August 6, 2012

Graphic Novel Review: The Supernaturalist: The Graphic Novel

by Eoin Colfer (Author and Adapter)
Andrew Donkin (Adapter)
Giovanni Rigano (Art)
Paolo Lamanna (Color)

Unwanted by his parents, Cosmo Hill is put to work by the state, testing highly dangerous products. Cosmo realizes he must get away, and escapes with the help of the Supernaturalists, a group of kids who have the same special abilities as Cosmo--they can see supernatural Parasites, creatures that feed on the life force of humans. The Supernaturalists patrol the city at night, hunting the Parasites in hopes of saving what is left of humanity in Satellite City. But soon they find themselves caught in a web far more complicated than they'd imagined, and they discover a horrifying secret that will force them to question everything they believe in.  

With stunning art and nonstop thrills, The Supernaturalist: The Graphic Novel will delight fans already familiar with the story and dazzle readers discovering it for the first time.

My Review:

Setting: (5/5) The graphic novel was set in the third millennium in Satellite City, a city completely controlled by a satellite called the Myishi 9 Satellite. The city is covered by a thick layer of smog and thanks to the chemicals in the air, raindrops are much larger than ours and can cause you to lose an eye if you look up. There also exist creatures, which they call Parasites, that suck life force from people, but their existence is not known by most of the population, as you can only see them if you had a near-death experience. All in all, the setting was masterfully crafted, very detailed, solid, original, and nothing less I'd expect of Eoin Colfer.

Story: (4/5) Cosmo Hill, our main character, is raised in an orphanage. But since Satellite City doesn't have a welfare state, the orphanage makes its money by offering their boys to be used as test subjects, where products such as shampoo, toothpaste and medicine are tested on them. Cosmo knows he doesn't have long to live and so escapes. But a near-death experience makes him able to see Parasites and he gets saved by the Supernaturalists, a group of kids who hunt down Parasites. It was a bit hard to get into the graphic novel in the beginning, but I was soon absorbed. The story is wonderfully weaved and there were many things I never saw coming.  

Artwork: (5/5) The art isn't usually what I go for, as I'm more a manga lover than a graphic novel one. But even I appreciate the art in The Supernaturalist: The Graphic Novel. It's very unique and gives a nice, dark, and dreary feel to the world. Everything is drawn with so much detail and consideration. I find no fault if someone bought the graphic novel purely for the artwork. The only real problem I had was that at the beginning. It was hard to differentiate between Cosmo and his friend Ziplock.  

Main Character: (1/5) I'm sad to say that the only real fault in the graphic novel was the main character. I know that this is based off Eoin Colfer's novel The Supernaturealist (which I have not read), and that Cosmo might have been a better character in the novel, but this is not evident within the graphic novel. He was boring, and there really was nothing to his character. This leaves me very disappointed, as I loved the main character in Eoin Colfer's Artemis Fowl series, and I've also read the graphic novel adaptation of the book, which did fine conveying Artemis' character.

Other Characters: (5/5) Thankfully, the other characters were much better than Cosmo. The Supernatualists were made up of Stefan the leader, who's calm and dutiful, Dotti a sarcastic and smart young man that unfortunately has a child's body and can never grow up (he hates being treated like a kid), and Mona, a former gangster with plenty of spunk (although I was confused about her age). Personally, my favourite was Professor Faustino. She was a great character and very believable. All the other character were just as good and remind me that Eoin Colfer gives all his side characters a personality and makes them interesting characters, no matter how short their appearance. 

Originality: (5/5) The idea of the world, the weapons, the Parasites, the satellite itself and organization (basically everything of the setting!) was original, extremely detailed and very well done.

Other Comments: As I've already mentioned, I did not read The Supernatualist novel, which the graphic novel was adapted from, but I did enjoy it nonetheless. A lot of times, manga and graphic novels adapted from books end up being too confusing and cramped, but this one turned out just fine. And for those that are interested in more graphic novels similar to this, there is Artemis Fowl: The Graphic Novel by the same author and artists with a very similar style to The Supernaturalist: The Graphic Novel.

Overall: (25/30) The main character wasn't anything memorable, but The Supernaturalist: The Graphic Novel has a masterfully crafted setting, a story with many twists and turns, and stunning artwork!


  1. This sounds like a great one! I want to by two/three manga books for my best friend. It's her birthday next week & I saw a Manga online called Kimi Ni Todoke. Have you read it and if you have, what did you think of it? It looks kind of cool, but, I'm not sure. Also there is a Japanese movie made out of it. :) Thanx.

    1. Yes, I have read Kimi Ni Todoke! It's a pretty good manga, the romance is slow but that's fine with me as there was so much character development with the main character, and I loved the friendships she starts making. Plus it was a really cute and sweet overall manga!

  2. Gasp. You mean there are books other than YA. Never!

    Okay, wouldn't manga and graphic novel still be considered YA if it's based on a YA book?

    My son loves reading graphic novels of YA novels that he's read. There's one coming out soon that he can't wait to read.

    1. I wouldn't say that graphic novels/manga based off YA is necessarily still YA. It probably can be classified as the same genre but the format has changed. Sure it has the same story but you wouldn't catch me saying that a TV series based off a book series is the same.

      Graphic novels/manga tell a story through pictures and words are used in dialogue and the barest minimum in descriptions, very different from books.

      And it's perfectly fine if people get introduced to graphic novels/manga because of YA novels; if they start liking graphic novels/manga then they will slowly start trying original works.

  3. This sounds like a well done story. I've never been into dystopian or post-apocalyptic settings, so this probably isn't for me (although there are exceptions). Still, I think a lot of people would enjoy this.