It’s life before death and strength before weakness in this week’s “So You Want To Read Comics”. This is our weekly feature where we take a look at a single topic or genre, then give you two comic book recommendations, perfect for new readers, based on that topic or genre. This week we’re taking a look at Brandon Sanderson.
Arguably one of the most prolific fantasy and sci-fi writers in the modern day, Brandon Sanderson has amassed a staggering 20 million books sold. He has done this on the backs of his wildly popular Stormlight Archive series and Mistborn Saga books as well as jumping onto the legendary Wheel of Time series to assist in completing after Robert Jordan’s passing. Sanderson is known for crafting complex magic systems, expansive worlds, and deeply layered characters, yet combining these elements with a gradual learning curve that allows readers to immerse themselves quickly. Most recently he has made headlines for breaking many records on Kickstarter when he crowdfunded four previously unknown novels.
Now, while as of yet, none of Sanderson’s novels have been adapted into other mediums, it’s surprisingly easy to jump into the world of comics if you’re a fan of Sanderson, here’s how.
Writers: Rik Hoskin and Brandon Sanderson
Artist: Julius Gopez
Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment
White Sand is based on a story written by Brandon Sanderson. Taking place on a planet that is divided in half, with one hemisphere constantly bathed in light and the other (you guessed it) in eternal night. Those on the day side of the planet have developed magical powers. But, after a horrific set of events a lone denizen of this half of the planet, Kenton, believes himself to be the last of his people and has to join forces with Khriss, a darksider. The two then embark on a journey to undo a massive conspiracy that they believe is behind the tragedy of what happened to Kenton’s people. Like most of Sanderson’s books, this story features an imaginative setting that utilizes its characteristics well to help tell the story as well as an interesting magical system full of rules and consequences. Technically, this graphic novel does take place in The Cosmere, a shared universe created by Sanderson that houses many of his most famous novels, but the author himself maintains that previous experience with the other Cosmere books isn’t necessary.
Writers: Jackson Lanzing, Collin Kelly, and Brandon Sanderson
Artist: Nathan Gooden
Publisher: Vault Comics
Another series built on the foundations of a Brandon Sanderson story, Dark One is the story of a man named Paul Tanisan, who comes from our world, yet suddenly finds himself dreaming and then being dumped into a dark world named Mirandus. Paul then finds himself inhabiting an integral role in this world’s cyclical history based around a constant battle between the Dark One and The Destined One. As the story goes on the world of Mirandus becomes more and more complex as the boundaries between good and evil become blurred along with the boundaries between reality and fantasy. What really shines here in this graphic novel is the ways that perceptions are played with. Nothing is quite what it seems like and while there are certainly characters to root for, as the story goes on these decisions become harder to justify. As of right now, there is one volume of this series that tells a complete story. So for those looking for something to read without committing to an ongoing series, this is the one for you.
What are some Brandon Sanderson books you’d like to see as comics? What did you think of these recommendations? Let us know in the comments section below.