Check Out A Preview Of Gail Carriger's Soulless Manga

Yen Press is adapting Gail Carriger's Parasol Protectorate novels into graphic novel form, and you can get a sneak peek at the first ten pages of Soulless, the first volume, by going to the Parasol Protectorate Facebook page and hitting the "Like" button. The first chapter of Soulless is also available in this month's online-only issue of Yen Plus magazine.

Carriger mixes up steampunk and supernatural romance in Soulless, which features Alexia Tarabotti, a woman who has no soul. Alexia lives in a society that is just like Victorian England except it includes vampires and werewolves—although Alexia's lack of a soul makes her immune to them. The novels mix up supernatural shenanigans with high-society manners, and Carriger plans to write five Parasol Protectorate novels altogether; the fourth, Heartless, came out last month.

The artist for this series is Priscilla Hamby, who uses the pen name rem. Rem was a winner of the Tokyopop Rising Stars of Manga competition and went on to take top honors in the Morning International Manga Competition, sponsored by the Japanese publisher Kodansha, in 2008. She also illustrated Tokyopop's adaptation of Ellen Schreiber's Vampire Kisses supernatural romance novels. Carriger has been featuring rem's sketches for the manga on her LiveJournal.

Yen Press plans to do direct adaptations (as opposed to side stories) of the first three Parasol Protectorate novels. Soulless will be serialized in monthly installments in Yen Plus before its publication in book form.

A personal observation here: The first few pages are in color, but I think the black and white pages that follow are much more dynamic. Rem is a very expressive artist, but the figures in the first few pages seem confined and stiff. In addition, the framing is different—it seems like the color panels are long shots while the black and whites are close-ups. Maybe that's just the way the story progressed, but I thought it really picked up on page 5, when the black and white sequence began. Anyway, it's an exciting beginning to a promising new book, so go, like, read!

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