When I read that there was going to be a graphic novel adaptation of Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, my eyes rolled so hard I thought they were going to fall out of my head. No more, I thought. The Dragon Tattoo wave has crashed, and I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that Stieg Larsson is turning in his grave, wishing that he were able to enjoy the financial benefits of his internationally successful Millennium trilogy.
Bad jokes in questionable taste aside, the story about investigative journalist Mikael Blomkvist and goth-y computer hacker Lisabeth Salander who team up to take down a serial killer, has gone through the wringer. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo has spawned both Swedish and American film adaptations. (The other Millennium books, The Girl who Played with Fire and The Girl who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, have also been adapted for film in Sweden, with America versions on their way.) There’s even a TGWTDT-inspired clothing line. There couldn’t possibly be anything else to do with this story, right? Oh, but there is.
DC Comics’ Vertigo imprint has just announced that in November it will publish a graphic novel adaptation of Dragon Tattoo, written by Scottish crime author Denise Mina and illustrated by artists Leonardo Manco and Andrea Mutti.
Despite my initial cynicism about the project, when I read that a talented author would be writing the graphic novel, I perked up a little. There are several amazing genre fiction writers that have authored graphic novels, including Gregg Hurwitz who wrote Penguin: Pain and Prejudice for DC, and Marjorie M. Liu who penned some of the recent installments in the X-23 series for Marvel.
Plus, Mina’s comments about the adaptation couldn’t have been more reassuring that this graphic novel could be amazing:
"Adaptation is interesting because every filter changes every story. Even through what they chose to leave out or emphasize [in the films], each person makes a new story. I think the important thing is to go back to the source material and use that. For example, in the first book Lisbeth gets a tattoo to commemorate being attacked, which I thought was very significant, but it didn't feature at all in either movie adaptation."
I became even more optimistic about the project when I saw the amazing cover, which is positively dripping with sex. Lisabeth graces the cover nude, smoking a cigarette with a coy look on her face, her back slightly turned. The cover stays true to her arm band tattoo, but has replaced the trademark ink on her shoulder blade with an elongated tattoo of the book’s title. Lisabeth’s body takes up most of the cover, which has minimal text (Larsson’s name isn’t very big, and the graphic novel author and artists’ names are tiny), indicating that the character has become so big, that you already know what story it is just by seeing Lisabeth, since she is, after all, the girl with the dragon tattoo.
Kudos to cover artist Lee Bermejo for making this striking image and being willing to take on a subject so much a part of recent pop culture. It’s a big job and not one that I’m sure I’d want to sign up for, that’s for sure!
So I wanna know, what do you think of the cover? Are you burnt out on Dragon Tattoo adaptations or will you be picking up this graphic novel when it hits shelves in November? Let me know in the comments!