Colfer Talks New "Artemis Fowl" Graphic Novel for '08

Fri, December 7th, 2007 at 12:00am PST

Comic Books
Jeffrey Renaud, Staff Writer

"Artemis Fowl: The Graphic Novel" on sale now

With a sixth book scheduled for release in 2008 and a movie adaptation in the works, the New York Times best-selling "Artemis Fowl" franchise is already well established as a multimedia juggernaut. And if author Eoin Colfer has his way, the graphic novels based on the successful novel series will continue to roll out as well.

Colfer explains his series to neophytes as thus: "Artemis Fowl is a 12-year-old criminal mastermind who decides to restore his family's ailing fortune by kidnapping a fairy. Unfortunately for him the fairies turn out to be more technologically advanced than he thought they would be. It is a fantasy, comedy, thriller, crime novel."

"Artemis Fowl: The Graphic Novel," based on the first book in the series, was released in October by Hyperion Books. Colfer revealed to CBR News that its success, critically and commercially, has led to the second book in the series being optioned for the same treatment.

"We hope that eventually all the books will be translated," said Colfer. "I suppose it depends on sales. 'Arctic Incident' is definitely coming next year."

Pages from "Artemis Fowl: The Graphic Novel"
"Arctic Incident" is the second book of the series that features the titular character, Artemis Fowl II, a child prodigy, who just so happens to be a criminal mastermind.

The 42-year-old Irish author says seeing the characters he has envisioned in his mind's eye on the comics page is... awesome! "I was thrilled. I have always seen 'Artemis Fowl' in my head as a graphic novel, so this is quite literally a dream come true," explained Colfer. "For me, the decision to make a graphic novel as a no-brainer. Artemis has been crying out for an adaptation for years. Finally someone listened."

Upon the release of the original novel in 2001, Colfer told Australian newspaper The Age that "Artemis Fowl" was "'Die Hard' with fairies."  It's a quote Colfer continues to stand by today. "Often people agree, sometimes they strenuously disagree because the stories and characters are not similar," explained Colfer. "What I meant at the time was that they had the same feel, or spirit."

Pages from "Artemis Fowl: The Graphic Novel"
Colfer, who co-wrote the graphic novel with Andrew Donkin, says writing in sequential form is quite different from what he is used to.  "In a novel, a lot can happen and be explained in the mind of the characters," explained Colfer. "In a graphic novel, that can't be sustained for so long, so everything has to be written into the action or scenery."

Readers need have no previous history with Artemis and the rest of the cast to enjoy the graphic novel. "I have met dozens of people who read the graphic novel first and then went back to read the novel," Colfer said. "Hopefully if you read one you will want to read the other, but it won't be obligatory. The response to the graphic novel has been overwhelmingly positive; a whole new legion of Artemis fans have been created. Everyone loves it."

Pages from "Artemis Fowl: The Graphic Novel"
Including the author. "I love it," Colfer said. "And having worked on it, I am very proud. I carry a copy everywhere, which is sad."

Colfer says sharing his creation with Donkin and artists Giovanni Rigano and Paolo Lamanna has only strengthened his creation. "The team have come together to produce this fantastic work. For me it is definitely one of the high points in my career," he gushed. "If I have my way, I will only ever work with them in the future."

While Jim Sheridan ("My Left Foot," "Get Rich or Die Tryin'") is rumored as the attached director for the planned "Artemis Fowl" movie, Colfer could say only that there is "no great movement at the moment. The studios are arguing, I think. As far as I know, the treatment has been approved and the script is underway. This is the fifth attempt."

Pages from "Artemis Fowl: The Graphic Novel"
As for "Artemis Fowl: The Time Paradox," the sixth book in the series due in stores July 15, 2008, Colfer teased, "Artemis has to go back in time to defeat his most dangerous foe, his younger, and less amiable self."

Colfer also confirmed there is "no definite plan" for more books in the series and that "Time Paradox" would be "the last one for a few years."

Colfer is also working on a few screenplays: an adult crime novel and a sequel to "Supernaturalist," the 2004 children's book The Times said "reads like 'The Matrix' crossed over with 'Oliver Twist.'"

Pages from "Artemis Fowl: The Graphic Novel"

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