Seth Grahame-Smith's Pride and Prejudice and Zombies – first line: "It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains" – rocketed into the top 10 of the New York Times bestseller list when it was released last year, capitalising on zombie culture's recent rising from the dead (Zombieland, starring Woody Harrelson, was released in October; Juno's Diablo Cody is developing a romantic comedy entitled Breathers: A Zombie's Lament).
Now there's Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: the Graphic Novel, released in British stores today. It's a pretty straightforward adaptation of the book, rendered in black-and-white ink by Brazil-based artist Cliff Richards (no relation) who is best known for illustrating a Buffy comic series.
Graphic novels are perhaps best suited to panoramic depictions of a dystopian metropolis plagued by gangs of lawless bikers, say, or superheroes swinging their way downtown, not monochrome sketches of rural aristocracy, so in many ways the book doesn't make the most of Richards's undoubted talent.
That said, Tony Lee's edit of Grahame-Smith's text zips along murkily enough between scenes of undead carnage. And there's a forthcoming film adaptation – Natalie Portman will play Elizabeth Bennet on a "quest for love and independence amid the outbreak of a deadly virus".