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The Comic with the Dragon Tattoo

Just in case the late Stieg Larsson’s international bestseller, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, hadn’t yet reached unbiquitous status (been to an airport in the past two years?), DC Comics’ Vertigo imprint recently announced that it scored the graphic novel adaptation. In November, the world will finally be able to place images alongside Larsson’s prose--no, wait, director David Fincher already adapted the book to film last year, and before that there were the brooding Swedish film adaptations. While those big screen versions had hours of opportunity to translate the novel to screen, Vertigo’s comic will have a limited number of pages to capture Mikael Blomkvist, Lisbeth Salander, and the increasingly twisted twists in their lives. It’s no easy task to condense Larsson’s sprawling text, and this week Comic Book Resources spoke with the newly announced writer of the graphic novel, Scottish crime author Denise Mina, about her plans to shape Larsson’s vision into what’s sure to be one of the most anticipated graphic novels of 2012:

"Adaptation is interesting because every filter changes every story. Even through what they chose to leave out or emphasize [in the films], each person makes a new story. I think the important thing is to go back to the source material and use that. For example, in the first book Lisbeth gets a tattoo to commemorate being attacked, which I thought was very significant, but it didn't feature at all in either movie adaptation."

About whether or not she could crib adaptation cues from the films:

"The films were good and I made notes of changes they made but honest[ly], I don't see comics as a story board for films. I feel that they're a different form, they have a different pace, there's a different speed of reading them and they have different narrative beats. Changes made for films wouldn't really help me write a comic. It was disappointing because I thought I'd be able to steal solutions to some narrative problems but it wouldn't work."

Mina’s efforts will be paired with artists Leonardo Manco and Andrea Mutti. And just when the series couldn’t get any more provocative, there’s the cover by Lee Bermejo. Resistance is futile; this tattoo isn't going anywhere.  

--Alex

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