Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut is one of the seminal novels of postwar America. Part science fiction tale, part story of World War II and the firebombing of Dresden from the point of view of American POWs, the story of Billy Pilgrim was an immensely important novel and for many their introduction to the late, great novelist Kurt Vonnegut. It is also not an easy book to adapt and defies adaptation in a number of ways, which makes the success of the new graphic novel all the more impressive.
Ryan North is the person behind the weekly Dinosaur Comics, the writer of Marvel’s The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl and the writer of How To Invent Everything. This isn’t his first time tackling literary legends after writing Romeo and/or Juliet and To Be Or Not To Be (both with the help of William Shakespeare). Albert Monteys is an artist and illustrator know for his work on the weekly magazine El Jueves, the series Carlitos Fax and the monthly publication Orgullo y Satisfacción, which he co-founded. His comic Universe! was published online by Panel Syndicate and nominated for an Eisner in 2017.
As someone who has read almost everything Vonnegut ever wrote and has always held the book in great regard, the graphic novel manages to capture and reinvent the spirit and the substance of the book in ways that are shocking, making the story a new experience, even though I knew the text so well. I had to ask the duo a few questions about how they worked and their own relationship to the material.Continue reading “Smash Pages Q&A: Ryan North and Albert Monteys”