New Spring

Throwback Thursdays: To Read, or Not to Read, that is the Question

Welcome to Throwback Thursdays on the Tor/Forge blog! Every other week, we’re delving into our newsletter archives and sharing some of our favorite posts.

The fourth volume of The Eye of the World: The Graphic Novel comes out in December, so this week we’re looking back to December 2010, when Senior Editor Melissa Ann Singer talked about having never read The Wheel of Time. Enjoy this blast from the past, and be sure to check back every other Thursday for more!

By Melissa Ann Singer, Senior Editor

Okay, confession time: I’ve never read The Wheel of Time. Other than the story in Legends, that is.

I can hear the gasps of shock and horror now.

And my reason for not reading WoT is stupidly pedestrian. It’s no more or less than “I’ve been busy.” Seriously. When The Eye of the World was first published, I was editing a huge number of books and barely had time to keep up on developments in the genres I was working in (which did not include epic fantasy at the time). I figured, I’ll have plenty of opportunities to read Eye later.

The next thing I knew, there were six books in the series and I was having a baby. My outside-of-work reading shifted to things like What to Expect When You’re Expecting and books on child-rearing and child development. And then came the board books and picture books and children’s books . . . .

Two years ago as I write this, Tor signed up a series of graphic novels based on WoT, beginning with New Spring and The Eye of the World. This was tremendously exciting to me as a long-term comics reader. So I waved my hands and jumped up and down and said, “Me! Me! Me!” when Tom was looking for an editor for the project. And now it’s mine.

Which left me with a terrific dilemma. As an editor, what’s the better course: to read New Spring, Eye, and the rest of WoT to make sure that the comics and graphic novels stay true to Robert Jordan’s amazing vision? Or trust that the estate and the people working their butts off on the graphic adaptations are keeping on course, and therefore read only the graphic novels, to make sure that they work for people who have never read these stories before?

Ultimately I chose the second option. Chuck Dixon is a great writer and I knew he’d make New Spring into a great graphic novel. He and Robert Jordan worked together on the adaptation before Jim’s untimely death and I trusted Chuck’s ability to identify and illuminate the core plotlines and characters of WoT.

New Spring: the Graphic Novel is beautiful, in my opinion. The double-page spreads, the carefully drawn characters, the flowing garments of the Aes Sedai, the delicate and evocative coloring — it’s just a lovely book to look at.

New Spring: the Graphic Novel collects all eight issues of the New Spring comic book. We’ve added some bonus material—including emails between Jordan, Dixon, and the Dabel brothers — to give you a peek behind the scenes, as it were, of the creation of this graphic adaptation.

And perhaps the best thing of all is that New Spring: the Graphic Novel is just the beginning. The first volume of the multi-volume graphic adaptation of The Eye of the World will be published later in 2011. I’m really looking forward to reading it. I’ve waited long enough, don’t you think?

This article is originally from the December 2010 Tor/Forge newsletter. Sign up for the Tor/Forge newsletter now, and get similar content in your inbox twice a month!