BOOK ADAPTATIONS

BOOK ADAPTATIONS
Written and Drawn by Various
Published by Various


Reviewed by Marc Mason

Comics and prose literature have had a long and fruitful relationship. Mention them together and the first thing that will spring to mind for many people is CLASSICS ILLUSTRATED. Indeed, various iterations of those books have been hitting shelves for decades at this point. But over the last few years, there has been a dramatic increase in a new type of comics-to-prose work: the adaptation of modern writers and best-selling works to sequential art format. There are generally two versions of how this works: a direct adaptation of the work or a prequel to the novel. The results have been… interesting. The manga versions of Dean Koontz’ ODD THOMAS have not only been excellent graphic novels, but actually better than the prose novel that inspired them. On the other hand, Diana Gabaldon’s THE EXILE was one of the worst graphic novels of the last five years. What it boils down to is this: who is really doing the work? Two new prose-to-comics works now hitting shelves are both easily placed in the “very good” category, in no small part because of those on the creative end of things.

SILENT PARTNER: THE GRAPHIC NOVEL adapts one of author Jonathan Kellerman’s most popular Alex Delaware novels, and it is a tasty slice of noir. Comics veterans Ande Parks (writing) and Michael Gaydos (art) take on the task of bringing the best-seller to a new audience, and they do so with a real zest for the material. Delaware runs into an old lover and the next day she is found dead, a turn of events he cannot even come close to explaining. This sets him on a trail of dead bodies, broken families, and strange pornography, all the while attempting to dig through his own past and discover who the dead woman really was and what she truly meant to his life. The trick to success here for Parks and Gaydos is that Kellerman’s work is intellectual at its core, not action-oriented; thus, deprived of huge visual moments, they use dialogue, body language, and a liberal dose of shadows to make a book that is all about mood and emotional depth. Having read and enjoyed some of Kellerman’s work previously, I was impressed with how well I felt like they brought the characters to life on the page and kept my interest in a work that is largely talking heads doing their thing. As far as straight adaptations of prose works go, this is one of the best I’ve ever seen.

The other kind of adaptation, the prequel, can be found in UGLIES: SHAY’S STORY. Comics veteran Devin Grayson worked with novelist Scott Westerfield to help bring the story of the YA series heroine’s best friend Shay to the page, and once again, having a solid pro on the case pays off. Grayson knows how to pace the story, structure the action, and keep the pages turning. Set in a post-dystopian future where every person is given plastic surgery at the age of sixteen in order to keep society equal, we meet Shay as she approaches that milestone with trepidation. Shay is more interested in exploring the outside world and joining up with others like her to pull off pranks against “the pretties” as a way to keep her individuality. Along the way, she gets in trouble, meets a boy she falls for, gets in more trouble, meets Tally (the heroine of the novels) and gets in more trouble. Steven Cummings, another longtime comics pro, handles the art, and he gives the book a fluid, dynamic, manga-like look. His version of Shay is cute, as required by the rules of manga, but not too far over the top in that direction, and he does just as well with Tally. Solid work, and exactly what it should be in order to draw interest for the prose books.




AISLE SEAT 2.0.60

AISLE SEAT 2.0.60: 10 FOR 2010

By Marc Mason

I wasn’t going to do a “best of” or “top ten” list this year. I really wasn’t. But my old pal Doc Beechler ran his own list, and when I saw it, I had to challenge it for what I felt was a very incomplete look at this year’s work. Then I realized that I could come up with ten great books (not necessarily the ten best published this year- I didn’t read everything, obviously) that I could easily point to and saw “people of Earth- READ THESE.”

So, people of Earth, if you’re looking for some awesome graphic novels to spend some time with: READ THESE.

The first thing that comes to mind is ALEC: THE YEARS HAVE PANTS from Top Shelf. This massive 600+ page omnibus collects almost every single bit of Eddie Campbell’s amazing autobiographical comics under one cover. I can’t think of a more consistently excellent autobiographical work ever produced in the medium- it’s deep and richly thought out without diving too far into its own navel and shows the growth of the man and the artist across a lengthy period of time. As usual, Top Shelf brings superior production values to the table, and that makes this book tough to beat.

