This comic adaptation of Edmond Rostand’s 1898 play about a long-nosed, sharp-tempered soldier/poet living in France in the 1640 was originally done in 1991 for First Comics. Papercutz has picked it up and offers it now in an affordable hardcover edition.
I wanted to read this because I am a fan of Cyrano, a fan of Peter David, and a fan of Kyle Baker, all of which trump the fact that I usually do not like adaptations of classic works of literature. But since Cyrano is a play, I was hopeful that it would translate well into the comic form. It does, although obviously with a good deal of abridgment. That abridgment didn’t bother me as much as I thought it might, however. The main story shines through. We still get a strong sense of who Cyrano, Christian, Roxanne, and the other characters are and both the humor and the pathos of tale remain crisp and clear. The language is no longer in poetic form–Rostand wrote it in rhyming couplets of 12 syllables each–but the word panache is still used and is an important part of keeping to the spirit of the play, as Ken Wong points out in the afterword.
What keeps me from loving this is, unfortunately, Baker’s art….
Classics Illustrated #10: Cyrano de Bergerac
by Edmond Rostand
adapted by Peter David and Kyle Baker