Wednesday, October 1, 2014

A New Take On A Legendary Antihero

I have long preferred novels (the written kind) to novels of the graphic kind, and I haven’t collected a comic book in more than twenty-five years. But last week, I learned of a new graphic adaptation of Michael Moorcock’s fantasy classic Elric of Melniboné – and, according to one source, Moorcock thinks this adaptation may be superior to his original stories.

Before the Iron Throne, there was the Ruby Throne.
The news came from io9, which publishes very cool tidbits from the SF&F world. The graphic adaptation by Julien Blondel and Robin Recht is titled Elric: The Ruby Throne, and volume 1(published by Titan) is available now. For those unfamiliar with the story, Elric is the sorcerer king of Melniboné, an Atlantis-like island surrounded by the Young Kingdoms. He is also a sickly albino who takes potions to maintain his health – until he discovers the enchanted sword Stormbringer, which can steal souls to give him strength. But the sword is sentient and evil, and it threatens Elric’s soul most of all.

The original classic!
As I’ve written before, Elric of Melniboné is one of the greatest antiheros in vintage fantasy fiction. And if this graphic adaptation is as good as Michael Moorcock thinks about his famous creation, I’ll have to check it out. Here’s a snippet from io9’s interview with author about the latest take on his classic tale.
io9: What makes this your favorite comic adaptation of Elric?
Michael Moorcock: It has all the romance and decadence of the old Gothics brought into modern times just as I brought the angst and self-questioning of the revolutionary 1960s to the character, without losing what I hope is a sense of myth. I have loved a lot of Elrics and particularly enjoyed working with Walter Simonson on two successful Elric projects (as well as Hawkmoon). But this takes Elric in many ways back to his roots in European folklore and fiction.
You can read the rest of io9’s interview here – it’s well worth it!

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