November 28, 2009

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The Yellow Wall-Paper

Story Written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
Adapted by Jon Mosley
Self-Published

Some readers might have picked up on Gilman's name right away, but I have to be honest, I had to Google her identity to be sure this was a straight-up adaptation and not added flavor text to this psychological story of a woman's obsession with her new living quarters.

Gilman, it seems, had severe depression issues and they were magnified during the period of time that she and her husband, a doctor, were renting a cottage. Medical treatments for depression were even worse then than they are now, and the suggestion of rest--in a barred room!--slowly made Gilman convinced the room and its peculiar shade of yellow wallpaper held more sinister secrets.

Mosley's adaptation works very well at capturing this slowly rising sense of despair and mania as he builds the ongoing mental issues of Gilman in a way that is both able to move the story but remains respectful to the protagonist. It reminded me a bit of Rick Geary's work, not in art style but in theme and atmosphere, and that's certainly a good thing.

Another artist might have chosen to let her mania run free, but instead, Mosley keeps her mostly in check until the ending scenes. He draws her visions just as realistically as the rest of the story, and spatters the pages with just enough yellow to keep us focused on the recurring theme.

While Mosley's art is not perfect (this was a school project, after all), he does a nice job with the material, with each panel clearly showing the action. I would have preferred he stay away from script handwriting, even if it was to mock the diary, as it's hard to read this scaled down.

A fun little read from SPX, and I would be happy to read more from Mosley in the future, especially if he does more adaptations in this vein.