Don Quixote of La Mancha

Ilan Stavans and Roberto Weil. Penn State Univ, $22.95 (128p) ISBN 978-0-271-08230-1
Writer Stavans (Quixote) and artist Weil craft a sloppy but sincere love letter to the first modern novel. Freely adapting the highlights of Miguel de Cervantes’ classic about the would-be knight, while weaving in contemporary references, they succeed in bringing to life the spirit of the original’s mix of absurdity, serious-minded morality, and its thesis that ideas are often more important than reality. The castle that Don Quixote imagines is really a cheap motel; his impossibly beautiful, beloved Dulcinea is an ordinary villager; and the theme from Rocky plays when he first tries on his jug “helmet.” At one point, Don Quixote is bewildered by a performance of the musical Man of La Mancha. De Cervantes himself appears as a character, angry with another author he feels ripped him off. Weil’s background as a caricaturist results in a cavalcade of humorous, distorted, and expressionistic figures that match the breezy and constantly shifting narrative. However, poor word balloon placement and other technical errors detract from the reading experience. Due to its production flaws, this ambitious jigsaw puzzle of a book doesn’t quite succeed, despite the joy found in the creator’s knowledge of and enthusiasm for de Cervantes’s masterpiece. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 07/09/2018
Release date: 10/01/2018
Genre: Comics
Hardcover - 128 pages - 978-0-271-08231-8
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