Shutter Island

Shutter Island
Tokyopop / William Morrow
(w) Dennis Lehane, Christian De Metter & Bryce P. Coleman
(a) Christian De Metter
FC 128 pgs $21.99 US / Higher in Canada

“Who is 67?”

This graphic novel is an adaptation of a Dennis Lehane novel of the same name. Lehane has had a couple of his novels adapted into movies, most notably Mystic Island and Gone Baby Gone. Martin Scorsese has also made this story into a film which is opening in theatres February 19, 2010. But before it hits the big screen, Christian De Metter, a French comic book creator, has adapted the novel in a comic book.

Strangely Tokyopop has released this graphic novel in conjunction with William Morrow Publishing and Harper Collins. It’s not a manga and in fact is collected in the standard American comic book size. It’s also in colour, which is also something that Tokyopop seldom does.

The story begins as two federal marshals approach Shutter Island, which houses the Ashecliffe Hospital for the Criminally Insane. Teddy Daniels and his partner Chuck Aule have come because an inmate has apparently escaped her cell. Teddy is suspicious of the place and the people who run it. He’s heard some bad rumours and he’s looking for answers. Teddy is also still recovering from the loss of his wife, who died in a fire that was apparently set by a man called Andrew Laeddis who may be in the institute also.

There is a lots of twists and turns throughout the plot and many dark and terrible secrets are revealed. Teddy keeps finding secret codes that keep leading him further and further into a mystery that I don’t want to give away. But on an island that houses 66 inmates, the question of a mysterious 67 inmate keeps coming up.

De Metter is adapting the novel, not the movie so the characters have a generic look to them. De Metter has crafted a dark and moody tale. He uses a bleak gray / brown colour scheme throughout the comic with dream sequences in full colour. The overall effect is a dark painted noirish look to the book that fits the story perfectly. I’m very interested in searching out some of his other work but it doesn’t look like any of it has been translated into English here.

This is a good long read, maybe not as long as reading the actual novel but it stands on it’s own. I’m now very interested in reading the original novel as well as seeing what Scorsese’s movie is like. (Shane Hnetka)

One thought on “Shutter Island

  1. Good review, Shane! I saw this on the shelf at ComicReaders and wondered what it would be like. I saw the movie a few days ago and really enjoyed it. I’m not familiar with the source material (the novel).

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