cover image Watership Down: The Graphic Novel

Watership Down: The Graphic Novel

Richard Adams, James Sturm, and Joe Sutphin. Ten Speed Graphic, $35 (384p) ISBN 978-1-984-85719-4

This action-packed graphic adaptation by Sturm (Off Season) and Sutphin (the Wingfeather Saga series) of Adams’s epic novel maintains the existential gravitas of the original while artistically rendering its wild English countryside and memorable cohort of lean, scrappy rabbits. When Fiver has a vision of a field covered in blood, his brother Hazel leads a group of young bucks away from their warren. On their heroic journey, they encounter rivers, dogs, injuries, cars, and many different types of lapine society—from a group that relies on humans for food and looks the other way when rabbits end up in snares, to Efrafa, a powerful warren that rules with an iron paw. Joined along the way by various defectors, Hazel and crew come into their own, eventually establishing and defending their own colony. Their mythology, which includes a sun god and a black rabbit representing “fear and darkness... and death,” guides them and fuels their bravery. The art manages to be both melancholic and dynamic, just like the tone of Adams’s novel. Sturm and Sutphin effectively convey a world as fraught and complicated as the human realm, yet entirely its own. (Oct.)