If you’re looking for artistic ambition, go no further than RETURN OF THE DAPPER MEN from Archaia. Janet Lee’s stunning art illustrates Jim McCann’s modern fable in a way never really seen before in comics. The success of this book demonstrates the strength of the graphic novel to challenge and amaze and succeed in the marketplace, even when it isn’t from Marvel or DC. Produce something that exudes greatness and the people will find you. If you haven’t found this on your shelf yet, get cracking.

Speaking of high sales, Oni Press’ SCOTT PILGRIM VOL. 6 (and the entire series, really) dominated the charts this year, and with good reason. Bryan O’Malley’s series had been growing in popularity with each new release, and having the last part arrive to coincide with the film adaptation was exquisite timing. Of course, it helped that the resolution we got was immensely satisfying. Scott finally pulled himself together, gained some self-awareness, and became a person worthy of love- not just worthy of Ramona. Readers’ patience was rewarded, and that’s a rare thing, indeed.

John Layman and Rob Guillory’s CHEW (Image Comics) is definitely a book that pays off for readers that stick with it and pay close attention. From Layman’s twisting and turning plot mechanics to Guillory’s gift for planting Easter eggs in the backgrounds of his wonderfully detailed pages, CHEW delights with wit both verbal and visual. It walked off with awards at both the Eisners and the Harveys this year, and they were well-deserved. No one else in “mainstream” comics is doing anything as challenging or unfettered. One of the few comics that comes out monthly that is legitimately worth your money.

That said, if I was going to steer you toward another book that came out monthly and was worth your time and effort, it would be the second volume of BATTLEFIELDS from Dynamite Entertainment. This year we got another nine issues of Garth Ennis’ incredible World War II comics, and while they weren’t the equal of volume one, they were still absolutely amazing. No one in the past twenty years has even come close to matching Ennis’ prowess at depicting aspects of that conflict and in finding stories with a rich emotional core that fit within its parameters. One of the gutsiest things an author must do is provide the ending that works and is deserved, not the one the reader wants. This book gives you the endings that are earned.

On the subject of war comics, Frank Miller and Dave Gibbons’ LIFE AND TIMES OF MARTHA WASHINGTON (Dark Horse) is full of terrible conflict indeed. This massive omnibus edition includes every story featuring Martha, including some stuff not previously collected. This book initially came out as a hundred dollar hardcover, making it way out of my budget, but we finally got a paperback version this year, a happy occasion indeed. MARTHA was a book that Miller wrote when he was still taking comics seriously, and Gibbons puts just the right amount of softness on the satirical edges. Violent, profane, sexy, and smart, this character’s adventures were always something to appreciate and treasure. I’ll miss her, but having this book around makes that much easier to bear.

Dialing back to material before Martha (who debuted in 1991), IDW delivered the best archival project of the year- of the past few years, really- with THE BLOOM COUNTY LIBRARY. These beautiful hardcover editions of Berke Breathed’s classic cartoon strip send me spiraling back to my teen years, smiling all the way. Using restored versions of the strips, the series lets us see the characters (Opus, Milo, Steve Dallas, Bill the Cat, and friends) in ways we haven’t seen since some of the strips actually appeared in newspapers. Material is uncensored and/or restored from edits made for previous print collections. Breathed pipes in with observations and to explain some story moments and jokes. Background work is reproduced. This series is essential for any serious fan of great strip work.

Few anthology series could ever be considered essential, because they’re usually way too hit-or-miss to merit serious consideration. Not so for FLIGHT VOL.7 (Villard) which continues to be the single best anthology on shelves today. Editor Kazu Kibuishi has a gift for bringing together talent and getting the best from it- and that includes his own work as well. FLIGHT offers amazing storytelling, stunning art, superior production value… no mean feat for a book on its seventh try. But a scan across the series shows that virtually nothing has changed since book one. They’ve all been this good.

Another series that has been good from the start and never wavered in quality is Joann Sfar and Lewis Trondheim’s DUNGEON (NBM) which saw a couple of volumes translated for North American audiences. The standout was DUNGEON: MONSTRES VOL. 3; the series turned its eye upon the female characters of the Dungeon world, and the results were powerful and moving. The pair put in the spotlight found challenges that were emotionally unsettling as well as violent and gut-wrenching, showing a darker side of the world that reminded us that it is not a world of light and happiness. These books have their amusements, but they are also full of war and death. I have repeatedly stated that I believe Trondheim is the world’s greatest living comics creator. Check out these books to find out why.

