Richard Matheson's I Am Legend

Recently I saw a movie trailer for "I Am Legend" starring Will Smith, and since the trailer is a bit cryptic and mysterious, I went and looked it up. Turns out it's based on a old book by Richard Matheson, a vampire story. I found this graphic novel adaptation at the library.

Robert Neville is, as far as he knows, the last man alive on earth. When the story starts, it's been several months since his last contact with a living human and he's holed up in his house. He grows garlic and hangs it at every boarded-up entrance. He makes wooden stakes and then hunts for vampires during the day when they're sleeping. He wonders about the effectiveness of things like mirrors, crosses, and running water.

Eventually, he starts to do some research, trying to sort out superstition from fact. Matheson's take on what causes vampires is an interesting one, not totally plausible but fine enough for the story. What's more interesting is Neville himself as he lives in isolation and develops a routine.

The book has large chunks of text, and I'm not sure there was a huge benefit to making it a graphic novel. Lots of it just involves Neville grimacing or downing whiskey to escape. And since there's very little dialogue, there being no other living humans, I think probably the original novel would do just as well.

It's a different take on the vampire legends, and I'm a bit curious what the movie version will be like. For one, it's hard for me to imagine Will Smith playing a guy named "Robert Neville."

Fed to jonathan's brain | July 26, 2007 | Comments (0)


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