A new way of experiencing the graphic novel has arrived and it is stellar.
Graphic Audio is a unique company that is quickly becoming one of my favorite forms of entertainment and is just now quickly rising to the top, and for good reason. I had the privilege of interviewing Richard Rohan, director of Graphic Audio and voice actor for the novels during this years New York Comic Con. I really got a chance to dig deep into what makes these audio novels so unique and interesting. All I will say is that I walked away more than a little impressed. After listening to a sample of the Marvel fan favorite, The Civil War I knew that this company was something special. For more on the New York Comic Con interview, click the link below.
Graphic Audio was kind enough to send me two audio novels to listen to and give my opinions. I feel that I would not be able to do it justice unless I gave a review of each title that I listened to and I could not be happier.
Marvel Civil War and Spider-Man Drowned in Thunder
Marvel Civil War is one of the most famous stories to come out of the Marvel universe. Having a basic knowledge of the story, the universe and the characters, I knew that I was in for something interesting, but I had no idea what to expect. To my surprise, I was completely blown away in every sense of the word. As soon as the novel starts I was thrown into a world that I could actually see in my mind. This is exactly what Richard Rohan explained to me, “a movie in your mind”, he explained. That’s exactly what it was. I close my eyes and I become a bystander in a comic book world that comes more and more to life with ever word spoken by the narrator and characters themselves. Fun fact- Richard Rohan is not only a an integral part of Graphic Audio behind the scenes, but he also plays to role of the narrator and with excellence. The Voice actors themselves do an amazing job bringing every super hero to life and believe me, there are a lot of them. Listening to Tony Stark, Steve Rogers and other familiar characters is wonderful. The actors do an amazing job of creating a mix familiarity and originality with each character. The heroes that you all know and love sound like a perfect combination of their movie and animated counterparts also mixing how I would expect them to sound.
Spider-Man Drowned in Thunder is on par with Civil War, but focuses primarily on one hero, Spider-Man. The story here is one that I am not familiar with. I will not go too in depth with the story due to some pretty excellent twists, but know the relationship between Spidery and J.Jonah Jameson is compelling. There is a story here that was beyond what I had ever known. Who knew how much hatred Jameson had from Spider-Man? The characters, the enemies, the story and the quality of it all is outstanding and as with Civil War, I fell completely in love with this form of story-telling.
The overall quality of the audio novels are perfectly executed with music, sound effects and voices coming together to make for a complete package that kept me coming back. The only problem that I had with the novels were that I wanted to keep listening. Alright, so that’s not really a problem. For the entry fee of around twenty dollars per physical copy and around fourteen dollars for digital, the price is absolutely worth spending. The two novels have a fairly lengthy story ranging from five to six hours each and are both compelling straight until the end.
The Civil War story line is definitely my favorite of the two as it takes many of the characters that we know and love and shines a light on them that is not often seen. With the ability to listen to and become involved with the story on a deeper level, Graphic Audio nearly perfected audio story-telling. Both Civil War and Spider-Man Drowned in Thunder are completely worth your time and money. If you want to see for yourself, go to graphicaudio.com for a few samples. With that said, I give both novels my full recommendation and urge all superhero/comic book fans to purchase them as soon as possible. You won’t regret it.
Verdict- Marvel Civil War and Spider-Man Drowned in Thunder- 98/100