Amusement can be found, though, in massive amounts by looking in the right place. That place would be AFRODISIAC (AdHouse) by Brian Maruca and Jim Rugg. This book is a glorious tribute to many things- the history of comics, blaxploitation filmmaking… but mostly it’s just hilarious. The character, Afrodisiac, is shown in various incarnations, each drawn in the style of different eras in comics production, with multiple changes in name and origin, just as characters have been treated by their publishers across the decades. The results are stunning- few books this funny are this intelligent in their execution. The creative duo were the gents behind STREET ANGEL a few years ago, and this book demonstrates, once again, that together, they make material that is worth its weight in gold.

And there you go. Ten great comics and graphic novels for 2010. Click a link below and go buy a couple. Trust me- you’ll be glad you did! See you in 2011!












FLIGHT 7, PENNY ARCADE 6

SCOREBOARD: FLIGHT 7, PENNY ARCADE 6
Written and Drawn by Various

Reviewed by Marc Mason

A couple of new books from the Random House family…

FLIGHT VOL.7 (Villard) is written and drawn by a number of different folks, and edited by Kazu Kibuishi. This is reportedly the final volume in the FLIGHT anthology series, and if so, they have gone out on a high note. This effort not only maintains the series’ high quality standards, it actually exceeds many of the earlier books. Kibuishi’s story, “The Courier- Shortcut” is not only a fun tale, but also a mission statement about what he is trying to accomplish with his work. JP Ahonen’s “Kenneth Shuri and the Big Sweep” is funnier and cleverer than anything coming out of Marvel or DC these days. Cory Godbey’s “Onere and Piccola” is a visually stunning show of force. I could go on, but the gist of it is this: FLIGHT has more imagination, colorful wit, and amazing storytelling than a year’s worth of comics you’ll get from superhero publishers. From its inception, it has stood for something: making comics that aren’t stuck in a rut, boring, or staid, and in that, it has succeeded. Buy this.

PENNY ARCADE VOL.6 (Del Rey) is written and drawn by Jerry Holkins and Mike Krahulik. This collection of the massively popular webcomics presents all of the strips produced in 2005, and offers creator commentary on each of them. There’s no question that PENNY ARCADE is one of those rare pop cultural institutions that has the power to truly affect the geek zeitgeist, and the material presented here shows off a number of examples of why that has happened. Their opinions on various games, companies, and other targets of choice combined with their fanbase, has led to direct actions being taken in the gaming business. The writing is clever, the art is simple but complex enough to keep your mind from wandering away from the gags and stories; if you’re new to PENNY ARCADE, this might be a weird place to start, but you could. And if you’re a longtime fan? Well, you were going to buy this no matter what I wrote.














OCTOPUS PIE

OCTOPUS PIE: THERE ARE NO STARS IN BROOKLYN
Written and Drawn by Meredith Gran
Published by Villard

Reviewed by Marc Mason

Eve Ning and her roommate Hanna live seemingly normal lives; Eve works at an organic grocery store, does her best to control the roiling frustration with the human race that lurks in her soul, and does her best to maintain some standards when dealing with the opposite sex. Hanna is a massive stoner that spends her time baking actual pastries while she’s high so that she can call her product “Bake’n’Bake”.

Together, they do not fight crime.

Instead, they do their best to get along, have a little fun, and deal with the little aggravations that come their way. Whether it is the return of a childhood rival, an ethical stand about public nudity, or a visit to a renaissance fair, it seems like the duo just can’t have a nice, quiet day. That turns out to be a very good thing for readers of OCTOPUS PIE.

The first two years of Meredith Gran’s smash webcomic are collected in this thick trade paperback, and it’s easy to see why comics fans have taken to it; Gran’s characters are fantastic fun, her dialogue sparkles, and her cartooning has a simple look that manages to add depth and complexity to the work that you don’t necessarily realize are there right away. Indeed, I think that the secret of Gran’s success is in just how relatable the material is; everyone, no matter their gender or background, can discover a bit of themselves in the stories told here. That’s no mean feat.

The mark of a good book is to get to the finish and want more. This first collection of OCTOPUS PIE most definitely left me wanting more.

