By Jim Beard
"Kidnapped," Robert Louis Stevenson's thrilling 1886 novel of intrigue, adventure, and desperate times will soon become the latest in Marvel Illustrated's translations of classic novels to graphic novels! Legendary scribe Roy Thomas once again leads the charge, bringing "Kidnapped" to life for an entire new generation of fans this November.
"It's the story of two people--David Balfour and Alan Breck—who are thrown together by circumstances and then have their friendship tried by adversities of many kinds," explains Thomas. "The fact that the latter is an historical personage adds to the mix, since Breck's character is to some extent set by history."
Set in 18th century Scotland and its lush and mysterious highlands, KIDNAPPED plays out in the aftermath of the infamous Jacobite Rising, a series of battles between Scotland and England. Out of this troubled time strides an orphan who intends to make his way in the wider world.
But of course, David Balfour gains far more than he bargained for.
Followers of the original novel note its rich use of Scottish dialect throughout the characters' dialogue. Such unique writing proved to be something of a minor challenge during Thomas' adapting of the work into comic form.
"Alas, for the most part I had to 're-translate' [the original dialogue], because I felt it would be just too difficult to read," the celebrated scribe admits. "I kept a few words here and there for the flavor, and would have liked to keep more, but didn't feel it advisable."
Interestingly, Thomas—who once worked as a school teacher—recently discovered Stevenson's famous work for the first time himself.
"Although I'd read several other works by Robert Louis Stevenson, I had never read 'Kidnapped' until I was assigned to adapt it," he confesses. "I'd always meant to read it, but just never got around to it, as with so many other great books."
Artist Mario Gully, creator of Ant for Arcana Studios, brings KIDNAPPED to life visually, illustrating both Scottish heather and crashing waves with equal aplomb.
"He is a good action artist who proved himself on the Marvel Illustrated version of TREASURE ISLAND," says Thomas of his fellow creator. "Mario brings a good storytelling sense [to the project]."
Get swept away with the adventure and romance of Marvel Illustrated's KIDNAPPED, galloping your way in November!
For up to the minute Marvel news spinning out of the 2008 San Diego Comic-Con, visit the Marvel.com SDCC news hub. And while you're waiting in between announcements, spend some time over at Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited!