hoiditthroughthegrapevine

I Hate Whitesand Volume 2 [spoilers for Whitesand Vol. 2]

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I don't think that White Sand should've ever been adapted to the graphic novel format. I feel like it was done for two reasons, 1. Brandon wants to canonize this story because Autonomy is going to be a big deal, and this is a convenient way to not spend more time doing that, and 2. the idea of sand mastery sounds like it would be cool in visual format.

Unfortunately, White Sand is a terrible choice as a GN for two much better reasons, 1. despite the magic, it's primarily a story about politics and people standing around talking, and 2. the title should tell you everything about how this will be depicted!! WHITE SAND, most everything is pretty bland, looks similar, isn't very visually stimulating, lacks color, etc.

I also think it's tough (impossible) to achieve Sanderson-level world building in a three volume graphic novel. It's just not a good format to introduce us to a new place and magic system. It would be much better used to present short stories or novellas that branch off of our main stories. You already know the setting, understand the magic, now here's a fun little jaunt elsewhere! For example:

Spoiler

I think a story like the 11th Metal would make an awesome graphic novel. It's short, involves plenty of action, has a cool gothic/horror feel to it and doesn't feature too much dialog. Plus, I'd love to see Gemmel in all his shaggy-haired glory.

 

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Seconding what other people have said, I didn't really pay attention to any of the artwork, and I only quickly scanned each panel to see if the movements of the characters effected the dialogue. The biggest distraction for me was, honestly, having the last chapter be by a different artist. I kept imagining how the original artist would do it. I don't like his nonsensical lines, but I do like some of the details he hides in them.

In summation: I don't read graphic novels, but this was okay. Not the best portrayal of a Sanderson. 

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Relieved to see that I'm not alone in finding the GN format to be a challenge. I kept wanting to know what happened between the panels/pages, like what you get in a real Sanderson book.

This is the first GN I've ever tried to read (other than old-style comic books decades ago when I was a child, which were way simpler) so I'm a bit relieved to know that it may not be the whole genre that's a no-go for me - just these 2 books.

When I found out that White Sand was being published, I put aside the idea of reading the older prose version so that I'd only be exposed to the "real" story. But now I'm re-thinking that and will probably read the prose one after all - - and that's something I determined through reading this thread, so huge THANKS fellow Shard-ers! :)

Edited by Lump-wing
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After a second read, I appreciated the book a bit more. I consciously choose to use the graphic part merely to support the story and ignore it otherwise, and that way the book is fine.

Though I noticed another problem, unavoidable when turning politics into comic form: the negotiations between kenton and other leaders feel very wrong. "I will die rather than vote for you" "I'll give you some cookies" "ok, you have my vote". Sure, I can accept that kenton presented the argument and was able, with time, to sway an opinion. Just not so fast.

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On 4/7/2018 at 4:14 PM, king of nowhere said:

After a second read, I appreciated the book a bit more. I consciously choose to use the graphic part merely to support the story and ignore it otherwise, and that way the book is fine.

Though I noticed another problem, unavoidable when turning politics into comic form: the negotiations between kenton and other leaders feel very wrong. "I will die rather than vote for you" "I'll give you some cookies" "ok, you have my vote". Sure, I can accept that kenton presented the argument and was able, with time, to sway an opinion. Just not so fast.

Yea the passage of time in this one was very weird. Ais said that they can only attack Kenton every two days, but they never use anything to indicate the passage of time like "One Day Later." It feels like they skipped the days he wasn't getting attacked because it felt like he was constantly getting attacked. 

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On 4/9/2018 at 9:41 AM, Harrycrapper said:

Yea the passage of time in this one was very weird.

Yeah, that is one of the flaws of a visual medium for this story.  Seeing as Taldain is tidally locked and the Sun literally never sets, there is no visual cue to denote the passage of time.  Its essentially noon all the time.  So, unless you ave a character constantly talking about what time it is, or those little squares that indicate "X many arbitrary time units later" we have zero indication as to the passage of time.

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on the other hand, can't be much, as kenton only has two weeks to revert the vote. but this brings the question, how do they measure days if the sun is always standing still? I am sure the prose version must have the answer, but I don't.

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3 hours ago, king of nowhere said:

on the other hand, can't be much, as kenton only has two weeks to revert the vote. but this brings the question, how do they measure days if the sun is always standing still? I am sure the prose version must have the answer, but I don't.

That's an extremely good question. I seem to remember something like clocks or pocket watches but there has to be something non technological that they had in the early days of humanity on Taldain. Maybe hour glasses? They got plenty of sand. 

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18 hours ago, Harrycrapper said:

That's an extremely good question. I seem to remember something like clocks or pocket watches but there has to be something non technological that they had in the early days of humanity on Taldain. Maybe hour glasses? They got plenty of sand. 

the only regular thing is the cycle of the moon, as far as i know. maybe a lunar orbit is one day?

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On 4/11/2018 at 11:11 AM, king of nowhere said:

the only regular thing is the cycle of the moon, as far as i know. maybe a lunar orbit is one day?

The lunar orbit would be the only regular way, presuming they didn't make major changes between the prose and gn versions. Another issue with the graphic format is we don't really get space for the establishment of the planet and how the tech relates, just the relevant plot points kind of boiled down

Edited by eeyore
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It would have to be the lunar orbit.  I think they mention that it circles exactly once a day?

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@RShara: Well said all the way around. And I have loved the various art interpretations.

And can I add - that this makes me so very sad. I read the prose version a while ago and loved it! I consider this one of my top 1,000 favorite cosmere books and I'm an avid follower of everything from this world. These graphic novels are just such a let down.

I had convinced myself after the first one that I was just unfamiliar with the medium. But I have grown to actively loath these infernal things.

 

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I was excited to see the cover of "White Sand Vol. 1", but as many have expressed, found it lacking in the way it does a lot of the action scenes, including something as basic as depicting Sand Mastery.

I think the original artist (Julius Gopez) excels at single panel stills, but didn't really "get' the story of White Sand, and/or isn't adept at depicting action, Sand Mastery specifically.

The scene in Vol. 2 where Kenton saves Lord Raagent with Sand Mastery, I had to discover several panels later that Kenton had "decapitated" the monster - I went back and studied the final panel of the fight scene, and I still couldn't see how the decaptiation was meant to be portrayed. I just didn't see it.

Heck, even the first really dramatic scene where Kenton's father "goes nuclear" and buries everybody in sand to end the battle - it looked more like he was pulling a huge cloud of arrows towards himself, like Kaladin in The Way of Kings, than anything else. But the text said "he buried everything in sand", and then everybody's buried in sand after showing him plugged full of arrows, and I was like, what just happened?

Similarly, Kenton using SM (er... maybe I'll stick to spelling it out from now on) to rescue the trapped builders from collapsed scaffolding, I really inferred that from the text. I looked again and again at the panels depicting that scene, and I just don't see it.

As for sand mastery in general, the artwork actually left me confused at to exactly how it works - not just mechanically, like, "you need water and the sun of Taldain to charge it with Investiture", but actually what is supposed to be going on to make things happen.  They speak early on of controlling "ribbons of sand" to do things like move objects, make themselves fly, and to use as weapons, but as drawn in Vol. 1 and 2, it's shown as literally "ribbons", like cloth ribbons, surrounding their limbs like an aura, which I don't think is what it's supposed to be. I think it's supposed to be more like, say, waterbenders being able to move liquid water in Avatar (the animated show/comics, not the James Cameron film) to lift objects or themselves up - i.e., the sand envelops them like in a column while raising them up, and it would take three "ribbons" of sand to be strong enough to support the weight of a person.

The part in Vol 2 where Kenton fights off assassins who are personally immune to sand mastery by using it to pick up and throw furniture made it clear that the magic is about literally moving sand around, not that the sand is like fairy dust to them, so what's with the earlier depictions?

Given that that was the last part of the book the artist worked on, I think he realized he just wasn't into it (or was so assessed) and pulled the plug. Unfortunately there is no do-over, but we can hope that Vol 3 will be what it could or should have been all along.

Edited by robardin
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I would have liked a standard novel, with fully illustrated pictures every few pages. I'm not a fan of Graphic novels sadly and would prefer to read plainly. I do want some pretty pictures though xD

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10 hours ago, Xtafa said:

I would have liked a standard novel, with fully illustrated pictures every few pages. I'm not a fan of Graphic novels sadly and would prefer to read plainly. I do want some pretty pictures though xD

yeah, something like pratchett's the last hero would have been great. Frankly, when I read that white sand would be a graphic novel first, I was expecting something like that, and not a comic. Incidentally, why is the name graphic novel used to designate something that is actually a comic?

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3 hours ago, king of nowhere said:

yeah, something like pratchett's the last hero would have been great. Frankly, when I read that white sand would be a graphic novel first, I was expecting something like that, and not a comic. Incidentally, why is the name graphic novel used to designate something that is actually a comic?

Graphic novels are comics, the emphasis is on "graphic" not "novel". They are called that to distinguish them from comic books. Comic books are basically serialized "chapters" published separately over time. Graphic novels are longer and generally stand more alone.

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I find it odd to enjoy a graphic novel more then someone else but I suppose that it is because my visual possesses are so poor that I basically just ignore the artwork and read White Sand more like a novel.

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I really, really, really wish these weren't cannon. 

 

I finally finished Book 2 last night which was my last piece on my first full ride through the Cosmere.  Now, I'm not gonna get into the art, because I have 0 artistic talent...but the errors in continuity and just the way it's laid out and makes 0 sense in some areas is hard to accept.  Especially, like I said, given that this is cannon for a massive, massive fantasy epic of epics...it's just..really, really bad.  So much potential in this world like all of other Sanderson's stories, but it's pretty evident the original artist paid 0 attention to the script. 

 

 

 

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On 6.6.2019 at 7:04 PM, NattyBo said:

I really, really, really wish these weren't cannon. 

 

I finally finished Book 2 last night which was my last piece on my first full ride through the Cosmere.  Now, I'm not gonna get into the art, because I have 0 artistic talent...but the errors in continuity and just the way it's laid out and makes 0 sense in some areas is hard to accept.  Especially, like I said, given that this is cannon for a massive, massive fantasy epic of epics...it's just..really, really bad.  So much potential in this world like all of other Sanderson's stories, but it's pretty evident the original artist paid 0 attention to the script. 

I agree and I have come to the conclusion that the prose version (which I highly recommend) remains my headcanon, at least up until it irrevocably clashes with other cosmere things. We'll have to see what changes are made in Vol. 3 once it's out (... might take a while it seems ...), but I sure hope it doesn't stray too much and I'll be able to keep my White Sand novel canon intact. Like, seriously, read the prose version instead, it's much better. Rough, obviously, but much better.

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