STUFF WONDER ZOMBIES

BOOKS FROM RANDOM HOUSE(S)
Written and Drawn by Various

Reviewed by Marc Mason

Three recent graphic novels from different parts of the Random House empire…

THE STUFF OF LEGEND BOOK 1: THE DARK (Villard) is written by Mike Raicht and Brian Smith and drawn by Charles Paul Wilson III. It’s every child’s nightmare: kidnapped by the Boogeyman! But when it happens to one young boy, he isn’t just left to the evil creature’s clutches; his toys come to animated life and undertake a quest into The Dark to find the boy, rescue him, and bring him home. Unfortunately, The Dark is not so easy to traverse; it’s full of dangers unimaginable, and the loyal playthings have undertaken a quest that not all of them will survive. STUFF surprised me with how much I liked it; the script is clever and intelligent, and the characters interesting, but what really sells it is the art by Wilson. His work is conveyed through sepia-toned pages full of detailed wonderment, and his commitment to the reality of the story sucks you in as a reader. There is a nice chunk of story here, enough to whet your appetite and desire to see more of the toys’ quest, and the package is put together nicely. I wouldn’t give it to a child under ten or so, buy those older than that will likely find themselves hooked.

Writer Tony Lee and artist Cliff Richards adapt the novel PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES (Del Rey) into a graphic novel, and the results are surprising. The novel, Jane Austen enhance by Seth Grahame-Smith, was a surprise smash when it hit shelves, but the unusual mix of period piece and violence could have been a potentially tough sell. Wisely, though, the adaptation was handed to an artist well-suited to young women fighting with ancient weapons and killing the undead. Richards spent years drawing the BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER comics for Dark Horse, and he brings the zest and gusto for death and dismemberment to each and every page here. Lee has the harder task; much of the book is the same talky, relationship melodrama from Austen’s original work, and it doesn’t lend itself to anything grand or exciting on the comicbook page. Still, he manages to find a pacing that lends itself to maintaining the reader’s interest, and whenever he can, he steps aside and lets the artist do his thing. In the end, I found myself enjoying the book far more than I would have anticipated, and fans of (both forms of) the source material will likely be pleased.

As solid as those two books are, though, neither can top THE ESSENTIAL WONDER WOMAN ENCYCLOPEDIA in terms of sheer scope and accomplishment. (Del Rey) Comics historian John Wells and former writer and artist of WONDER WOMAN, Phil Jimenez team up to provide the most comprehensive resource to the amazing Amazon’s comics career imaginable. In this book’s nearly 500 pages you get thousands of entries about the people, places, and storylines that have shaped Wonder Woman’s life in comics (her television show and cartoon appearances are not dealt with in this book), and a complete look at the character’s origins… all of them! With the confusing level of DC continuity that exists in comics, this book breaks down which origins count for what era, how they changed, why they changed… and somehow manages to make some of the greatest nonsense ever put to print actually make some sense. They even parse out the origins of Donna Troy, which is as close to impossible as anything in comics period. The level of detail in the entries is amazing, the amount of art that appears in these pages is astonishing, and you even get some cool inserts reproducing some of the greatest images of the character ever put to print. If you’re a fan of the character, this is easily the greatest gift you could give yourself. If you aren’t a fan, then reading some of the material here might just change that. This is quite possibly the best comics-related reference work ever made.



VILLARD x 2

VILLARD X 2
Written and Drawn by Various
Published by Villard

Couple of new ones from the folks under the Random House banner. Let’s take a look…

Just seeing the words FLIGHT VOL. 6 as I opened the package was enough to make me smile, as FLIGHT has long been my favorite anthology series. But to my surprise, volume six is not only another fine entry in the series; it’s easily the best one since volume two. Editor Kazu Kibuishi has once again assembled some top-notch talent to produce this lovely annual, but what makes this one work so well boils down to two factors. One, there’s less here. Rather than over-stuff the book with material and risk adding duds to the mix, there are only fifteen stories in volume six. That means that the creators are working with more pages at their disposal and doing more long-form material. That breeds better stories. It encourages experimentation and innovation in character and layout. And in this case, it delivers excellent storytelling. As a bonus, you get a couple of wonderful pieces that really give you your money’s worth above and beyond what you might be hoping for, including Kibuishi delivering a new Daisy Kutter short story (DAISY still being my favorite of his solo works) and Michel Gagne’s opening piece, “The Saga of Rex: Soulmates” which is a piece of virtuoso art in both the color and storytelling. Seriously, folks, I don’t know what else to say: you should be buying these every year.

Writer/artist Nicole Chaison’s THE PASSION OF THE HAUSFRAU is an interesting hybrid book. The chapters/essays are written in prose, but each is supplemented by cartoon strips from the author (as well as some wonderfully snarky footnotes). Chaison details her struggles with parenthood and her mother, from the mundane things that drive everyone crazy (trying to get the kids to behave, lack of sleep, etc.) to the bizarrely odd (hiding watching the Colin Farrell sex tape, depressed libido seemingly caused by snowfall, trying to determine if it’s okay to bake cookies after her kid has sneezed into the dough). What works here is Chaison’s prose; she’s a terrific writer, funny, insightful, and bluntly honest (about herself and everything else around her), making PASSION feel like it has some “street cred” you might not get from other books covering the same subject. However, what didn’t work for me was her cartooning. Yes, the way she uses the cartoons is clever, but her artistic skills are kind of weak. I found myself thinking that she could have integrated much of the written material in the strips over into the prose and made it work just fine and just as funny. Still, even if you took the cartoons away altogether, PASSION is a worthy read.

Marc Mason

SYNCOPATED

SYNCOPATED
Written and Drawn by Various, Edited by Brendan Burford
Published by Villard

Brendan Burford, comics editor at King Features Syndicate, brings together an unusually broad-spectrum of comics talent for his anthology, SYNCOPATED. Ostensibly a collection of graphic essays, this book, which features some dynamic and fantastic work, does suffer along the way from some unfortunately missteps. Still, the stuff that works really works and is worth your time.

I have written on the subject of anthologies many times over the years, and the one key I try and reinforce is that, a good anthology boils down to one thing: the percentages. There will always be some duds in an anthology. Always. But if you can keep the dud percentage below twenty-five percent, you’ve got a massive winner on your hands.

The book gets off to a strong start with Nick Bertozzi’s “How and Why to Bale Hay” and continues on a solid path, hitting its stride with Burford and Jim Campbell’s “Boris Rose: Prisoner of Jazz.” But then the momentum comes crashing to a halt with Tricia Van den Bergh’s “Portfolio,” primarily because that’s all it is; just a portfolio. The incongruity of a simple art portfolio stuck in the middle of some intensely personal stories and histories grinds the book to a halt. Van den Bergh’s work is lovely, mind you- it just doesn’t feel like it fits.

That effect happens more than once as you read SYNCOPATED. “Like Hell I Will” by Nate Powell dives into one of the worst moments of America’s racist past, but in look and feel, it seems off placed in front of Dave Kiersh’s “Welcome Home, Brave.” Nothing wrong with Kiersh’s work; it just doesn’t feel like it belongs there.

So I suppose my qualm with SYNCOPATED is in some of the editorial decisions made in putting it together. There’s plenty of good material here; it just reads as disjointed. Your mileage, of course, may vary. Recommended, with some caveats.

Marc Mason

ELK’S RUN

ELK’S RUN
Written by Joshua Hale Fialkov and Drawn by Noel Tuazon and Scott Keating
Published by Villard Books

REPRINTED FROM CWR 2.0

The town of Elk’s Ridge, West Virginia was created by a group of Vietnam veterans looking to make a paradise for themselves and their families. The town charter calls for peace, harmony… and protection of the town at any cost. No outsiders are allowed. No police force is necessary. And whatever it takes to keep the town’s secrets goes… including murder. But what the founding fathers and mothers of the town don’t count on is their own children; kids always find a way to bring the outside world into play… and they didn’t sign the town charter and for a life that feels like imprisonment.

ELK’S RUN has been one of the more storied comics of the last few years, but unfortunately not solely because of the quality of the work. The first three issues were originally published by Fialkov’s indy publishing company, but they ran into problems with sales numbers and publicity. However, along came Speakeasy Comics, flashing their publicity machine and taking the book under their wing. The first three issues would be re-packaged as one, and then the final five would see release. Which was perfect… but then Speakeasy collapsed, again leaving ELK’S RUN, one of the most critically acclaimed comics of the mid-2000s without a home. But finally, a happy ending: Villard Books, a division of Random House, has come to the rescue and printed the full graphic novel in a deluxe and attractive package.

