The Last Unicorn (Graphic Novel)
By Peter S Beagle (Adapted by Peter B. Gillis)
Illustrated by Renae De Liz Ray Dillon
Genre: Graphic Novel/Fantasy
Adapted for the first time from the novel by Peter S. Beagle, The Last Unicorn is a tale for any age about the wonders of magic, the power of love, and the tragedy of loss. The unicorn, alone in her enchanted wood, discovers that she may be the last of her kind. Reluctant at first, she sets out on a journey to find her fellow unicorns, even if it means facing the terrifying anger of the Red Bull and malignant evil of the king who wields his power. Adapted by Peter B. Gillis and illustrated by Renae De Liz and Ray Dillon.
So there is a bit of history with The Last Unicorn and myself. Aside from the fact that the unicorn is most certainly my spirit animal, I go way back with this story. My deep fondness and connection with Beagle’s timeless story was originally established as a result of the animated film that was first released in 1982 and directed by Arthur Rankin, Jr.and Jules Bass (who happen to be associated with many of my animated favorites). The now somewhat outdated but no less nostalgic music score by America and timeless animated continue to solicit feelings of excitement and love with each viewing. Yes, I own this and will actually be revisiting this evening since completing this graphic novel. Here is a little trailer for any who may have unfortunately missed the film during your obviously deprived childhood. Forgive the quality, this is 1982 afterall.
The graphic novel experience is magnificently summed up best in one word; stunning. The adaptation and gorgeous illustrations hold true to the original experience providing a delicious serving of fantasy at its best that I greedily consumed.
Looking at the story, this has been adapted well. Almost flawlessly if I may. We are presented with the same familiar, eccentric, endearing and occasionally terrifying characters. Our enchanting and somewhat arrogant unicorn is accompanied by Schmendrick the Magician and Molly Grue on a treacherous journey to face King Haggard and the Red Bull after discovering that she may very well be the last Unicorn. She seeks to find her own.
“I would know if all the other were gone.I’d be gone too. Nothing can happen to them that does not happen to me… But suppose they are hiding somewhere far away? What if they are hiding and waiting for me?”
This is a timeless tale of love and loss, of courage and growth. Full of hope and promise, it is perfectly presented with gorgeous illustrations that contribute tremendously to the elements of fantasy and magic. I leave the remainder of this beloved tale for you to explore on your own if you have not done so.
“-And then the brightness answered her with a bellow like the sound of ice breaking up in the spring!”
This is currently one of my absolute favorite experiences with a graphic novel. Each page was crafted with such care and a true feeling of love being poured into the pages. Combined with a heartfelt introduction by the author that explores just how this story possibly came to be and his own experience with comic books, this is will find a cherished spot among fans of the story and graphic novels alike.
⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