Larson says adaptations were something she couldn’t imagine herself taking on. With one exception:
A librarian from Texas had passed through town and interviewed me over coffee. How, she asked, did I feel about adaptations? I told her they didn’t interest me; I couldn’t imagine spending years on a story I hadn’t even written. Except one: A Wrinkle in Time. L’Engle has been a favorite author of mine since childhood, when I read the Time Quartet again and again, and her influence has left its fingerprints all over my work. I wouldn’t mind spending a few hundred pages with Meg Murry. And how often does one get to draw a tesseract?
But when it came to signing on for real, I got cold feet. What if I couldn’t do the book justice? What about the people-the people on the Internet-who throw up their hands and moan about their ruined childhoods whenever anyone adapts anything? Neither of those thoughts was as frightening as the possibility that someone else, someone who didn’t love the book as much as I did, would take the job and make a mess of things. I agreed to do it.
It was an undertaking that Larson found laborious, but very worthwhile:
The process of drawing the graphic novel was rewarding, but arduous and often frustrating. I first wrote a script, then spent six months drawing a rough version of the book. Immediately after I finished the rough, my husband and I loaded up the car and moved across the country to Los Angeles. Not only was I starting over in a new city, but I was starting over with Wrinkle, going back to the beginning of the book with editorial notes in hand and drawing it all again. This second draft, featuring more refined artwork and inks, took just over a year-an impressive clip for a nearly 400-page book. To put its size in perspective, I needed a month just to draw the speech balloons! I battled tendonitis and loneliness and was frequently not my best self, but now that I can hold the book in my hands, flip through it, see the story unfold page by page and spread by spread, I know it was worth it. It’s not a labor of love if you don’t labor.
Check out excerpts from Larson’s comic in the following.