Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Audiobook vs The Comic Book

I have really enjoyed talking to Matt Harrison the last couple of class periods about Ender's Game. We both chose this fantastic book for our personal literature book. If you don't know anything about him you should probably know he is a huge comic book fan, as evidenced by his blog. Encouraged by Dr. Burton, we both wanted to read Ender's Game in a different format than we previously had. Because of the recent success I've had with audiobooks I thought I would try it again with Ender and Matt chose to check out the comic book version.

Today in class Matt showed me a youtube video someone made by incorporating scenes from the comic book and dubbing the corresponding audio from the audiobook over top of them (although, the audiobook I'm listening to is much better than the one used in the video).

 Here's his post about it.

 I thought this was a really cool idea. Experiencing books in different formats sort of forces you to focus on different things. Reading a traditional book allows the reader to go back and reread sections as many times as he wants. I've noticed a difference in how I picture things while listening to the audiobook. Probably the most noticeable difference is during the fight scenes. When I'm reading a book I tend to read fight scenes faster so I can discover what happens sooner, which inevitably leads to me skipping over minor details. When I listen to an audiobook the narrator retains his steady pace and calmly reads the passage. I get more out of it and create a more detailed picture in my mind.

I thought the comic book was an interesting format choice. At first mention I didn't think a comic book could convey everything the reader needs to know about Ender, things like why he does what he does, and how he thinks and feels. To me, those are some of the most interesting parts of the book. But Matt told me Orson Scott Card was very involved in the creation of the comic book. Card had to approve everything and apparently he thinks the comic book story line would be the best adaptation to use for a movie. I am interested to see how Matt feels about the comic book format when he's finished reading it.


  1. I had never thought about the audio format as a means to get more out of the book. I am the same way when it comes to a really intense part, I tend to skip a lot of the plot. I will have to try reading/listening to some books because of that very reason.

  2. Thanks for the shout out Ariel! I will keep you posted on how the comic book pans out.