cover image The Prophet: A Graphic Novel

The Prophet: A Graphic Novel

Khalil Gibran and Pete Katz. Canterbury Classics, $19.99 (128p) ISBN 978-1-64517-242-0

This thoughtful adaptation of Gibran’s classic treatise on love, empathy, and religious harmony reads like illustrated scripture, but with updated plot. Katz (The Art of War: The Graphic Novel) introduces a narrative frame to the classic text: a woman named Al reads Gibran’s work to her father while he lies comatose in a hospital. Realizing a connection between her own name and the seeress Altimira, Al begins to ask herself philosophical and personal questions, coming to a point of transformation. As a professional painter, her struggle to come to terms with her father’s illness has affected her ability to produce art—her father comes to her in a dream to tell her to “stop using him as an excuse to avoid life.” As her friends rally around her, Al draws inspiration from them, as well as the teachings of Gibran. Readers will likewise find inspiration in Katz’s detailed and colorful ink and watercolor canvases, which venerate both Gibran and the new scenes with bold realistic art and glowing colors, whether they weave in heavy religious symbolism or simply show Al’s buddies in conversation. Some stretches of challenging prose demand a degree of patience from readers atypical for comics, but the reward for close attention to Katz’s adaptation is worth it. [em](Oct.) [/em]