Anne of Green Gables is a new comic offering from Bluewater Comics based on the classic children’s series of the same name. Written by CW Cooke and drawn by Giancarlo Malagutti, this first installation recounts the story of how a reserved, elderly couple who live on a farm send to the local orphanage for a young boy to help out with the chores and are sent Anne by mistake. Anne, initially delighted by the prospect of a family, is devastated to learn of Mr. and Mrs. Cuthbert expectation of a boy. However her sanguine nature and incessant but inventive chatter quickly charm her potential benefactors and, in the end, they decide to keep her.
The original stories were written by Lucy Maud Montgomery in the early 1900s and have since been adapted numerous times for film and television, both as live action and animated series. Why, then, a comic book? The drawings add a visual element to the story while preserving the active intimacy of reading that is lost from TV and movies. The comic book format also elevates the conversations between the characters, which are a key component of Anne’s story, to a higher level of importance than would be in a picture book format. And what better way to introduce a younger generation of readers to these characters than through the delightful blend of literature and artwork that are comic books?
To put it simply, Anne of Green Gables was a joy to read. The artwork is beautifully colored and the simple but detailed line drawings have a nostalgic flair that just fits the story perfectly. With just a few small changes to the shape of the eyes and lines of the face, artist Giancarlo Malagutti does a wonderful job of conveying the Cuthberts softening to the idea of adopting Anne. The story itself is just as charming as it was when I read it as a little girl and stored it in a treasured place in memory alongside The Secret Garden and the Little House on the Prairie books. My own children are grown, but I plan to keep this one in my “grandma box” of treasures for the next generation.