Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Early Graphic Novel Review - Hunchback of Notre Dame (1/5 stars)

Reading Level: Adult
Genre: Graphic Novel/Classics
Size: 48 pages
Publisher: Dark Horse
Release Date: July 31, 2012
ISBN-13: 978-1595829528
Stand Alone or Series: Stand Alone
Source: eGalley through
Rating: 1/5 stars

I got a copy of this for review through Netgalley(dot)com. I am going to be extremely blunt here and say this is one of the worst graphic novels I have ever read. There is nothing about this novel I can recommend.

This is a retelling of the Hunchback of Notre Dame. The retelling is very straight forward and one of the blandest interpretations of the story I have ever read. I am not sure what age group this graphic novel is intended for; but I would definitely not recommend for children or young adult. There is torture, sexual abuse (although not graphic), an implied sex scene, and more torture.

The drawing is...well...really bad. It is done in an impressionistic style. At times you can’t tell what is going on. You can’t even see facial expression of the characters and faces are lumpy and misshapen (and we aren’t talking about the Hunchback’s face here). The characters look completely different from frame to is very odd. The whole thing look hastily put together and poorly drawn. I really did not enjoy it.

Next let’s talk about characterization...or the lack of. I was incredibly disappointed in Esmeralda, who after being rescued by a guard from the Hunchback’s gropings in an alley, immediately sleeps with the guard and then begs him to say he loves her. It was pathetic, demeaning, and definitely backwards thinking. The priest is your typical, I want to have sex with a beautiful woman but shouldn’t so I will try and blackmail her in secret, kind of guy. Again not someone I want to read about.

All of the characters were cardboard cut-outs, 2D, and did nothing for the poorly rendered drawings. The dialogue was stilted and awkward sounding throughout.

Overall I am really not sure why this got published. The drawing is horrible, the characters are horrible, and the dialogue is awkward and difficult to read. Definitely not recommended. Also only for adults.

This book goes towards the following reading challenges:
- Graphic Novel Challenge
- 150+ Books Reading Challenge


  1. Damn that sucks! This story has such potential to be a bad ass remake or retelling. The original Disney cartoon was pretty dark when you rewatch it as an adult lol. Well that sucks this one was so awful, not gonna lie, a Dark Horse retelling of Hunchback of Nortre Dame really got me excited :(

  2. Yeah I know I was so excited to read this. While I was reading it I started thinking it was some sad joke or something. I really can't believe they would publish this. I am hoping they made changes to the final version.

    I love the story also and was really looking forward to Dark Horse's take on it all. So very disappointing...