The Mary Sue Interview: Hope Larson On Her Graphic Novel Adaptation Of A Wrinkle In Time And Why Meg Is So Great
Madeleine L’Engle’s classic science fantasy novel got the comic book treatment back in 2012 at the incredibly-talented hands of Hope Larson. Now, on March 31st, the graphic novel adaptation of A Wrinkle in Time is getting a paperback release, including cool supplemental material. We spoke with Larson about her love of all things L’Engle.
Sam Maggs (TMS): Were you a fan of A Wrinkle in Time as a child?
Hope Larson: I was a big fan! I started there and worked my way through most of L’Engle’s books, of which there seemed to be an inexhaustible supply. I never got into the Austin Family series, but I think that was because at some point I picked up The Young Unicorns expecting some high fantasy, and was put off by how slice of life (mostly, anyway) that book is.
TMS: What was the biggest challenge, translating the book to a graphic novel?
Larson: The hardest part was getting through the labor of making the book. I worked on it full-time for two years, which was a real cartooning marathon. There was hardly anything in the book that made me think, uh-oh, dunno how I’m gonna pull this sequence off! It’s not packed with crowd scenes or bustling metropolises or cars, or any of the things that are a lot of work to draw.
TMS: Meg is an inspiring and easily-relatable female protagonist for many girls growing up. What is your favorite thing about bringing her to life?
Larson: She’s one of my favorite characters of all time, and it was so much fun to “act” through her. She has a lot of feelings, and a lot of not-nice feelings, and that’s a refreshing change from “nice” and “relatable” characters. Personally, I think characters who have a lot of difficult feelings are much more relatable than the nice ones.
I also had fun picking out Meg’s clothes – and everyone else’s – from an old Sears catalog.
TMS: Why do you think we keep coming back to this story after 50 years?
Larson: It’s one of the first books I read as a kid that tackled big, dark ideas. It’s full of weird images. And Meg, this imperfect girl who’s weird and bad in school and thinks she’s ugly, gets to travel across the universe and become a hero. It gives so much hope to awkward kids and outsiders.
TMS: What do you hope girls take away from this new interpretation?
Larson: I hope the graphic novel version makes this story accessible to kids who’re intimidated by the novel, and gives them the confidence to tackle the story in prose next time around. And I really hope that some girls come away from the book thinking that they’d like to try drawing some comics, too.
Larson’s adaptation of A Wrinkle in Time is available in softcover on March 31st.