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Sea Lion Books is just getting started, but they are developing an interesting line of graphic novels based on already popular prose works: Paolo Coelho’s The Alchemist, Richelle Mead’s Dark Swan, and now, P.C. Cast’s Goddess of the Rose.
Cast is one of those writers whose readers obviously can’t get enough of her. She specializes in mythological-supernatural romance; her Goddess: Summoning series, of which Goddess of the Rose is the fourth volume, blends in fairy-tale elements, and she also writes a vampire series, House of Night. The books aren’t the biggest sellers in the biz, but they do pretty well, and she obviously has a dedicated community of fans.
On the other hand, the remainder bins are littered with graphic-novel adaptations of popular romances—I picked up my copy of Christine Feehan’s Dark Prince for a dollar, and I feel like I overpaid. One of the pitfalls is that fans of the prose novels often hate the graphic novels, because they already have the world of the story visualized in their heads, and because they aren’t graphic-novel readers. (It’s always fun to look at the Amazon pages for these books and see the outrage of people who thought they were buying a novel and ended up with a &$#! comic book.) The other is that publishers lean too heavily on the author’s name as a selling point and bring in subpar, no-name artists to do the visuals. Dark Horse avoided this by hiring Joelle Jones to work on Troublemaker (and for my money, the art is better than the story in that book), and it looks like Sea Lion is also hiring an experienced artist: They have signed Alan Halpin, whom they describe as a “much sought-after and elusive Irish artist.” That makes him sound a bit like a character in a romance novel, actually. Halpin certainly is elusive—Google doesn’t turn up much on him—but the fact that they are promoting the artist so heavily is a hopeful sign that they will be paying attention to the quality of the visuals in this book.