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Thursday, May 19, 2022

Review: The Handmaid's Tale Graphic Novel

 I kept bouncing off The Handmaid's Tale, so I finally resorted to the graphic novel edition to see if I could finally actually make it through.  The art in the book is bland and not expressive, and but the story is told in such a way that's coherent and comprehensible. Atwood's vision of a patriarchial society that treats women as nothing but breeders by religious fundamentalists might have seemed like fiction when it was published, but in the world of 2022 with an extremely conservative supreme court about to overturn Roe v Wade seems eerily prescient. The hypocrisy of such a society is exposed and clear, though perhaps in the light of what we see today perhaps her vision isn't apocalyptic enough. What's apparent is that the religious fundamentalists in this country don't view the book as a warning, but as a playbook with which to realize their horrific vision of a uniquely dystopian timeline.

As far as being a graphic novel, this one can't hold a candle to the best of say, Alan Moore. I compare the narrative portion of The Handmaid's Tale with say, Valerie, and it's clear that Moore is the stronger writer with as unique a vision as Atwood, but with a better command of visual as well as written form. Nevertheless, Atwood's dystopia in the light of 2022 seems far more real than the world of V for Vendetta.


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