s what these books are really about.

 

Larsson knew that political journalism is read by people who are interested in political journalism. He also knew that everyone reads good crime novels.

 

But it’s easy to forget he’s a radical. Example: Salander visits her mother, a brain-damaged victim of domestic abuse. For me, that’s what makes Salander flip when she’s attacked. Her mother isn’t even in the Fincher movie.

 

The corporate fraud hardly features in either of the movies but, in fairness, complex fraud is almost unfilmable, unless you have a big white board and a bumbling sidekick to explain everything to. Suggested dialogue:

 

“So, Wannerström’s box factory in Poland was not fully operational at any time and yet attracted large government grants, Mikael Blomkvist?”

 

“Yes, Idiöt Sidekick.”

 

I don’t think Larsson was writing for the money. I think he was doing it because he really cared about the dispossessed, the outsiders, the overlooked, everyday victims of corporate and state brutality. All of these points get watered down or completely lost in mainstream culture.

 

That’s why I did it. Go on, yourself, Steig, some of us were listening.

 

 

Comments
by georgevreilly on ‎10-05-2012 03:30 AM

On a 10" Android (Asus Transformer) tablet, this displays as a series of black-on-black pages in the Nook app. A Nook Color is just a warmed over Android tablet, right? Very disappointing.

by Eros-Ashima ‎10-05-2012 07:57 AM - edited ‎10-05-2012 08:16 AM

 Looks interesting...

by MrsJazzFan on ‎10-06-2012 02:29 PM

Awesome! NOT! I got it... I ordered this on my Nook Tablet and was charged $9.09 plus tax... even though my receipt said it was free. Spent 38 minutes on the phone with the most frustrating CS rep ever (so not kidding) and they said that is the price. However, as a one time courtesy, they will refund me. I gave up. I asked for a supervisor 6 times during the phone call and I am sad to say, that I ended the phone call with a lecture on how to give a customer respect when they ask for a supervisor, and get the supervisor.

 

For the record- the rep told me that last month this was free, this month it is not. And they have no control over honoring prices placed on the internet. Nice to see it was posted yesterday, on this blog, even though it is no longer free by BN standards.