Today, Abercrombie announced via his blog the project he has been teasing over the last few days, The First Law graphic novel. I have to say, I'm a bit surprised that it didn't get more pre-promotion aside from a few days of teases, but as you'll see from my review of the first issue, it's worth picking up.
They are making it very easy for fans to get their hands on this book, in fact you can read the first twelve pages free at firstlawcomic.com. New pages will be added every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. And if you are dying to get your hands on the whole twenty four page issue right this second, you can buy it on Comixology for only 99 cents. Following the debut issue, the price there will rise to the more standard comic price of $2.99. After four issues are out, they will be collected into a hardcover graphic novel with bonus material for fans that like to hold their books in their hands.
Blind Ferret is producing the comic, with Chuck Dixon doing the adaption and Andie Yong on art. Some fans have already addressed their own issues with the art, which Abercrombie addressed on his blog:
When you work with an artist, my feeling is you’ve got to give them the leeway to draw it as they see it. I’ve had an awful lot of input at every stage. Full editorial control, indeed, though I’ve generally gone for a fearsomely firm yet lovingly gentle touch. But, in a sense, this is Andie Tong’s vision of the material, given extra verve and variety by Pete’s colours. It’s one possible interpretation. One that’s evolved as we’ve worked on it, and no doubt will continue to evolve. But it’s one that I fully endorse, and am very proud of.Abercrombie's work has always been easy for me to picture as a movie, and when a movie can't do, I find a comic is often the next best thing. Best of all, it costs you nothing to find out, check it out today! I had to try the whole thing myself, and as a fan of the books, I have to say I was pleasantly surprised...
Usually when I see an adaptation of a book, most often in movie form, I never go back to read the book again before experiencing the adaptation. The big moments are what hangs in my memory from a story and I feel if an adaptation hits those big moments, then worrying over every minor detail is fruitless.
I followed the same routine here. It's been several years since I read the First Law trilogy, but upon diving into the graphic novel I was immediately snapped back into those first moments I met Logen Ninefingers and Inquisitor Glokta (the two main characters the first issue focuses on). The introductions to both of these characters were handled perfectly. The one drawback for me was, in a way, the art. The reason I qualify that is because the art, first of all, looks great, which is also part of the problem. As I touched on above in the announcement, the characters of Logen and Glokta are almost too pretty for what I pictured from Abercrombie's gritty world. Don't let that stop you from trying out the book though, because as I went on into the story, I adjusted to it and by the end wasn't bothered by it at all.
Overall, a great first issue, Chuck Dixon does a great job working the novel into a comic book issue and I can't wait to get my hands on the next one. If you are a fan of fantasy and enjoy comics, I highly recommend trying the book out, especially with how easy Abercrombie makes it for readers to pick up.