What makes the book so gripping is the banal evil at its heart. No one in Elk’s Ridge believes that they’re an evil or bad person at first; they’re solely trying to protect their personal utopia. It’s only when pressed that each character begins to discover who they truly are and what they’re made of. But it’s the struggle of the kids that gives the book its “oomph”; many books and films with teenagers at the core lack depth, because the kids don’t dream about things of importance. Not so with ELK’S RUN, as the kids must take a stand and risk their lives for the chance to lead any sort of life with meaning. This is really a very fine effort, and the book was worth the wait. Congratulations to the creative team for finally seeing their vision completed.

Marc Mason

THE BIG SKINNY

THE BIG SKINNY
Written and Drawn by Carol Lay
Published by
Villard Books

Artist Carol Lay had tried it all: fad diets, pills, hypnosis… sometimes the stuff would work for a while, and sometimes it wouldn’t. But eventually, she decided that she needed to get completely serious about losing the weight she wanted drop. And she did so in what sounds like a simple manner: she changed what she was eating, started counting calories, and kept her discipline. And now that she’s kept the weight off for years, she’s sharing her story in THE BIG SKINNY: HOW I CHANGED MY FATTITUDE, a graphic novel memoir detailing her lifelong battle with the bulge.

The first thing you notice about Lay’s work is just how wonderfully clear, crisp, and colorful it looks on the page. When she begins to tell you this story, she does amazing work in making it accessible. She adds to that accessibility by making sure that you understand her motivations, where she was at when she began her journey, and why she has taken these steps. You get to know Carol Lay as a person and thus share in her odyssey, not just feel like you’re watching it all happen from the outside.

You also get the genuine sense that she wants to help others with her story. Included at the back of the book are not only some of her favorite recipes (with calorie listings, of course), but calorie listings for some of the most basic foods in our lives, including fruits, vegetables, and meats. She has done this, and she truly believes she can help you do it, too.

The only flaw in the book does come at some of those points. At times Lay seems to step further forward of sharing her story into straight evangelizing, which is somewhat understandable. There is definitely an undercurrent of obsession with maintaining the work she has done on herself, and you ultimately respect that, even if it sounds like it’s coming from a pulpit.

THE BIG SKINNY is a fine effort, well drawn and charmingly presented. And if you know someone making a New Year’s resolution (or you are), it might be a perfect gift… to them or to you.

Marc Mason

AMERICAN WIDOW

AMERICAN WIDOW
Written by Alissa Torres and Drawn by Sungyoon Choi
Published by
Villard Books

Alissa Torres was like plenty of other American women. She had a husband whom she had recently quarreled with, she was carrying her first baby, and she was worried about the future. But one fateful Tuesday morning, life turned her into an unfortunate statistic. Tuesday, September 11, 2001, her husband began his second day of work at Cantor-Fitzgerald in the World Trade Center. And like thousands of others, that day, he did not survive the terrorist attack that changed the direction of the world. Shell-shocked, pregnant, and alone, the months that followed would be an unending lesson in pain, grief, bureaucracy, and resentment. This is her story.

AMERICAN WIDOW arrived on shelves September 9th, 2008, seven years after Torres’ husband Eddie was lost in the attack. I waited until the 11th to read it, supposing it would that would offer the most impact to the story, but I needn’t have worried; Torres’ story would be powerful and affecting no matter what day of the year you read it.

Certainly, you can’t take away from the central event at the heart of her tale; we were all affected by 9/11 in some way, shape or form, and it informs so much of what our society is like today. Reading the story of one woman’s personal nightmare in its wake carries a lot of power. But what makes AMERICAN WIDOW an ever stronger read is that, were this the story of a pregnant woman who lost her husband in a terrible fire of an auto accident, it would still contain great emotional depth and pathos

Following Torres through her struggles is a painful thing, and while you might hope for a bright resolution in the end, there really isn’t one; she doesn’t fake it for this book.

She is aided nicely by Choi on the art chores. Choi keeps the storytelling direct and the panels clean, conveying emotion above all else. The book is done in black and white, a wise choice, as color would overwhelm the sense of despair and anguish emanating from Torres on every page. We do get one splash of color on the final page, but it feels earned, because we need it to reconcile the complete book and achieve a resolution to her tale.

AMERICAN WIDOW is one of the most high profile releases of 2008, and will likely be in line for some awards when all is said and done.

Marc Mason