FFB: The Little Sister graphic novel

this is the 54th in my series of forgotten books

The Little Sister

based on the novel by Raymond Chandler
adapted and illustrated by Michael Lark, © 1997
cover art by Steranko
Fireside Books (Simon & Schuster) 1997 graphic novel, softcover trade edition
Phillip Marlowe

The Little Sister is not a forgotten book, but this adaptation into graphic novel form may be. This version from 1997 does an excellent job of taking the book to the graphic novel format. The script is faithful in the most part to the novel, the feel is there, the characters haven’t been changed much, what has been cut for the sake of length and format isn’t missed unless you’ve read the novel in the recent past.

I think the style of art is fitting to the genre. Art is such a subjective thing, not everyone will like any style, any artist’s depiction. What might be too realistic for one person, or too dark, will seem too abstract, or cartoonish, or just wrong to another, based on experience and that ever-important image the reader has of the place, people and “visual feel” of a book.

The Little Sister isn’t one of my favorite Chandler novels,  but any Chandler is better than no Chandler, and this is an enjoyable and entertaining way to get a quick, visual dose.

~ ~ ~ ~

Series organizer Patti Abbott has all the FFB goods on her blog, Pattinase, with a list of this week’s participating blogs and, in a day or two, a summary.

About Richard Robinson

Enjoying life in Portland, OR
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12 Responses to FFB: The Little Sister graphic novel

  1. Bill Crider says:

    Very interesting. Didn’t know about this one, and I like The Little Sister more than you do.

  2. Drongo says:

    I’m not familiar with Mr. Lark, but Steranko is an outstanding illustrator. Believe he did the covers of the Shadow reprints that Pyramid/Jove published back in the 70’s.

  3. Evan Lewis says:

    Cool. Never seen this.

  4. Jeff Meyerson says:

    Never heard of it either, but like Bill I do like THE LITTLE SISTER.

  5. Like the others, I haven’t seen this book before. Amazing what slips past the radar…

  6. Patti Abbott says:

    I wonder what Chandler would have thought of this.

  7. Charles Gramlich says:

    Looks pretty good

  8. Richard says:

    I’m not sure when or where I picked this one up. It was bought new, and I’d guess I spotted it in Previews and bought it through my local comic shop. The owner there used to keep an eye out for anything with mystery, detectives, noir, Holmes, and such.

    Patti – hard to say what Chandler would have thought of anything, really, but I’d guess he would have objected to it based solely on it’s existence. I doubt graphic novels would have satisfied his sense of storytelling and looked like cartoons.

    Bill, Jeff, et al, I didn’t say I didn’t like The Little Sister, only that it’s not a top favorite. I’d put it after Big Sleep, Farewell My Lovely and Lady in the Lake, probably also after The Long Goodbye.

  9. Art Scott says:

    Was a big fan of Steranko’s comic books (still have ’em), but this cover is awful. Marlowe (I assume it’s Marlowe) looks like a wax dummy giving Jack Kirby hand signals.

  10. Richard says:

    I don’t like the face, and the hands are weird – I think he’s supposed to be going for his gun – but the rest is okay. The interior art by Michael Lark won’t thrill you much either, but it’s A style if not necessarily THE style, if you know what I mean.

  11. Todd Mason says:

    I have a copy of this one, too…and even though I had your link at hand yesterday, Rick, I didn’t open it till this morning, and was amused we both did interesting if incompletely successful graphic novelizations of iconic writers’ mid-range work (I’d say it’s certainly better than PLAYBACK, but agree it isn’t the best Chandler…and suspect the Bloch original isn’t his best, but certainly looks intriguing)…

  12. Richard says:

    Yes, I got a kick out of that too. Not sure about the Bloch, but as you say…

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